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Approved 10/4/00

August 29, 2000
JOINT MEETING/LANE COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
AND CITY OF COBURG
Public Works, 3040 N. Delta Highway - 7:00 p.m.

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1. PUBLIC COMMENT

 

Jim Lockard, 32811 E. Maple, Coburg, stated they have been trying to solve the problem. He said by having the stoplight on Stewart Way moved closer to town, it would be a disaster for the City of Coburg because of air pollution and noise.  He suggested taking out Stewart Way.  He said they have come to a unanimous consensus opposing Stewart Way in any situation.  He added if they put a stop light on Roberts Road and made an access to Truck and Travel and to the other areas, that would be okay.  He said that ODOT wanted to put five lanes down Pearl Street with a concrete barrier.  He said with a stoplight at Industrial Way and Roberts Road, they would need one light that could take care of the traffic and it would relieve sound and air pollution.  He said they want to keep Truck and Travel as a neighbor.  He said they would like to have access from Pearl Street into Truck and Travel, making left turns instead of a concrete barrier.  He requested that there not be an encroachment on the town with the trucks coming in.

 

2. DISCUSSION Pearl Street Design Concept.

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported in the early 1990’s the former mayors requested that the County put this project on the CIP.  He said they drew preliminary plans and there was general agreement that Pearl would be a five lane road.  He noted the point of contention was how the connecting side streets would look.  He said that Coburg referred it back to the TAC and put together a transportation system plan. He noted the Roads Advisory Committee had a public hearing in December in Coburg where the lane plans were presented. 

 

Snowden noted at the public hearing they proposed a raised median that would prevent trucks from using the existing Truck and Travel entrances for the left-turns lanes.  He said after the hearing, they received correspondence from Jim Anderson of Truck and Travel with a report prepared by Branch Engineering proposing two other alternatives.  Snowden noted one involved realigning Roberts Road.  He noted the TSP called for connecting Roberts Road with a four-way intersection at Industrial Way.  He said under that alternative, Truck and Travel could take access but there would need to be a bridge constructed across the irrigation channel into the parking lot.  He noted the drawback would be that Truck and Travel would incur major expense by reorienting their fueling stations and other changes to their facilities.  He added the County was not liable to pay for those costs.  He said the other alternative was realigning Stewart Way closer to the property line.  He said Lane County came back with a revised proposal for the Roads Advisory Committee in January, closing the existing Stewart Way, relocating Stewart Way and closing all the accesses on the frontage of Truck and Travel.  He added it was the alternative that was recommended by the Roads Committee and it was mailed out to the affected property owners in the City of Coburg.  He said because it is in the City of Coburg, Lane County has to get authorization to build the project as well as to assess the abutting property owners with curbs, gutters and sidewalks.

 

Snowden explained the city objected to two points: the realignment of Stewart Way and the median and the closure of the access to Truck and Travel.  He said on March 29 there was a public hearing and in May they explained other options.  He said there were five alternatives and the Board chose Alternative 1: going back to the original design displayed in Coburg in December.  (Keeping Stewart in its current location but adding the raised median.)  He added the board chose Alternative 1 in conjunction with Alternative 3 to explore ways to find money to relocate Roberts Road.  He noted in other discussions, the Board indicated that if Alternatives 1 and 3 were not acceptable to Coburg, then the Board might consider Alternative 2, putting the money into another project and moving it to projects for development.  He added they discussed installing a temporary signal and a project with an open median.  He noted that Sorenson sent a letter to the City of Coburg on June 27 expressing that and on July 20, they received an E-mail from the mayor requesting a joint meeting.

 

Snowden said that earlier ODOT was looking at a way to deal with its problem in the morning.  He said they wanted to extend the ramp and include a traffic signal.  He said the problem that had developed was that the IOF program statewide was $10 million for a two-year period and because of funding problems it was cut to $2 million.  He said there is no likelihood that the IOF money would come through for the project.

 

Snowden reported the state was developing a new State Transportation Improvement Program and the list for that program was developed in the Metro area by the MPC.  He said it is staff’s attempt to integrate rural priorities in with the Metro priorities.  He noted the I-5 interchange is proposed as a number 3 priority in Lane County for the next ODOT STIP.  He said if the City of Coburg believed it would be something that would be of advantage to their community, they might consider testifying at the hearing on September 6 to maintain this project and its proposed priorities.  He added Green would go to Salem on September 28 to meet with other representatives of ODOT Region 2 to recommend priorities.  He noted in all of Region 2, there will be $17 million in modernization money. He added that Lane County would receive about of the money.  He explained there was other funding called the Access Management Fund and it contains $20 million statewide, for assisting in controlling access near or on state highways to improve their operation.

 

Georgann Hoehler, City Councilor, Coburg, asked what the advantage was for putting the median on Pearl Street.

 

Snowden replied storage for vehicles making a left turn.  He said their concern is that without the median, trucks will try to turn and cause a conflict with left turning traffic.  He added there is potential for gridlock of the intersection if trucks back up.  He said they would look at it as good safety engineering.  He noted that ODOT has consideration of access management. He said what ODOT wants at its freeway interchanges is elimination of the access points.  He added ODOT recommended putting the signal at least 1300 feet from the ramp terminal.  He noted Lane County wouldn’t be able to meet ODOT’s standards.

 

Mike Hudson, Chief of Police, Coburg, reported that he has officers assigned to direct traffic off of I-5 on a daily basis.  He said directly across Industrial Way is a Shell gas station and it brings in a lot of traffic off of I-5.  He said the intersection (twice a day) contains between 1500 and 1800 cars going through at Industrial Way and it had nothing to do with I-5 traffic.  He said it is a traffic nightmare and very dangerous.  He recommended putting in some type of light for the intersection.

 

Margaret Norman, City Councilor, Coburg, said they agreed that there is a need for a traffic signal and they want the project done.

 

Snowden responded that putting in a signal without the median and other improvements would be worse.  He said he received a letter from Mayor Rupert in January reporting that the City of Coburg agreed with the concept of the light and median.  He said County staff was operating under the assumption that it was okay with the City.  He said they moved Stewart Road and that was the only change.

 

Hoehler said she was on the TAC committing and everyone came to one decision, to  leave Stewart Way where it was or eliminate it.  She added they realized that once the freeway grade comes in, Roberts Road would be taken out. 

 

Jim Anderson, Truck and Travel, believed that they couldn’t live with the median down Pearl Street cutting off their truck access.  He noted their customers come from I-5, making a left-hand turn into the facility.  He said by using Stewart Way, it would take out his whole front row of parking. He said they need every parking space they have, as there are not enough rest spots along I-5 for truckers. He noted the City doesn’t want them to move west and they want to stay where they are.  He stated cutting off their access will force them to move their operation to the western part of their property.  He said they presented moving Roberts Road to its future position and bringing their truck traffic down Roberts and into the south end of their property.  He said they don’t believe they should be asked to pay for their move.   He suggested taking Industrial Way and tying it to existing Stewart Way to allow trucks to get in and out.  He said it could be a win-win situation for everyone.

 

Green asked Snowden if Anderson’s suggestion would work.

 

Snowden responded it was not an engineering issue but a political issue.  He said this alternative was not consistent with the TSP.

 

Norman explained the problem with moving Industrial Way west is that there are residential homes and it is zoned multi-residential housing.  She stated that would be a major objection.

 

Snowden stated if the city council were interested in that suggestion, he wanted his designers to lay something out to show what it would specifically look like.

 

Kathy Thiel, Planning Commission, City of Coburg, stated the area they are discussing is currently zoned residential.  She said it was in the urban growth boundary and outside the city limits.  She noted when they did their buildable lands for residential housing, they were short and top heavy on industrial and highway commercial.  She added it would be hard to give up buildable lands for residential to build highways or for commercial endeavors.

 

Charles Sharf, Coburg, stated his wife’s grandmother (Mrs. Stevenson), owns 52 acres of land.  He said the preferred concept given to the TAC was to move Industrial Way through her property.  He noted it is outside of the city limits and in the urban growth boundary.  He noted his wife’s grandmother was adamantly opposed to moving Industrial Way through her property.

 

Hoehler said the city council didn’t want a median in the middle of the street as they thought that wouldn’t be safe.

 

Hudson recalled what the city council thought they had agreed to was everything that had been said with the exception of the median.  He said the city was happy with the proposal with the exception of the median.  He added it solved the County’s problem, improved the traffic flow situation and the property owners were in agreement.

 

Green asked Snowden what he suggested from an engineering perspective.

 

Snowden responded they believe that the roadway intersection will work best with a raised median.  He noted there are a couple of peak periods and the rest of the time the traffic is light.  He said there are 52 acres of vacant land that will some day put out traffic and as Truck and Travel grows, the situation will get worse.  He noted if they build it without a median, the fallback position he would suggest would be number 5. 

 

Green stated he was leaning toward number 5 if it didn’t impact other property owners.  He said he would also agreed to Option 2.

 

Anderson said their position is that when their access is cut off, they will move their fuel island west on the other side of Stewart Way.  He said that will be their option.  He stated he wanted the city council and residents to understand their situation.  He added a project that restricts their traffic will push them to move west.

 

Sorenson proposed to the Coburg City Council that Lane County is tentatively in favor of Option 5.  He requested the councilors take this back with public comments and concerns and to send the Board a letter that Option 5 was tentatively agreed to by the Board.

 

Snowden noted the design was well along and there wouldn’t need to be any environmental permits for this project.  He said if the right-of-way acquisition goes through smoothly, there would be a good potential that it could be under contract next summer.  He added they need authorization from the city to construct within the city limits, authorization to access within the city limits and a decision from the city as to whether they want streets on this section of the road.  He explained Lane Manual says that the County will construct streetlights if the other jurisdiction accepts ownership and maintenance.

 

Green stated that there may be repercussions down the road and they should listen to Truck and Travel, as if something happens, they could move closer west.

 

Snowden reminded everyone that on September 6 there will be a hearing on support for this project.

 

Lockard said if Anderson moves his pumps west of where they are now, he will have been defeated because of all the fumes and noise.  He said he will have no other option but to move at a loss.

 

3. DISCUSSION Replacement of Trees on Willamette Street

 

Snowden said they received a letter from the City Tree Commission who was concerned about the distressed nature of some of the trees on Willamette Street.  He explained the agreement they have with the City of Coburg is that the County will be responsible for street trees and the City will be responsible for lawns and other landscaping in the planting strip behind the curb.  He noted the contractors establishment period on Willamette Street ended last fall and the contractor was no longer responsible for the trees.  He said the County was watering the trees and they will replace any that have died.

 

4. OTHER BUSINESS

 

Norman reported that Willamette and Pearl Street do not align.  She asked if anything could be done about it.

 

Snowden responded he wasn’t aware there was a problem.  He said it must have been designed that Pearl Street had to be lowered to catch the drainage from Willamette Street.  He reported that it will be taken care of with the next project.

 

Weeldreyer asked about the status of the sewer system.

 

Norman replied they are still applying for grants.

 

Harris reported that LCOG was doing an urban renewal district study on the whole city instead of just the industrial zone.

 


There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 8:55 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

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