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September 23, 1997
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.

Chair Cindy Weeldreyer presided with Steve Cornacchia, Ellie Dumdi, Bobby Green, Sr. and Peter Sorenson present. Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary.

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

None.

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

Paul Atkinson, 26884 Powell Road, Eugene, stated that he was against F1 Zoning. Atkinson presented a map from the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG), which highlights farm land in the Eugene area. The map indicated three different soil classes: Class 1: red, Class 2: green, and Class 3 blue. All three classes are listed as prime soils for the county. Atkinson commented that 80% of the Class 1 soil is being eliminated because of dwelling development. Atkinson encouraged the Commissioners to evaluate what soil will be lost when deciding about floor plan and farmland.

Robert Emmons, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, Fall Creek, stated opposition to the County’s proposal to allow dwelling units and campgrounds, including RV parks, on F1 lands. Emmons asked why the change is being proposed. Emmons declared that forested hillside should be left alone. (See material on file).

James H. Weaver, 2025 E. 17th, Eugene, stated he is considering moving to Goshen or Springfield because of the 1998 election. Weaver stated he was former chairman of United States House of Representative Committee on Forests. Weaver declared that, "The private timber companies have slaughtered the forests." Weaver stated the timber industry is down because private companies such as Georgia Pacific, which bought land holdings, cut the woods and sent the products to Japan. Weaver said he is against private companies opening their cut-over woods to F1 Zoning.

Nena Lovinger, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, Fall Creek, stated Lane County should protect its prime forest lands as places of healthy ecosystems, wildlife habitat and pure water. Lovinger declared opening lands for residential development does not allow the average person to own a home in the country, nor is it good land stewardship. She encouraged preserving Lane County F1 forest lands.

Neal Miller, 1910 Villard Street, Eugene, said that, according to the October 16, 1996 minutes, Commissioner Cornacchia noted the suggestion of combining 1500' from the country road standard from Option 1 with the large tract plan, which is Option 3. Miller said that if the focus is still on Option 3, the study done by a local forester indicates 19 individuals or family trusts own lots of 160 acres or more in Lane County, which is a total of 10,000 acres. Miller said it is evident where the proposed impact will be, and encouraged preservation of F1 land.

Linda Pauly, 84773 McBeth Road, Eugene, asked the Commissioners to maintain the existing zoning code for forest land. She stated that an important issue is individuals who work in the woods performing sustainable forestry. She declared that many cut-over lands need to be regenerated.

Bayard H. McConnaughey, 1653 Fairmount Blvd., Eugene, concurred with the previous speakers who oppose the F1 Zone to allow a new dwelling. He commented, "We need to rethink our developmental philosophy."

Evelyn McConnaughey, 1653 Fairmount Blvd., Eugene, stated she would like the F1 Forest Lands protected. McConnaughey commented on the costs of protecting the area from fires and extended services.

Ruth Duemler, 1745 Fircrest Drive, Eugene, said that by changing F1 Forest Lands protection, Eugene and the surrounding communities would change. She noted the tourist industry is important and there is a danger of forest fire with new dwellings in F1 lands.

3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

Dumdi distributed a draft letter to be sent to the chair of the Heceta Water District.

Green announced that the Bethel School District is breaking ground on its new elementary school and that the County had authorized $500,000 in road funds to assist the district. He said that a groundbreaking ceremony will be held today at 5:00 p.m.

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

None.

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a.  Announcements

County Administrator Bill Van Vactor announced that regional managers are meeting in Florence today and he will be attending to discuss the formation of law enforcement districts in the rural area.

Van Vactor also announced that he will be attending the Juvenile Justice Conference in Newport, Oregon next Monday and Tuesday.

Van Vactor said the Commissioners should have received a copy of a fax from Lane Plywood regarding reduction in force. Van Vactor said he sent a message to Chuck Forster, (Southern Willamette Private Industry Council), on the probable status of the Dislocated Worker Program. Forster responded that 250 individuals will be laid off from the Dislocated Worker Program; however, because Lane Plywood received another national discretionary grant in late June, services will be continued.

6. PUBLIC WORKS

a.  ORDER 97-9-10-3/In the Matter of Appointing a Five Member Citizen Committee to Evaluate and Recommend Awards for the Lane County Tourism Special Projects Grants. (NBA & PM 9/10/97)

Carol Ann Peters, Parks Department, requested a nominee from each commissioner. (See material on file)

Cornacchia nominated Dan Egan, Executive Director of the Springfield Chamber of Commerce. Sorenson selected Kathy Leighton, owner of Coffee Corner. Dumdi selected Lawrence Fox of Driftwood Shores. Green selected Greg Evans of Lane Community College. Weeldreyer selected Jerri O’Rourke, publisher of the Creswell Chronicle.

Peters expressed appreciation for the nominations and said she looks forward to returning to the Board in December with recommendations.

Weeldreyer commented that with $155,000 available, there should be many projects.

MOTION: Approval of nominees. Green MOVED, Dumdi SECONDED. VOTE: 5-0.

b.  DISCUSSION/Review of 1997 Legislative Session and Direction and Emphasis for the 1999 Session.

Roy Burns, Intergovernmental Relations Coordinator, provided a review. Burns described support from state legislators on the New Reality Campaign.

Burns said he wanted to discuss the internal surveys and receive direction. He explained that the Board had not been active in the interim to carry forward its interests. Burns added that, due to changes in state agency administration rules and policy, the Board should set an interim direction. Burns reported that the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) has initiated a process to redirect the emphasis on handling legislative matters during the interim, and also for the session in 1999.

Burns provided suggestions for the Lane County Legislative Committee during the interim period between sessions (see material on file). Burns also suggested how the legislative committee can improve procedures.

Burns said the Board must decide to pursue a focused interim series of activities up to 1999 and whether to build on the New Realities Campaign more efficiently.

Dumdi declared it was important to address these issues soon, rather than wait until the first of the year.

Green expressed appreciation for Burns’ report, and agreed that the Board’s involvement during the last session and the New Realities Campaign were instrumental in receiving greater recognition.

Discussion followed on the attachment provided by Burns. (See material on file). On item 2. c., Green asked if this statement refers to the need for more understanding and consistency on issues with AOC staff. Green said there were times when he would articulate the Board’s position and realize from the delegation’s comments that this was not consistent with the opinions of AOC staff. Burns concurred on having a consensus with AOC staff. Green asked about item 4. i. Burns noted that the Board has contacts beyond Lane County and it would be beneficial to update them on various issues. Concerning 4. c., Green emphasized that the word partnership should be "partnership with a capital P." Burns agreed.

Cornacchia stated that Burns’ suggestion of commissioner involvement is a general policy of the Board. He said that the nuances of Burns’ report are better left for the legislative committee and should be presented to them. He stated he was not sure how to engage candidates in the ethical and legal perspective and this should be discussed further. Cornacchia declared he was not certain if AOC is the end all vehicle for the Board’s legislative agenda. He cited Commissioner Green’s initiative on the New Realities Campaign as an example. Cornacchia emphasized that the Board’s efforts should be focused and effective. He said he supports keeping the legislative committee active and putting Burns’ report on the legislative committee agenda, with the committee providing recommendations on how to proceed.

Sorenson expressed appreciation for Burns’ report and suggested inviting legislators to a meeting to discuss issues. He stated that the process between now and the convening of the next legislation is monitoring the interim committees. Sorenson noted that the bulk of the proposals are developed during the interim period. Sorenson reported that the budget for the State of Oregon went up substantially as a result of income tax collection, but local government--cities and counties--received a setback due to Ballot Measures 47 and 50. Sorenson stated that if the state could finance assessment and taxation and the district attorney (which operate under state policy), it would free the general fund for health, welfare and other activities.

Weeldreyer noted that her concerns were reflected in Burns’ report. She cited the property tax limitation measures as an example of the importance of developing a more cooperative relationship with state government to provide state services like assessment and taxation and the district attorney. Weeldreyer agreed with Cornacchia that Burns’ report should be deferred to the Legislative Committee.

After discussion, the Board concurred on the following: Invite the legislative delegation to meet at a convenient time. Refer the proposal presented by Burns to the Legislative Committee for discussion. Discuss the topics that have been outlined in the report. Make sure efforts are measured by focus and cost containment.

c.  REPORT BACK/Oregon Properties.

John S. Pertsch, Bureau of Land Management, provided a report on Oregon Properties Inc. (See material on file). Pertsch reported that the Oregon Properties Roads are legal assets for building permits.

Pertsch announced there will be an information session on Tuesday, October 28, 1997, from 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. in Harris Hall. He said he will be sending letters to affected property owners during the first week of October, and there may be between 200 and 250 who will receive a letter. He noted that a public hearing is scheduled for the Lane County Planning Commission on November 18, 1997 and following the meetings a review will be scheduled in December with the Board.

Discussion followed, with Pertsch agreeing to provide information at the October 28 meeting for property owners, and to answer questions regarding the hold harmless clause.

Cornacchia requested a copy of the notice that will be sent to the property owners.

d.  ORAL REPORT/Interim Measures for Wireless Telecommunication Facilities.

Steve Vorhes, County Counsel, said that the report back was partially due to concern about the time between planning a detailed review of telecommunication regulations Lane County. He added that there have been no new applications for telecommunication facilities since the last discussion, and the pending application has been put on hold because the applicant wants to look for another place. Vorhes said activity in this arena has been fairly limited in Lane County, unlike Eugene, which started embarking on the process of adopting a moratorium. Vorhes recommended continuing the current work program.

Sorenson asked if there was a public health issue with cellular phones.

Vorhes responded that has not been raised, however; there has not been much research.

Dumdi observed that there are three towers in the immediate vicinity of Junction City.

Weeldreyer stated this was brought up because properties outside the Eugene/Springfield area have an adopted ordinance on siting these facilities. Weeldreyer expressed concern on how the towers should be sited regarding long term impact on the community. She said that, due to the rapid increase of technology within the past 25 years, it’s important to mediate the visual impact of towers.

The Board concurred on having another report presented in early 1998 on the progress of interim measures for wireless telecommunication facilities.

e.  DISCUSSION/Status Report on Hearing Schedule and Proposed Amendments to LC 16.210 and for the F1 Zone Concerning Whether or Not to Allow New Dwellings.

Kent Howe, Planning Director, and Jim Mann, Senior Planner, conducted the presentation on the hearing process for allowing new dwellings in the F1 zone.

Howe provided background and graphic illustrations on rezoning F1 to F2 parcels. (See material on file). He noted that about 88% of Lane County (3 million acres) is forest zoned land. He added that 5% of zoned land is F2 Land. The remaining portion is the F1. He noted that private sector land is 23-24% of the forest land in Lane County.

Mann provided a review of the hearing recommendations from October 16, 1996 and April 1, 1997 meetings. (See material on file).

Mann noted that many tracts of F1 zoned land were next to parcels that were within 1,500' of maintained public roads. He reported that 197,671 acres were parcels within 1,500' of public road and 56,595 of those acres were in the Rural Fire Protection Districts (RFPD), with 693,910 acres of private land, and 571,371 potential legal acres.

Cornacchia requested a map which would include all three restrictions, the 1500', fire Breaks, no access to Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Fire Services (FS).

Dumdi suggested that the new map include Atkinson’s soil map.

Sorenson asked how Lane County Government changed consideration of the F1 Zone. Cornacchia informed Sorenson that the F1 Zone change is a result of HB 3661.

Howe said staff’s role is to provide alternatives at the Board’s direction of continuing the status quo to full implementation of the new state law. He said the legislature debated appropriateness of dwellings on forest land, and deemed provisions that would adequately address concerns. Howe explained that a problem with the F1 zone or allowing the dwelling to occur is an entirely different effort than what staff was instructed to do today. He said that staff instruction is to provide alternatives that would implement state law.

Mann stated there were two reasons F1 property owners supported the dwelling options. The first was ability to have a dwelling for a watch person to prevent trespassing on the property and vandalism. The second concerned a large tract which would not qualify for the template dwelling, but conflicts with impeded industrial forest management, so the owner wanted to sell. The owner felt the land would have a better possibility for management if a dwelling was on the property.

Sorenson stated that only the legislative assembly had made allowance for change. Howe agreed.

Green observed that the house bill addressed standards for government, not errors or omissions in the zone, which is left up to the county.

Howe agreed with Green and said the County had segregated areas that were impacted and had been treating other forest lands differently. He said most lands statewide were not segregated and allowed dwellings when necessary.

Mann described the LCDC report on implementation of the large tract dwelling option in land divisions for 1995 and 1996. He noted that, prior to that time, not all counties complied. He stated this has occurred statewide, and is an indication of what might occur in Lane County.

Mann provided two charts on zoning in other counties. (See material on file).

Cornacchia asked for a report of what 35 other counties have done, including instituted options of House Bill 3661.

Vorhes responded that the DLCD does not have an answer.

Cornacchia suggested communicating with the 35 planning directors, asking for options on House Bill 3661, particularly in counties west of the Cascades.

Weeldreyer asked Howe if Lane County is the only county that set aside an F1 exclusive forest zone.

Howe responded that Wheeler County is the only other county that has an exclusive forest zone; others, to some extent, authorized dwellings.

Dumdi commented that this does allow one dwelling per 160 acres or more.

Green suggested asking the planning directors what type of process was developed and criteria used.

Sorenson asked for information about the increase in dwellings from January to July of this year. He asked what dwellings would be allowed.

Weeldreyer said more information is needed on the standards used for fire protection of dwellings on F1 lands.

Cornacchia referred to the McKenzie Watershed Council Policy Statement on Lane County’s Proposed Modification for F-1 Dwellings regarding limitation on maintenance from distance to public roads. (See material on file). He asked about road building for residential purposes, including availability and concerns associated with road building.

The Board concurred that, before the public hearing, there will be a work session on the facilities permit and how roads are permitted.

Mann said a discussion on how the Department of Forestry (DOF) allows forest roads to be permitted would be helpful because they regulate road building under the Forest Practices Act. He stated the DOF reviews landslides and other issues that Public Works does not consider.

Cornacchia asked what standards apply if Lane County is given the facility permit and if County standards are similar to state permits.

Mann provided a chart of the State Forest Land Division’s acreage. (See material on file). Mann said that in 1996 under the 80-acre tract land division, there were 25 partitions approved and in 1995 there was 61 approved; prior to that, an 80-acre tract standard was not required statewide. He reported that other counties’ standards prior to the 80-acre tract have been dropped.

Weeldreyer asked County Counsel if the Board forbids a residential dwelling in the F1 zone (while there is a state statute that does permit dwelling on F1 lands) that constitutes government taking private property rights.

Vorhes said state government could not take private property rights and the debate of "taking the land" would be centered on economically viable use. He said growing trees is viable use. Continuing, he said the lack of a dwelling may not make the case for a state statue that authorizes it and the County can be more restrictive than the statutes permit.

Howe reiterated the Board’s recommendations and direction:

1) A map displaying three options: lot of record, template and large tract dwellings that are within 1500' of a road, and other siting standard requirements. Also, relate Atkinson’s soil map, if possible.

2) Survey counties that have instituted some or all of House Bill 3661, especially west of the Cascades.

3) Review how other counties allow dwellings. What factors show linkage to stewardship? Also, what standards minimize impacts on forest land? What are the proposed or existing fire systems?

4) Dwellings allowed statewide, January-June of this year.

Cornacchia suggested research on how properties could be developed under current or altered road access.

Howe proposed a work session in November to for the Board’s recommendation and direction.

Weeldreyer said the Board is serious about getting information that will impact Lane County for generations to come. Weeldreyer noted the Board is proceeding in a thoughtful manner and thanked staff for the information.

Cornacchia declared that the Lane County Planners worked on House Bill 3661 as a resource and that Board action was because of issues involving Lane County.

7. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS

Not done today.

8. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

None.

There being no further business, this meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.

 

Tarra Withers, Recording Secretary

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