APPROVED Approved 1/5/00
October 26, 1999
BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' WORK SESSION
Commissioners' Conference Room - 9:00 a.m.
Commissioner Bobby Green, Sr., presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Anna Morrison, and Peter Sorenson present. Cindy Weeldreyer excused. County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
Eric Rogers, 39951 Log Creek, Marcola, stated he was speaking in defense of the motocross track. He said he lives and owns a private motocross track in Marcola. He said they practice and there are objections from the neighbors. He said his neighbors have made false accusations and there has been harassment. He noted that Lane County measured the noise level at 60 decibels. He said he is only dealing with the noise and there are no other illegal activities taking place. He added there are three steps he could take to reduce the noise levels and he would be cooperating.
Dwyer asked Rogers to address the three methods.
Rogers responded he could turn down the exhaust system so the sound is redirected to the grounds. He noted they are in the process of constructing a shop made of foam blocks and he could shoot the exhaust to the building, as it would contain sound absorbent materials. He said the third method would be to build a dirt berm to absorb the sound waves and reduce the noise level below the legal limits.
Carl Barnes, 39977 Log Creek Road, stated he is the closest neighbor to the Rogers property, less than 300 feet and he has no problem with the riding. He noted the dust is not that thick and the noise doesnt bother him.
Kent Haufman, 40069 Log Creek Road, reported that he doesnt care for the noise. He said he lives 500 feet away and he likes doing gardening when it is quiet. He said he cant enjoy things with the noise. He reported that he works in construction and he tries to go to sleep at 8:30 p.m., but he cant because they are still riding at 9:00 p.m.
Jerry Schultz, 39685 Howard, Marcola, stated he lived on the property for 30 years and it is one-half opposite the side of the valley from the motocross track. He said in the evening that the bikes are noisy. He added that fragmentation has been brought to the community and it is affecting other peoples lives.
Cherie Goodwin, 40069 Log Creek Road, Marcola, reported that she lives 10 acres away from Eric Rogers. She said she is opposed to having six to eight motorcyclists coming to ride on the property. She noted that one or two were okay. She said the noise level, dust and safety level were awful. She said her opposition is that they are riding in a residential area. She said that Shot Gun Creek was less than three miles away and they could go there to ride. She said she cant leave her windows open in the summer because of the noise and dust. She said the riders are unsupervised. She added it is a residential area and she moved into the area nine years ago. She said she needs to have quiet and her physical disabilities are getting worse by stress. She said her property value has plummeted because of the noise, safety problems and dust.
Susan Lynch, 39886 Howard, Marcola, said that she has two children, 8 and 9 years old. She said the noise is distracting and has a hard time doing homework where the motocross is going. She said she is concerned for her children.
Kevin Hillman, 39886 Howard, Marcola, stated he is an 18 year resident in the upper Mohawk Valley. He noted that he brought two letters for the record from people who could not attend the meeting. He also brought videotapes and petitions regard the effects of the noise from the professionals riding the motocross. He said there were decibel readings taken from his property and they showed he was 10 decibels over the allowable limit. He said the noise is disruptive when he has to listen to it at dinner. He said the noise is ruining his family life. He added even with the windows and doors closed, the noise is still loud. He asked the Board to follow up.
Green noted that Angela Engeler had called him and reported that the dust and noise from Eric Rogers' property is terrible and she is afraid something awful will happen.
3. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
Following the Meeting.
5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
6. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION Eugene Airport Master Plan.
Harvey Hoglund, Public Works, reported that earlier this month the Planning Commission completed their review of the Airport Master Plan and furnished a recommendation for approval of several elements to be considered in January. He noted when he prepared the packet, he didnt have the draft minutes from the Planning Commission but had them today for review. He said the minutes contained concerns of the public that have property in the area.
Mike Boggs, Eugene Airport, gave a presentation of the Eugene Master Plan update. He noted near the airport the lack of residential development and encroachment (from an airport or commercial standpoint.) He stated that it is unique and isnt found around many areas of the country. He reported that the City of Eugene and the County had done an excellent job of planning for the airport. He added there are no noise problems or operational restrictions for airlines operating in and out of the airport.
Boggs explained that the Master Plan Update picks up where the 1990 plan left off and not a lot of what is in the new plan is different than what was in the 1990 plan. He stated they are updating the plan because the level of detail is not the same for the future. He said they are experiencing planning problems in terms of the detail needed to do a variety of projects at the airport. He added they have to plan for the financing of the airport, and that requires the additional detail to be given to the Federal Aviation Administration to provide funds for the airport. He reported they also have land planning issues that need to be addressed. He said over the past ten years they had been addressing Metro Plan designation changes on a piecemeal basis and they received the direction from the Planning Commission to handle it on a more comprehensive basis.
Philip Farrington, Planning Manager, Satre Associates, explained that the Airport Master Plan is a refinement to the Metro Plan. He added it also serves as a component of the states Aviation System Plan and as such, the Airport Master Plan is consistent with the State Aviation System Plan and its policies and directives as well as Oregon Revised Statutes, Administrative Rules and the policies contained therein. He noted as a refinement plan to the Metro Plan, the 1990 plan left a little bit lacking and did not have a refinement plan diagram to it. He said one thing that had been discussed was to comprehensively seek to implement component portions of the plan and Metro Plan diagram amendments and zone changes, all consistent at the same time with the Master Plan Update. He stated there are four actions being brought before the bodies, the Airport Master Plan Update (subject to approval by the Board of Commissioners and the Eugene City Council), the Metro Plan Diagram Amendments (considered for approval by all three jurisdictions) Amendments to TransPlan and the Public Facilities Plan Project List. He noted there are conflict points that exist with relationship to the cross-runway 321 and the location of Greenhill Road and Aubrey. He added the Public Facilities Plan includes a project list that includes all of the TransPlan projects and needs to be amended to include that project. He explained the zone change is only for the city owned properties and solely considered by Lane County. He stated they are trying to making consistency between the Metro Plan, the Master Plan Update and other refinement plans at a comprehensive level.
Tom Schnetzer, Mead & Hunt, reported that recommendations that were in the Master Plan Update were recommendations that were made in 1990. He noted there was a significant amount of public involvement. He said one of the significant projects that have come out of the Master Plan is a parallel runway that is recommended as a capacity enhancement measure. He noted when the airport demand reaches a certain level, the project will need to be implemented so delays are not incurred. He reported a short-term was related to the FAA design standards. He said the intersection of Aubrey and Greenhill runs through the runway safety area and the FAA has been enforcing airports coming into compliance with design standards, and this is a major issue with them. He said they showed the rerouting of Greenhill Road. He added the capacity that is gained with a parallel runway gives many years of growth.
Sorenson asked who owned the land where the runway is going.
Schnetzer responded the airport owns the land. He noted that once the parallel runway is constructed, the bulk of the traffic and the larger aircraft would use this, as its primary runway.
Boggs reported they had an extensive public process with the plan. He said a Master Plan Advisory Committee was put together and the County had significant representation. He stated the Metro Plan Advisory Committee held six regular meetings and in conjunction with three of those meetings, public workshops were held. He said from May of 1999 to the present, they had been going through the public approval process. He noted the plan does not deviate from the previous plan, it just refines it in most cases. He said the runway depends on aircraft activity and when dollars would have to be spent to keep runway 321 in service, instead of using those dollars to construct the parallel runway. He stated the whole plan is demand- driven, it pays for itself and based on the current estimates, would be able to cover the cost without additional taxpayer participation.
Sorenson asked if the County had to pay for the roads to be relocated.
Boggs responded no. He noted the airport generates an operating surplus every year and the operational surplus pays for capital projects. He added the federal government is another source for the airport improvement program and it funds projects based on passenger activities at the airport. He said it is formula-driven and the more passengers, the more money is received. He added there is also a passenger facility charge of $3.00 per person tax that goes back to the airport.
Hoglund reported that the Planning Commission did have a concern over the process of acquiring property and wanted to pass on this to the Board. He said some property owners think something is wrong with the process in which their land is acquired at farmland prices.
Boggs stated that there is a lack of information about the process for public acquisition of property. He noted there were 14 parcels that had been acquired since 1990 for a total of about 750 acres. He said of the 14 parcels, there was one acquisition that was disagreeable, where the property owner was not satisfied with the compensation they received. He added they had property owners who would have liked to have more than they received but they thought they were dealt with fairly. He reported that his staff and the Lane Countys staff have a set of rules to go by on acquisition of property. He noted that the Eugene City Attorney prepared a document that was passed on to Springfield and Lane County that outlines the process. He reported they were required to pay just compensation at fair market value for property and it is a requirement of the Oregon Constitution. He added it is unlawful for any public official to expend any money in excess of the amounts provided by law. He said in establishing value, the process that is gone through is a written offer to the landowner. He said the landowner can, if they choose, get their own appraisal. He added the owner has 40 days for consideration and if there is a disagreement on the value of the property, there is binding arbitration, non-binding arbitration or a jury. He said prior to going to court, the City has to make its final offer and if the court awards more in terms of value for the property, the City risks the attorney fees and court costs associated with the landowner. He explained the incentive is to offer something on the high side.
Green asked what is happening in acquiring additional airlines.
Boggs reported the airline industry is being driven by consolidation. He said they were successful in getting American West and it provides real competitors in the same market. He said the question in the airline industry is how will the airlines use those choices. He noted the facility will accommodate commercial traffic, but it is all market-driven and they are interested in the business market.
b. DISCUSSION Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
Rob Bennett, LTD, presented an overview of LTD. He noted they are working to where they want to be in TransPlan. He added they are receiving support from County staff. He said that currently LTD is doing a good job by every measure with the tools they have to work with. He stated they want to have a chance to compete and show competitive efficient alternative transportation to cars that will have a measurable effect over a long period of time.
He noted the key to success is having right-of-way and it wouldnt work any other way. He added that they will not be able to get to the next level if they dont start working with the right-of-ways along roadways and major arterials. He said they want an opportunity to compete during prime times to get people who drive to work and parking, coming home. He said they are working on the segments from downtown Eugene to downtown Springfield. He added there is a risk but it is a manageable one and they are looking to the steering committee for their guidance.
Hilary Wylie, President, LTD Board, reported that the Board is trying to design a transportation system to meet the future, with bus rapid transit as an interim between rail and bus and feeder systems. She added the complete total picture includes neighbor feeders and downtown shuttles. She said they are looking at other modes of transportation in the future to move people quickly and easily from their cars, to where they are going.
Stefano Vigiano, LTD, gave a presentation on performance obligations. He noted after an environment assessment, they will seek approval for design and construction. He said it will be on a phase-by-phase basis. He said an option is a station on 14th Avenue, two options on Franklin were considered and were discarded because of the businesses in the area. He added that the Springfield City Council recommended to reconsider the phased approach and it would be best to have Springfield as a partner. He added there was interest in Glenwood for the station.
Dwyer said the vision of LTD is fine, but it is overly optimistic as passenger counts are eschewed and they will not come to fruition. He saw problems with taking away a lane of traffic and having buses that are half empty with cars bottlenecking to get where the buses are going.
Wylie reported that ridership had doubled over the past 15 years and will double again. She added there needs to be other transportation modes as the community is growing and they have the capacity to move people.
Sorenson stated that Harvey Hoglund will be doing the staff work on this project and if the Board had any questions, they could contact him.
Green stated that Congressman DeFazio encouraged everyone to be together on this.
c. REPORT BACK Mohawk Valley Moto-Cross Track.
John Cole, Land Management reported when he became first involved, there were complaints regarding building permit activity, riparian regulations and noise. He noted the issue is a violation regarding the noise complaint. He added he had been out to the property twice to take readings. He said Art Knoxen; an acoustical engineer was hired to take readings. He reported the decibel noise level exceed 60 decibels, going over the limit by 10 decibels. He added that noise in the valley is an intrusive element and the noise level by trucks going by on Marcola road generates 70 decibels. He said he understands what the neighbors are saying about motorcycles exceeding the standards. He said they issued a summons and complaint on Rogers last Thursday night and the civil penalty process will proceed. He reported there is an active building permit on his property, but there was no indication that there was commercial activity. He noted the track had been shared by a group of people that ride motorcycles as a hobby. He added that the stream that crosses near the Rogers property is not listed as a Class I stream. He said his department will continue to monitor the noise problem.
Sorenson asked if by lowering the noise of Rogers motorcycles is successful, if that would give the neighbors what they want.
Cole responded that once a noise is identified as being a problem, it can become a negative impact on people. He added normal activity would be in violation of County ordinance and people would still have legitimate intrusions.
Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel reported that codes require specific types of mufflers and a type that is not as noisy could work.
Green stated he was interested in creating a better situation so that everyone will win and the County doesnt have to do any more enforcement proceedings.
Cole note there is a limit to governmental authority in the case. He said the noise ordinance lists 60 decibels. He said he will continue to monitor the noise and if it exceeds, they will issue citations and civil penalty process.
Green said if the noise ordinance levels are exceeded, he wanted citations issued. He added there is a limitation on what the Board can do. He said he wanted Rogers to work with the neighbors. He asked Rogers to draft a document and submit it to John Cole on what he will do to remedy the problem. He wanted it worked out before the Board takes stringent action.
Morrison agreed with Green. She said there needs to be a process to go forward and then if it were brought into compliance, that would be the answer. She added there are other possible land use violations. She said she wanted to pursue abandoned vehicles in the neighborhood area and the out building that did not have permits. She said if they go forward with what is outlined, she would like to see if that works.
Dwyer suggested ordinance and code changes regulating practice tracks to build quasi-commercial tracks. He added there are other places to practice like Shot Gun Greek, otherwise the County is sending the wrong message.
Green suggested when Rogers meets with Cole, there be a correction plan submitted.
Sorenson stated a way to avoid conflicts would be when a noise ordinance violation is committed, to make sure there is enforcement. He added there needs to be process for conflicts and urged Land Management to pursue the enforcement.
Green encouraged conflict resolution at a neighborhood level. He added if the Board has to intervene, they will, but he would rather see the neighbors work it out. He said he wanted the Board notified on things that had been submitted that are not working.
7. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Green adjourned the meeting.
Melissa Zimmer, Recording Secretary
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