December 1, 1999
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING
Harris Hall Main Floor - 1:30 p.m.
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison, Peter Sorenson and Cindy Weeldreyer present. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. Second Reading and Public Hearing Ordinance PA 1141 Amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan to Redesignate Land from "Agricultural" to "Rural", Rezone that Land from "E-40 Exclusive Farm Use" to "RR-5 Rural Residential," Adopting an Exception to the Statewide Planning Goals 3 and 4; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File Plan Amendment 98-2230 Doak)
Green stated he and Weeldreyer were excused from yesterdays proceeding on the matter. He added that he turned the meeting over to Sorenson, who is Vice-Chair. Green said he reviewed the video tapes and was puzzled as to why the matter was back again today. He noted there was a policy question raised by Dwyer regarding the extension of the matter. Green said with regard to communication, Dwyer and Sorenson stated there were assumptions made by staff that the Board would agree to the extension, given they had not disagreed in the past, or if there had been any action, they had not questioned it, allowing staff to use their judgment. He asked why this item was pulled when any other item throughout the year was not pulled. He stated that with regard to Sorenson, if he had a concern or question, it should have been brought up when the agenda was being crafted last week, but he did not share his concern.
Dwyer responded that legal notice had been sent out and there had been no subsequent action by the Board that legally changed the notice. He said in his opinion, notice about an extension was illegally or erroneously given to the citizens regarding the extension, because staff did not have the authority to grant the extension and they took it upon themselves to do it. He said the Board has the authority to set these meetings to give notice. He said there was no legal authority for staff to send the notice. He asked County Counsel if staff had legal authority to send a notice regarding an extension before the Board acted on it.
Stephen Vorhes, Assistant County Counsel, responded in terms of legal authority, staff is at the direction of the Board. He said the Board would have to take action to confirm. He added the Board could anticipate that action for notice to be sent out.
Dwyer noted the notice that the meeting had already been extended was sent to the people and it wasnt an action that was given by the Board. He said this had never come to the Board before since he has been a commissioner and never had to raise the issue.
Green stated that Dwyer made a good point about the process but his issue is how it was done. He added in Dwyers efforts to right this, people are present on short notice, they had to take time out of their day to come and other people had been eliminated from the process.
Sorenson reported that on October 25, Jerry Kendall, Land Management, dated a memo to the Board, and on November 10, the Board set the Second Reading and Public for 1:30 p.m. on December 1. He said the applicant requested that the hearing be postponed until March, 2000 and in response to that request, the staff informed the public that the hearing would be postponed and prepared a memorandum for the Board dated November 23, wherein staff recommended approving a Second Reading and setting a Third Reading and Public Hearing for March 15, 2001, 1:30 p.m. in Harris Hall. He said there was a motion made to postpone the hearing set for today at 1:30 p.m. and the motion died due to a lack of a second. He suggested to have a Public Hearing today to take the testimony of those who are present and then honoring the request of any party who wishes to have the hearing continued, to put additional information into the record.
Morrison said she is concerned about how this matter was handled. She said from the time the agenda was set (even at the agenda setting process), if there was a concern at that time, it could have been pulled and the Board could have addressed it so the hearing could have been at another time, so ample time could have been given to the public to know what the plan was. She added that staff is used to a process and if the Board doesnt like the process, then they have to work on it in the interim.
Green requested a retreat for the Board on communication and the lack thereof, after the first of the year.
Weeldreyer said she was disappointed that the motion yesterday didnt receive a second from Dwyer or Sorenson. She said in the year they worked together as a Board, they are the two commissioners that have championed the concept of public involvement and not "jerking" the public around and giving them their fair say. She said by not approving Morrisons motion yesterday, the Board "jerked" the people around for a procedural issue. She said when these issues come up, she did not want them to be in front of TV cameras for staff to be drug into, for the Board to make a procedural point.
Green said the decision is subject to the plan amendment and rezoning criteria cited in the agenda cover memo and the attachments, evidence and testimony must be directed toward the approval criteria and failure to raise an issue to enable a response may preclude appeal to LUBA. He added this is the opportunity for those present today to enter information into the record and only persons who qualify as "parties" may appeal the Board decision to LUBA. He asked if there were any ex parte contacts.
The Board responded there were none.
Kendall reported the issue in the application is Goal 14, the urbanizational goal. He said the state had been struggling with the concept and the last page of the Board packet is a memo from the planning director, Kent Howe. Kendall noted on the County level, some minimum requirements need to address Goal 14 properly. He noted what Howes memo states in part is that the density increase will not request connection to a community water or sewer system. He noted that 72% of the property was excavated 40 years ago to build a railroad right-of-way and took down soils, to a depth of 20 feet. He said as a result, it has pit soils that have no capability rating, that staff contends is not functionally capable of growing commercial timber and a Class 8 Ag Soil Rating, that is the poorest rating. He noted that normally a property that is over 20 acres is subject to a scrutiny level that would lean toward denial but with pit soils, there is latitude for the Board to make a determination between the committed rural residential property (RR1) on the west and north side, along with the industrial land to the south east, committing the property to the point where resource use is impracticable.
Green stated he received letters from neighbors who said they didnt receive adequate notice. He wanted to make sure that people who have an interest in this matter are able to be heard.
Vorhes responded from a process standpoint, they have a request for an extension of time. He added they could also postpone the hearing today and not take any testimony. He said another option would be to open the hearing, listen to people who are present today and then continue the hearing to a time certain, with a period of time for a notice that is sufficiently legal to notify all of the interested parties of the hearing opportunity. He added proper notice was given for this hearing but notice was sent out that told people that this hearing would not take place. He recommended if they did continue the hearing until the March date, that at that time there would be another staff report to provide an opportunity for anyone who wants to provide testimony to the Board.
Green suggested opening the Public Hearing, but was concerned that there was lack of proper notice.
Sorenson agreed with Green. He added this Public Hearing should be held today to give people an opportunity who had relied upon the Boards previous decision to hold the hearing. He agreed that after they finish the hearing today, that they continue it.
Weeldreyer supported opening the Public Hearing with the intent that they would continue it to a later date.
Morrison agreed with the Board.
Commissioner Green opened up the Public Hearing.
Larry Gelbae, attorney for applicant, requested a continuance (and putting into the record the correspondence) until March 15. He reported that after they received a staff report, Kendall contacted him to review it, and it was his opinion that they have a soil analysis done by the appropriate engineers. Gelbae said he used EGR Associates to do the analysis and their recommendation was to have a more detailed study done so septic systems and wells could be identified by location and a report could be made. He added if the information suggests that it would not work to have two acre parcels, they would want to amend their application to go with five acre parcels as recommended.
Gelbae added there was not enough time to get this study done to give the County time to analyze it. He and Kendall decided to continue the matter and he requested to remove it off the docket, and as soon as the testing is completed, they would advertise and the applicant would pay the cost for the new advertising and noticing. He wrote a letter to Kendall requesting the continuance to March 15. He said that Kendall was in receipt of the fax whereby they agreed to a postponement of the hearing to March 15. He had the letters made part of the record. He added notices were sent out notifying everyone that the hearing was not going to take place. He said from his perspective, he doesnt want a situation where someone will have an automatic remand from LUBA. He said whether staff has an authority to cancel a hearing or not is not the real issue. He said the issue is did the public receive notice from someone with authority from the County to cancel the meeting. He said when they receive a letter stating a hearing is canceled, as far as the public is concerned, it is canceled. He added as far as the law is concerned, the hearing is canceled too because authority had been given to planning staff to make those decisions. He stated he was not ready to present anything and his engineer was not able to come today.
Lil De Soto, 82564 Sprague Lane, Dexter, stated she had been living in the area for 23 years and lives across the street from the subject property. She gave a history of Dexter and the drainage of the property. She read a letter with from the Dexter Sanitary District regarding no correspondence between the applicant and them. She noted there were discrepancies mentioned by the Lane County Planning Commission. She recommended the Board vote for the environment and community and deny the application. She added she would like to see the applicant work with the Dexter Sanitary District and not just the County for wastewater. She said the land was not included in the original boundaries because it was an agricultural property.
Reggie De Soto, 82564 Sprague Lane, Dexter, stated he is an Assistant Plan Manager for the sewer district. He stated he is not against development or growth as it is part of society. He said how and where it happens is the situation facing Lane County. He added everything will be affected if 16 wells are put in as there are problems already present. He said he was opposed to this development.
Jerry Gregory, 82608 Sprague, Dexter, stated he had lived there for three years. His concern about a lot of houses and wells is the water drainage and the safety of his wells and contaminates. He said he already had to install a filter for drinking water because of the minerals in the water. He said he is also concerned about losing water pressure with other wells above him.
Rodney Walker, Director for Dexter Sanitary, stated part of the problem in Dexter is clay. He noted that the majority of the property in question has been taken off due to the pit soil and he agrees about the wells and septic system.
Sorenson asked if Walker was in favor of the application.
Walker responded that RR2 would be too dense for the property and he would oppose it if the property was RR2.
Cindy Gregory, 82608 Sprague, stated she opposed the RR2. She said her concern is the contaminates in the well water. She wanted to know who would be responsible if her well water became contaminated. She said she wants to stay in Dexter and become involved in the community. She said she was confident the Board will make the right decision about what is best for the community and children.
Green noted that the applicant applied for RR2, and the planning commission said they would approve it at an RR 5 level.
Green stated he was continuing the Public Hearing until March 15.
Vorhes recommended to continue the meeting to March 15, 2000.
MOTION: to continue the Third Reading until March 15, 2000 and to keep the Public Record open so there is time to submit extra material and review it in a timely fashion.
Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Van Vactor suggested the soil report be due by March 1.
Green stated he wanted to engage in a work session to clarify policy and procedure issues.
Weeldreyer commented that to date the process of deferring that type of authority to Land Management staff is fine and doesnt see anything wrong with the system.
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.
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