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August 27, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.

Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Ellie Dumdi and Peter Sorenson present. Steve Cornacchia and Bobby Green, Sr. excused. Zoe Gilstrap, recording secretary.

13. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

None.

14. PUBLIC HEARINGS

a. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 97-8-27-11/In the Matter of Certification of Final Assessments for Improvements to Centennial Boulevard from I-5 to Prescott Lane and Aspen Street from Centennial Boulevard to Centennial Elementary School, Including Assessments, and Setting Lien Amounts Against Adjacent Properties.

Don Maddox, Real Property Manager, stated that when the County acquired the rights-of-way for the construction of Centennial Boulevard, it also acquired abutter’s rights which meant the adjacent property owners would retain no legal right to expect access. He said there are also some subsequent subdivisions in the area with specific access restrictions to Centennial Boulevard. In addition, Maddox stated that there is a single parcel that was developed in the early 1960s which required that a fire lane be constructed to Centennial Boulevard without abutter’s rights which resulted in construction of a driveway that cannot be used as a normal driveway by the resident. He discussed the options outlined in the agenda packet (see material on file).

Ed Skipper, 1829 E. Street, Springfield, stated that he is the pastor of the Springfield Free Methodist Church which has property on Centennial Boulevard. He remarked that the church has no driveway or access onto Centennial. Skipper noted that they are a small church with a budget of $60,000 per year and said the assessment would take 15% of that budget. He stated that he is in favor of Option C. Skipper commented that they received a letter from the City of Springfield stating that their assessment would be waived and have been operating according to that understanding.

F.R. Frey, 1127 Ponderosa, Springfield, stated that his property abuts Centennial Boulevard in the back, noting that he has no access to the property from Centennial and does not think he should have to pay an assessment. He said many of his neighbors are on Social Security and do not have funds to make payment on the assessments. Frey indicated that the project has been a hazard to him because garbage is thrown over the fence from the sidewalk which is about a foot from his property. He stressed that this project does not benefit him at all.

Bruce Jolly, 1258 Janice Court, Springfield, stated that he has 360 feet of frontage on Centennial Boulevard. He said that when he was first approached about the project, he indicated that he did not approve of it. Jolly remarked that the sidewalk is now right next to his fence and that, as a consequence, he has had damage to his fence and garbage in his yard. He noted that this project has not improved his property. Jolly stated that he has lived there for 25 years and does not think it is fair that he is assessed.

Weeldreyer closed the public hearing.

Maddox stated that the properties do not have legal access rights nor do they take access to Centennial Boulevard. He acknowledged that the City of Springfield did send out a letter to property owners stating that they would not be assessed if they did not take direct access and guessed that approximately 45 to 50 properties would not take access or have legal rights.

Sorenson stated that the County does have a legal right to impose assessments but would be in conflict with what the City of Springfield told the property owners. He said it would not be fair in light of the letter and lack of access to Centennial to assess these owners, noting that he supports Option C.

Dumdi concurred that these properties will never have access and believed it appropriate to select Option C.

Weeldreyer indicated that in the past she and Cornacchia have voted not to support assessments to abutting property owners when the major beneficiary is the traveling public and asked that her position be noted for the record.

MOTION: To adopt Option C.

Sorenson MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.

b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 11-97/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 4 of Lane Code to Exempt Disaster Victims From Transient Room Tax (LC 4.125).

Weeldreyer indicated that she spoke with Green this morning who asked her to relay that the Board of Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County (CVALCO) is supportive of this action because they want to demonstrate continued commitment to being a partner with Lane County. She said they do have some concerns with the definition of the emergency housing because it leaves the door open for the Board to broaden it in the future to exempt other payees of the room tax.

Kari Westlund, Executive Director, CVALCO, suggested having the vouchers come from a government agency. Weeldreyer responded that the voucher agency, Red Cross, is not a government agency.

Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, noted that there are also room tax provisions adopted by the cities of Eugene, Springfield and Cottage Grove; however, this action will affect only room tax collected under the County’s ordinance and is a limited scope of exemption designed to deal with disaster relief.

Weeldreyer opened the public hearing.

Daniel Judd, 889 Lewis Avenue, Eugene, Director of Emergency Services at the Red Cross, stated that they use a voucher system which is the same system used by every Red Cross in the country. He explained that the vouchers are very clear and include the person’s name, their pre-disaster address, the merchant’s name and the specific dates of lodging. He noted Lane County is the first jurisdiction they have approached to waive the tax. Judd stated that the majority of cases are single family fires, floods and natural disasters, noting that they do not take personal disaster victims.

Weeldreyer closed the public hearing.

Dumdi stated that there are safeguards in place so that only those eligible are given the vouchers.

MOTION: Approval of Ordinance 11-97.

Dumdi MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED. The secretary polled the Board. VOTE: Three Ayes.

c. PUBLIC HEARING AND ORDER 97-8-27-12/In the Matter of Granting an Easement Over County Owned Real Property to Ariki-Oregon, Ltd., an Oregon Corporation for Use as a Wetland Mitigation Site (Map #18-12-15-00-01700, North and Adjacent to the Sandpines Golf Course, Florence).

Jeff Turk gave an overview of this item (see material on file).

Weeldreyer opened the public hearing.

Wilbur Tornyik, P.O. Box 1190, Florence, stated that he is the wetland consultant on this project. He said he located this site on county property because the water table is low and is an ideal site, noting that Fish & Wildlife is in agreement that this would be a good addition to this wetland complex. Tornyik stated that it would mainly be used by water fowl because it becomes ponds in the winter time. He said the mitigation is for wetland violations that were created when the course was initially built.

Laura Gillispie, 05291 Darr Road, Florence, stated that she is a planning consultant and said the net result of this project will be to increase wetland area which will add to the wildlife and storage areas for flood waters.

Weeldreyer closed the public hearing.

MOTION: Approval of the Order.

Dumdi MOVED, Sorenson SECONDED. VOTE: 3-0.

This meeting recessed at 2:23 p.m. and reconvened at 2:30 p.m.

15. OTHER BUSINESS

a. ORAL REPORT/Impact of Supreme Court Decision in Lane County v. LCDC.

Kent Howe, Associate Planner, gave a brief history of this item (see material on file). He stated that in 1993, House Bill 3661 resulted in directing LCDC to adopt a Goal 3 farm land rule. Howe stated that Lane County challenged that effort and, in 1996, the Court of Appeals upheld Lane County’s position in how to apply the statutory provisions for a marginal county to its farm uses. He noted, however, that decision was overturned by the Supreme Court in 1997. Howe remarked that since that rule was put into effect March 1, 1994, Lane County processed permits and authorized a number of dwellings that were not challenged by LCDC. He reiterated that Lane County’s position was supported last year by the Court of Appeals and, as a condition of approval, the County did require Hold Harmless Agreements recorded on the deeds. Howe stated that as of August 7, 1997, there were a number of development applications in various categories of completion with six farm dwelling applications that had not received final planning approval before August 7. He said he has talked with the DLCD staff , stating that he planned to recommend that Lane County honor the Supreme Court decision and apply the high value farm land provisions of the Goal 3 rule to all new applications received after August 7 and to all the applications that were pending on that date. Howe noted that DLCD indicated that they would not recommend taking any action on the decision which received final land use approval before August 7.

Howe stated that regarding development of a work program to amend both the Rural Comprehensive Plan policies and zoning ordinance to implement Goal 3 rule, he proposed that they continue the long-range planning efforts in which they are currently engaged. He said they start the annual code maintenance and update in November and recommended that they incorporate amendments to the Rural Comprehensive Plan to codify the Goal 3 rule to fit the Lane County Ordinance.

Responding to Dumdi, Howe stated that there are 183,000 acres in the EFU zone with 2,050 acres that have been zoned as marginal lands since 1984.

Sorenson asked how the $20,000 rule relates to the $80,000 rule. Howe replied that the $20,000 provision, prior to the Supreme Court decision, gave statutory authority for application in any EFU area if it could be demonstrated that $20,000 gross agricultural product would come off that land. He said under the new rule, 66% of those EFU zoned lands now have to demonstrate that in either the last two years or three of the last five years they have produced $80,000 gross annual income if they are on the high value soils.

Sorenson summarized that they would have to be producing four times as much before a dwelling could be built, stating that this decision was made to protect the exclusive farm use land for farm use.

Dumdi said it is very important to recognize that both Lane and Washington Counties have had more restricted regulations than the rest of the state. She said that by having the marginal lands designations, they have allowed building to take place on lands that have very low productivity due to poor soil quality. She noted that the Board has been very protective of farmlands in the EFU and that there has not been much building allowed.

Weeldreyer summarized that the six applicants have been notified of the implications to their applications due to this ruling and that the changes to the ordinances will begin in November.

There being no further business, this meeting recessed at 3:03 p.m. to reconvene into executive session at 3:30 p.m.

 

Zoe Gilstrap, Recording Secretary

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