BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
March 13, 2001
Commissioners' Conference Room
Vice-Chair Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. Anna Morrison was excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
Van Vactor noted that item 6 a. should be moved to tomorrow.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Mike Evans, planning consultant, 1071 Harlow Road, Springfield, stated he is concerned about the critical habitat conservation zone and whether to proceed. He leaned toward abolishing it. He didnít like the ordinance as written, but thinks it could be workable. He noted it was too burdensome on property owners. He said once an ordinance is developed locally, NFMS would not adopt it. He asked the Board to take the existing riparian ordinance and give it to NFMS.
Sorenson asked if the federal government required this.
Evans responded it conflicts with Measure 7. He said the 4D Rule doesn't require Lane County or any other agency to implement new regulations. He said there needed to be research before Lane County goes forward.
3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
After the meeting.
4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
b. STATUS REPORT/Benton-Lane Lincoln-Linn Regional Investment Program.
Cynthia Van Zelm, LCOG, provided an update on the regional investment program in the four counties. She said that Cascades West Cog was presenting a similar presentation to the three other counties. She noted the Board approved 36 projects in November for funding for a total of $1.9 million (in four county areas) and $232,000 for a multi-region project. She noted almost all the contracts had been signed between the project sponsors and the regional investment board and a majority of the projects were moving along as presented. She added that $263,000 was made available in an opportunity fund for time sensitive projects for creating jobs, providing technical assistance to and/or supporting community development in rural communities. She noted there were 25 projects submitted for that funding and five were in Lane County. She said the state had extended the time for when the money has to be spent for the projects to 2002. She stated in the future (if the Board continues the partnership with the regional investment board and funding is made available by the legislature) there would be another project solicitation in fall 2001.
5. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION/Direction to Staff: Lane County Planning Commission Recommendations on Proposed Amendments to the Rural Comprehensive Plan Policies and Lane Code Chapter 16 in Response to the Federal Endangered Species Act Listing of Salmonids as Threatened Species, and the Provisions of ESA Section 4(d) for the Conservation and Recovery of Evolutionarily Significant Units in Lane County.
Tom Bowerman, 33707 McKenzie View, Eugene, said he had been a member of the watershed council. He said the Spring Chinook Working Group was given the charge of making an ordinance that would work, be enforceable and respond to the purposes. He noted that it started with the National Marine Fishery Service (NFMS) setting a 200-foot setback that is now a 75-foot setback. He said it had become politicized, with the ordinance becoming too complex. He suggested sending this back to the Spring Chinook Working Group for their response if the Board believed this would be an effective method. He was not satisfied with the product.
Dwyer stated it didnít matter what rule was adopted, unless the fish could get back to where they breed.
Bowerman said unless they look at all the reasons and do what is capable, they would not be able to solve the problem. He said the primary limiting factor of Spring Chinook is not spawning, but overlittering habitat that occurs in the lower reaches of the river.
Howe presented a timeline chart to the Board on what they had done so far.
Dwyer suggested that before they vote they should allow the Spring Chinook Working Group to see if what had been done complies.
Howe responded that was a possibility, as well as giving input in a public hearing.
Weeldreyer noted the chart that Howe presented was an excellent tool and requested a copy.
In response to the question about Lane County being compelled to comply with Measure 7, Bill Sage, Land Management, said that Section 9 stated they had to prohibit take when issuing permits. He added if they donít have regulations and the take occurs, there would be liability. He noted the Oregon Plan started addressing this in 1988, coming up with five or six principles for the critical habitat conservation zone. He noted the zone would cover about 97% of the County with the Bull Trout, Coastal Coho and Spring Chinook listings. He said they came up with a basic policy of no net loss and to conserve and allow for recovery of the species. He explained there would be a variance process for limited hardships, only within riparian areas. He also explained the mitigation process. He added all these issues make it a very complex ordinance.
Sorenson asked if this was required by NFMS. He asked that if the federal government determined the species was threatened, a recovery plan was triggered.
Jim Turner, National Marine Fishery Service, explained that NFMS implements the Endangered Species Act. He noted their primary role is to help guide and set boundaries about the act. He said how they determine compliance is vague. He said if an activity is undertaken that results in a take, they begin the process of investigating and if someone has an unauthorized take, it is a violation of the law. He added the 4D Rule is their guidance. He said it would be up to the County to make that decision. He said they have to consider what the trends have been and that is when a species is listed under the Endangered Species Act. He said with the 4D Rule, it is local entities doing things better for recovery. He said they are recognizing that the status quo is not adequate and must recognize certain critical aspects of the streams. He said that NFMS did not have specific guidance on recovery but is developing a recovery plan. He said in place of a recovery plan, they provide a general guidance called properly functioning conditions.
Green asked what the weakness was in the ordinance and if Lane County was going in the right direction.
Turner thought Lane County was going in the right direction. He said they would review it. He said they have to apply criteria to see how this meets and satisfies the 4D Rule and then evaluate it for overall effect.
Weeldreyer asked if NFMS was ready to examine the ordinance.
Turner responded they were not ready but one of the reasons they were present was they have a proposal to help implement the program.
Weeldreyer asked Chris Clemow, Lane County Planning Commission, if he recommended sending this back to the Spring Chinook group for their feedback before a public hearing.
Clemow stated this was allowing incidental take with mitigation, to protect the County from potential litigation. He thought it would be beneficial to send this back to NFMS or to the Chinook Working Group to review what had been recommended.
Howe stated it was staffís recommendation to send it back for additional scientific review.
Dwyer asked if criteria had been developed for different settings. He suggested specific site review in all cases and development of protections to ensure wherever a dwelling is built, it wouldnít impact the river.
Sorenson noted that the 4D Rule went into effect in January and when President Bush took office in January, there was a 60-day review of all federal policies developed in the previous administration. He asked if the new administration would be changing the 4D Rule.
Turner stated he had not heard this would be challenged, changed or modified.
Sorenson suggested going to a restoration model instead of a no-net-loss policy.
Turner stated they could lay out a restoration project and work this into it.
Weeldreyer wanted to send the proposal back to the groups involved in the original negotiation and then have a joint meeting with the board and planning commission and make a decision.
Van Vactor asked (before the Board took action) what the workload in Land Management would be, as they are having financial problems.
John Cole, Land Management, noted there is work they think they could accomplish this budget year and the work that may need to occur after the budget year. He said they wouldnít know what their resources would be until after June 30, 2001. He added having the Spring Chinook working group examine this was a good idea, but asked if the Board was interested in a review of the riparian enhancement regulation, to include it so it could be adopted this budget year. He said they need to know ongoing costs to the County to administer the rules and regulations.
Green said this was not unanimously supported in Finance and Audit. He said that Weeldreyer made a recommendation for sending it back out, as there were financial implications. He said if they were making a motion, they could amend it to have limited review of the ordinance with the Spring Chinook working group, and would support sending it back out only if it was limited.
Weeldreyer noted her recommendation (with no fiscal impact to Land Management) would be that they have a joint meeting with the planning commission on the planning commissionís meeting night so there would be no additional staff meeting. She added they were just putting this back to the soil and water conservation group and the watershed councils for comment. She said if they wanted to make changes, there would be continuing notification of a second hearing.
MOTION: to have a joint meeting with the planning commission on the planning commissionís meeting night and sending this back to all the groups involved for review and their comments to be made at a joint meeting.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Howe stated that staff has concerns fiscally as to the relationship of this effort and sending it back to the Spring Chinook working group.
Jim Thrailkill, Chair, Upper Willamette Spring Chinook Working Group, 45304 Goodpasture Road, Vida, reported that previously the Spring Chinook Working Group presented the information for the current proposed ordinance. He said the working group was given the charge to present scientific information of the risks of different setback differences by function. He said he could take this back to the Spring Chinook group and asked them to review this and come back with support. He didnít think there would be much of a resolution that would come from the group.
Howe reiterated the planning commission dealt with this with three public hearings and two nights of deliberations, coming to the Board with a recommendation they had made based upon the objective, clear science that the Spring Chinook working group presented.
Weeldreyer said if there is a budget problem that they should take the current ordinance and send it to NMFS, instead of creating a new process that was more complex than clear and objective.
Thrailkill suggested asking NFMS what would be the impact of the processing of plans for permitting of riparian modifications if this County does not have an ordinance that fits their approved limits.
Turner suggested putting something forward that would be a positive step.
b. DISCUSSION/Direction to Staff: Regarding How to Proceed with Misc. Updates to the Rural Comprehensive Plan and Lane Code In Consideration of Ballot Measure 7.
Jim Mann, Land Management, reported they did an analysis of potential exposure from Measure 7. He said, given a decision is not yet resolved, there would be a high Ballot Measure 7 risk for the periodic review because the proposed changes are restricting the uses of property. He added there were positive things being proposed that would help people better use their property. He said under Ballot Measure 7, they were asking the Board to proceed with the alternative that was provided (similar to the City of Eugene) but it doesn't become effective until final resolution of Ballot Measure 7. He said since there is no certainty in their budget process and if they were to proceed, they would set things in motion that would be hard to stop if the Board decided not to increase the fees. He suggested the Board wait until there was further clarification for the budget.
Weeldreyer asked what would happen to Lane County with land use laws.
Mann responded if the County fails to comply with the goals of periodic review update, there would be three things the state could do. He said there is nothing to compare it with, but they could withhold grant revenues already promised, withhold certain kind of state tax revenues, and put an enforcement order on Lane County that would require that each permit would need to comply with the statewide planning goals. He said that would add work, when they really want to simplify the process.
Vorhes suggested having a conversation with DLCD about where they are in periodic review because of Measure 7 with all of the other cities and counties that are in the middle of periodic review.
Mann reported he had a conversation with DLCD staff about the alternative of adopting the changes and that they donít become effective until Ballot Measure 7 is resolved. He added there was not a clear DLCD position.
Green recommended staff continue working but nothing would go into effect until the appeal is resolved.
Dwyer suggested proceeding and adopting (contingent upon the measure being held on appeal) and find the money that is needed.
Van Vactor recommended proceeding quickly on the periodic review to get as much done as possible in this fiscal year.
MOTION: to proceed on the periodic review getting as much done as possible this fiscal year.
Sorenson MOVED, Green SECONDED.
6. COMMITTEE REPORTS
a. REPORT/External Financial Audit FY 2000 and Management Letter.
Changed to March 14, 2001 at 9:00 a.m.
7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
8. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer reported that the legislative committee met with the AOC. She noted they took positions on specific bills that will be coming out with the legislative report. She said there are challenges with early childhood prevention and continuing current level services for older children.
Green noted at AOC he had a discussion with representatives of Mental and Public Health. He said it was his committeeís recommendation to submit to the AOC body that they would not take a position, as there are a number of concerns. He said it would be taking money away from higher age level children. He suggested that a task force be formed to talk to the governor and air their concerns.
Regarding telecommunications, Weeldreyer reported that there was a second stakeholderís summit and the senate bill will be up for hearing next week. She noted that Morrison did a guest editorial for the The Register-Guard and it is being touted as a best practice model. Other counties were urged to substitute their name for Lane County and put it into local newspapers.
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 11:50 a.m.