Approved 7/12/00
 
Board of Commissioners' Regular Meeting
March 15, 2000
9:00 a.m.
Harris Hall Main Floor
 
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison and Cindy Weeldreyer present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

1.  ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Al King, 36890 Edgehill Road, stated the motorcycle track has caused hardships.  He appreciated Weeldreyer’s input.  He said when people are using the track, consideration is not being given to the neighbors.  He added property values are impacted and the ability to live their life is being destroyed.  He said that motocross needs to be in a place where it can exist and residential areas are not the place. He said the neighbors would probably have to go to court to solve their differences.  He said there needs to be some legislation that could be introduced regarding tracks in residential areas.

 

Wayne Phelps, 9501 Marcola Road,  said he had no problems with the Rogers having his personal property and riding his bike.  He said Rogers definitely has a racetrack on his property.  He said he opposes the track because of the noise, dust problems and the lifestyle he used to have is now gone.  He added his property value has gone down.  He wanted the Board to put a stop to the use of the track until the issue is resolved.  He  wanted a hearing to determine if the property is being used in violation and to reassess property taxes, as the track is affecting their values.  He said that the majority of the neighborhood is against the racetrack.  He would be behind any litigation to get the issues resolved.

 

Ed Cunliff,  39843 Howard, echoed Phelps’ statement.  He said he is getting legal counseling because his peace is being ruined.  He said people from the racetrack are riding on Marcola Road and breaking the law.  He said the riders are out of control with the noise.  He said he has evidence that their property values are low and if they have to collectively appeal their values through the County, they will.  He said that Rogers moved into the neighborhood and destroyed their rights.  He added it is not a workable situation.  He stated it is a professional track and wanted the Board’s help to get the track dismantled.  He said if the Board doesn’t remedy the property, they will seek legal action.

 

Edie Brandt, 95014 Marcola, stated he was backing the neighbors regarding the noise control.  He was more concerned about his property values dropping.

 

Leonard Barber, 39893 Hoard Road,  stated he lives directly across the street from the property, but it sounds like the noise is in his house.  He added he shuts all his windows but he can still hear the noises and is tired of it.  He said he can’t enjoy his home because of the racetrack.  He said people are riding on the track unsupervised.  He said he is thinking about selling his property as the value has gone down.

 

Marlene Barber, 39893 Howard Road, stated she lives across the street from the property and she has problems with Rogers’ friends riding on the track.  She said she didn’t mind Rogers and his children, but when friends come over, there are eight or nine people riding on the track and the noise is awful.

 

Eric Rogers, 39951 Log Creek Road, stated he owns the track and he apologized for the noise.  He said he allowed his friends to ride on his track.  He said he lives and works on the property.  He said he told his friends that there would not be any more riding on the track.  He proposed to ride during the day between 10 and 4 when people are at work.  He said he is trying to negotiate and do whatever it takes to keep the track for his personal use.  He added he has taken care of the dust problem. 

 

Steve Cunliff, 95002 Spring Meadow Lane, Marcola, said he has been living there for 22 years.  He said you could hear the motorcycles from miles away.  He hopes the Board will take care of the problem.

 

Cherie Goodwin, 40069 Log Creek Road, reported that Rogers has had the track for 11 years.  She said they are opposing the five-acre track with a jump on it.  She said she wants to work with him.  She asked what is taking so long, since this is the third year they will be going through this.

 

Robert Goodness, 95006 Spring Valley Lane, Marcola, lives up the street from the race track.  He said what everyone has said about the noise is correct.  He said the motorcycle noise is too loud.

 

3.  EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

4.  COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

None.

5.  COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

a. Announcements

None.

6. PUBLIC WORKS

a. REPORT BACK Motocross.

 

John Cole, Land Management, reported that today’s comments are indicative of the meeting that Weeldreyer hosted at Mohawk High School.  He provided a report on some of the comment in more detail (copy in file).  He said the conflict is based on the noise from the track.  He noted the Land Management Division has been assigned responsibility for enforcing the nuisance noise ordinance and they are prepared to give this neighborhood special attention to make sure they respond when there is ridership at the track causing noise.

 

Cole noted the more difficult issue is what sort of definition to assign to Rogers’ property.  He said the phrase racetrack does appear in suburban residential zones and is one that would require a conditional use permit. He added there is no definition about what a racetrack is.  He said he had a series of discussions with the planning staff when they first received complaints.  He said they reached a conclusion that it was an accessory use to Rogers’ residential activity on the property.

 

Cole commented that the planning staff is in the process of revising the rural residential zones in Lane County.  He recommended to the Board that the staff include review of not just racetracks, but other types of recreational activity.  He suggested continuing to use the noise ordinance to address the conflict.  He said it does represent a circumstance in the remainder of the county that warrants a proactive look.  He noted that Option 2 would be directing staff to prepare code language that would further restrict property owners from establishing motocross tracks and other recreational activities in rural residential zoning districts.  He said the timing is opportune because the planning staff was scheduled to bring to the planning commission their zone changes and that would bring the adoption of that language before the commissioners in the summer.

 

Sorenson asked if Rogers had violated the noise ordinance.

 

Cole said there was one citation issued to Rogers.  He said he is making a commitment to the Board that he and his staff will respond when the motorcycles were being ridden--whether during the business week, Saturdays, or evenings.

 

Sorenson said there was a noise ordinance addressing the problems.  He added there is consistent testimony about excessive noise in violation of the noise ordinance. 

 

Cole noted that the noise ordinance requires them to be on-site and measuring that noise in a quantified manner in order to issue citations.  He said they now have training and equipment to monitor the noise.  He said under Option 1 they would be able to monitor the noise and issue the citations.  Under Option 2, the ability of their compliance program around the County (responding to noise events) is limited. 

 

Sorenson said there needed to be a citizen enforcement clause in the ordinance to allow people who could provide documentation to do something, if the County was unable.

 

Weeldreyer said this is an issue of respect and property rights.  She said it is clear that the way Eric Rogers allowed his friends to use the track violated the rights of the property owners and his neighbors in a variety of ways.  She said she was concerned about citizen enforcement because there is staff from Land Management responding to the complaints that the citizens create, and that would not be effective.  She wanted short, intermediate and long-term solutions for addressing this problem.  She said it is a problem that happens all over the state in rural residential areas as people use their property in a variety of ways.

 

Weeldreyer said Option 1, (to ensure that the noise ordinance is not violated on the Rogers Track) is the number one concern.  She said that Rogers has committed to deal with the sound problems and is not interested in disturbing his neighbors any longer.  She said because this is an ongoing problem they have a right to have that as part of the code.  She said it would be a good opportunity to factor in backyard motocross tracks.  She said there is no clear definition of a racetrack, other than a commercial one like the Riverside Speedway in Cottage Grove.  She said because it is a legitimate recreation use and 55% is publicly owned forestland, that there should be an opportunity to talk with the BLM and Forest Service to create opportunities to have this similar type of activity on public lands away from rural residential areas.  It is her recommendation they enforce the current ordinance, review the code and factor in outdoor recreational activities in the revision.  Then the Board should commit to work with the BLM and the Forest Service.

 

Dwyer disagreed.  He said Rogers doesn’t have a conditional use permit.  Dwyer wants to see this stopped as there is no right to disturb neighbors.  He added he is tired of people using property rights as a subterfuge for future commercial activity.  He recommended Option 2.  He said grandfathering should not be an unconditional use.  He declared there is no right for Rogers to have illegal use on his property.

 

Green stated when he was chair, he advocated for a community solution and Weeldreyer attempted to do that. He favored something comprehensive as this is a problem throughout Lane County.  He directed staff to explore Option 2 as it relates to a noise ordinance throughout Lane County.  He asked how much Rogers’ fine was.

Cole responded $1 for his first offense, with the maximum fine for the next at $500.

Green recommended Option 2 so Rogers could attempt to resolve his problems.  Green wants a suitable area where this activity could take place.

 

Morrison supported staff recommendation for Option 2, to resolve issues for the future in a broader way.  She said once it is adopted, she wants enforcement  working. 

 

Sorenson said this incident shows the ineffectiveness of Lane County’s noise ordinance.  He said it requires Public Works staff to enforce it and they get little money for that.  He suggested creating a flexible inexpensive way to appear before a hearings official to hear noise enforcement problems.  He said the public should enforce these ordinances if they are on the books.  He noted it hadn’t happened in this instance.  He added the fine is not enough to deter conduct.  He agreed with Dwyer on not grandfathering-in the existing track.  He wanted the property returned and restored to a more compatible use.

 

Cole offered that when staff pursues a noise violation, they are held to objective standards and need to demonstrate to the hearings official that the noise has exceeded 60 decibels as measured by a Type 2 noise meter.   He said if the neighbors of the track met the same standards in the code that staff is required-- and they hired an acoustical engineer to take readings--that would meet the standard.

 

MOTION: to  move that Land Management Division be directed to enforce the current existing noise ordinance and process and continue in the spring and summer to assure no more noise violations occur for this neighborhood.  Weeldreyer recommended that the Board adopt as part of the motion, Option 2,  which would include an examination of the size of the track and its appropriateness in a rural residential neighborhood; and that public testimony would be allowed, with no arbitrary decision on whether it will be grandfathered.  She added that a letter from the Lane County Board of Commissioners to the U.S. Forest Service, the Willamette and Siuslaw National Forests, the Umpqua National Forest, and the Bureau of Land Management, Eugene district, should be sent to request cooperation in finding sites that are suitable for this activity on public land.

 

Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

Dwyer apologized for the neighbors’ frustrations.  He said citizens should not be tortured to get access to the process.  He could support the letter in Weeldreyer’s motion to find a suitable place.  He wasn’t for the grandfathering, as an illegal use cannot be legalized.  He said there needs to be strengthening on what the code says about what is or is not allowed.  He wants to make it clear that rural residential property can’t be disturbed or developed for commercial activity.

 

Marc Kardell, Assistant County Counsel, noted that up to $1,000 an incident could be enforced as a maximum.  Regarding the $500, one of the reasons Rogers is here is because it would be detrimental to him.  He noted after the initial fine, there was no further riding.

 

Weeldreyer also noted there had been no riding on the track during winter because it is too wet.  She said her motion dictates they would use the tool to its fullest extent as a short-term interim measure to ensure peace and tranquility in the valley.

 

Green said there were state regulations that were not enforced.  He said there are some limitations on enforcement.  He wanted to make sure a false expectation is not set up.  He agreed the $1 first-time fine is not enough to get compliance.  He asked staff to make a reassessment of the fine.  He recommended the first offense be $500 and the second $1,000.  He would rather use that as a tool instead of having Land Management do monitoring.  He would support Weeldreyer’s motion on  strengthening  the fine.

 

Weeldreyer responded that in the past the Board has had a policy on first time offenses against rule violations, trying for voluntarily compliance and not being punitive. 

 

Green said if a letter could be sent for compliance, that was his preference.  He added it is important for the Board to send a strong message.  He asked if Weeldreyer would be willing to do that and if so, he would  support her motion.

 

Weeldreyer stated she would support the amendment.

 

Morrison agreed with the amendment.

 

Sorenson stated he will vote against this, with the recommendation from John Cole that code language be prepared that will further restrict property owners from  establishing motocross tracks in rural residential zones.  He said property rights debate is part of what is taking place.  He advocates for responsible private property rights.  He noted the legitimate property rights of the neighbors are being affected by the unwillingness of the Board to do something.

 

AMENDED MOTION: that the County utilize to the fullest degree resources for enforcing the current noise ordinance with the amendment to make the first violation of the noise ordinance a $500 fine and the second violation a $1,000 fine.  Weeldreyer added part b. of that motion is to adopt what is in the memo as Option 2, which directs staff to prepare code language that would further restrict property owners from establishing motocross tracks and other recreational activities in rural residential zoning districts.  She noted the Board will send letters to the federal public land partners asking for their help in finding suitable sites on public land for these recreational activities, and that the Board will be creating prohibitions in rural residential areas so those recreational activities occur on public lands where there is not intense impact on rural residential neighbors.

 

Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Sorenson, Dwyer dissenting).

 

Dwyer stated there was nothing wrong with the motion for the future but it doesn’t do anything for these people in the short term.

 

b. REPORT BACK Land Use Compliance Program.

 

John Cole noted they had filed one additional lien for $9,750 and there are 14 properties with liens that arose from a failure to respond to Lane County’s compliance activities. He said there are three properties on the list that are actively pursued by County Counsel’s office to turn the liens into either a foreclosure action or other activity to realize some of the fines.

 

Cole stated the environmental testing company had been contacted and they will be testing the well and the septic tank on the Claussen property outside of Creswell.  He also provided information on the character of the cases that have not been issued liens.  He noted since last fall, 93 cases have been closed either through moving vehicles off the property or getting building permits.  He noted the reason the discussion is taking place is because there are cases in the countryside that Land Management has not been effective in resolving.  The motocross track is an example.  His  response is that they deal with a number of cases and try to make a judgment as to which ones are best served by their efforts.  He said they don’t always make people happy.  He noted the level of activity out of the compliance program is greater today than ever before.

 

Concerning the prior question on performance measures, Cole noted they use the countywide performance evaluation, and individual employees are rated on their performance for the past year.  He uses a combination of quantitative activities in the number of cases that have been opened and closed by individual compliance officers.

 

Cole stated for the compliance program to be more effective, they have become  complaint-driven, and respond reactively.

 

Sorenson noted several solid waste violations and asked (instead of putting liens on the property) if Land Management could utilize Solid Waste funds to clean up a  solid waste violation.

 

Cole noted that Kardell is working on amendments to the code enforcement ordinance that would give Land Management an abatement ability.

 

Kardell stated there are some Solid Waste funds for a part-time law enforcement officer.  He noted there would be a package of code provisions and among those  would be allowing  abatement.

 

With regard to funding, Cole stated it is a decision for the Board.  He said some  properties that have solid waste are high priority because they need to be revisited.

 

Weeldreyer noted there have been successful events in rural communities--like trash amnesty day--where there was a partnership with a rural hauler and the Solid Waste program.  She supports that as a good tool to get voluntary compliance.  Considering limited resources, she said the goal should be to clean up the most offensive violations where health and safety are involved and not generating money by fining a law-abiding citizen.  She said the best use of staff time would be to focus on the most offensive cases that are still outstanding.

 

Morrison said she doesn’t know why Lane County can’t be cleaned up.  She was not opposed to a trash amnesty and is in favor of cleaning up area by area.  She said it makes a statement that the County will require a certain level of compliance.

 

Cole noted that the active cases have been assigned to County Counsel’s office and are moving forward.  He added the pending cases are where the Land Management Division has filed the lien but have not made it  to the County Counsel’s list.

 

Teresa Wilson, County Counsel, stated that Kardell has been working on the code provisions that are required because of legislative change.  She said the legislation  impacted Lane County’s ability to use the current code provisions.  She added in order to allow the code enforcement to continue, his time went to that.  She said it has gotten in the way of pursuing some cases as aggressively as they would like.  She noted that Kardell would take on one or more of the serious cases.  She said some cases are in a unique status and have been difficult.

 

Weeldreyer requested the Board adopt a policy with regard to compliance on balance.  She noted it would be the best place to put resources in going after people who have no intention of cleaning their property.  She said this would set an example and provide public information that Lane County will indeed clean up

 

Dwyer stated that was a good idea.  He suggested setting aside a week to clean up the properties.  He added this could prevent some problems in the future.

 

Morrison noted the Cities of Florence and Veneta have been setting aside a weekend.  She said Solid Waste has accommodated both communities.  She added reinforcement should be countywide and not only in pocketed communities.

 

Green encouraged partnerships, if appropriate.  He mentioned the Northwest Youth Corp, the Forest Work Camp and volunteers from United Way.  He said despite  legal remedies the County has, there needs to be determination balanced with a softer approach. 

 

Sorenson said that mediation has potential.  He said there needs to be citizens, government enforcement, and increasing penalties.  He suggested increasing penalties for flagrant violators and tapping the Solid Waste system benefit charge as it pertains to solid waste violations. 

 

Green suggested collaborating with partners on a mission that does not include  money. 

 

Dwyer noted there needs to be a way to sequester funds.  He was opposed to special solid waste funds.

 

Weeldreyer suggested forming a Board subcommittee to develop a program with a system so there is follow through, then coming back with recommendations for voluntary compliance without raising more money for that purpose.

 

MOTION: to create a subcommittee consisting of Commissioners Weeldreyer and Morrison, who will report back in a timely fashion on further additional work to be done in the land use compliance program.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

c. ORDER 00-3-15-1 Amending the  FY 00 to FY 04 Capital Improvement Program, and Amending the Jasper Road Extension Design Concept.

 

Ollie Snowden, Public Works, reported the first issue is taking the project from one construction season into two.  He said in the beginning they considered  building a functional unit from Main Street to Jasper Road at the request of the stakeholder group, and the City of Springfield.  He noted concern came from the residents of S.57th Street, who were concerned about cut-through traffic using their road to get to Jasper Road; and--without a functional unit from Main to Jasper Road--there wouldn’t be a bypass.  He said because of permits and right of way, they couldn’t do it this year as one project, so Mayor Maine sent a letter to the County asking for two phases, with phase one being Main Street to 58th.  He said it has merit as that section addresses the problem and could be a stand-alone project.  He noted the City of Springfield agrees to a stand-alone project as long as the County remains committed to finishing the project through to Jasper Road.  He said if the Board agrees to split it into two phases, then the CIP would need to be amended and  direction given this year to bid the project, then bid the second phase in 2001.

 

Snowden explained the second issue is intersection spacing.  He said the stakeholder group requested that the County design Jasper Extension in such a way that it not preclude ODOT from taking jurisdiction.  He said it would be designed to be a state highway.  He said there should be half-mile spacing on the intersections between Mt. Vernon Road and Jasper Road.  He noted the City of Springfield hired a consultant and they recommended three intersections.  He added that in December, Dwyer and Weeldreyer met with the Roads Advisory Committee and the County agreed to two intersections.  He said they are recommending that change in the order.

 

Snowden said that the third point relates to right of way dedication.  He noted when the Board agreed to proceed with the project, they thought there was value to building this for the landowners south of Mount Vernon.  He said that it was appropriate to develop a  public/private partnership where the right-of-way would be delivered to Lane County at no cost for that section (between Mt. Vernon and Jasper Road).  He said the City of Springfield has taken the lead to pull it together, but no one has signed it.  He asked the Board if they wanted to go ahead with phase one with the possibility of no dedicated right-of-way for phase two.  He said there was interest in dedicating the right-of-way from the five property owners and they believe it is in their interest.

 

John Tamulons, Interim Development Services, City of Springfield, reported he had been working with the property owners for some time and there has been a change of ownership on two pieces of property since they started the project.  He added they have made minor adjustments to the intersections.  He anticipated signed agreements by the end of April from the property owners.  He noted in addition to road discussions, they are discussing a local improvement district to bring sanitary sewer to that area.

 

Debbie Smejkal, Springfield, stated she is the southern-most homeowner.   She said she is in contact with all of the property owners on a regular basis and they are all interested in this.  She said they are working hard to get smaller issues on the table.  She said each property owner wants to have access to this road, and all  properties do not abut it.

 

Snowden said it would be a couple of more months before they are ready for bid.  He said it isn’t a big project and it could be bid in May or June for work this year.  He said a decision could be deferred until they go closer to bid.  He observed it looks less likely they can go to bid because of problems with the wetland permitting process.

 

Morrison was concerned that if ODOT had ownership current access would pose questions.  She was not opposed to going forward, but said that will have to be dealt with when they get to phase two, so that access will be allowed.

 

Snowden reiterated that jurisdiction needs to be settled.

 

MOTION:  to approve ORDER 00-3-15-1.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

7. CONSENT CALENDAR

 

A. Approval of Minutes:

January 19, 2000, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

January 25, 2000, BCC Retreat, 9:00 a.m.

January 26, 2000, Public Hearing, 1:30 p.m.

February 2, 2000, Regular Meeting, 9:00 a.m.

February 8, 2000, Joint BCC/City Mayors Meeting, 7:00 p.m.

 

B. Health and Human Services

 

1) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 00-3-15-2 Delegating Authority to the Lane County Health and Human Services Department Director and Administrative Services Managers as Authorized Representatives to Sign Applications for Unique Position Identifying Numbers (U-PINs) for Nurse Practitioners Employed by Health and Human Services.

 

2) RESOLUTION AND ORDER 00-3-15-3 Delegating Authority to the County Administrator to Sign a Contract Amendment With the ARC of Lane County to Provide Disability Services in the Amount of $151,720.

 

C. Public Works

 

1)   ORDER 00-3-15-4 Awarding a Contract to Fisher and Company dba Oakridge Sand and Gravel, Inc. in the Amount of $188,675 for Base Rock Production – Various Stockpile Sites, Contract No. 99/00-04.

 

Sorenson thanked Weeldreyer for improving the minutes process.  He said it was a pleasure working with Melissa Zimmer, who works hard at recording the Board’s statements. 

 

Weeldreyer stated they approved a process to make changes on a draft copy so that the changes would be reflected when they appear for final approval instead of at the meeting.

 

Regarding the minutes, Sorenson indicated that for January 19, 2000, page 3, Ms. Wilson’s name should be changed to Teresa Wilson.  He also noted that on January 25, page 1, Hilyard Community Center,  Eugene, Oregon, Feb 2, 2000, page 12, to fill vacancies, the letter O should be left out.

 

MOTION: to approve the Consent Calendar with the minutes as amended.

 

Weeldreyer, MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

8.          COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Weeldreyer asked to be excused for the afternoon meeting as she was ill.  She stated there was a matter in the afternoon session, the McFarland Cemetery issue in Cottage Grove.  She wanted the minutes to reflect that she whole-heartedly supports Board approval of the final action that transfers the ownership to the Cottage Grove Historical Society, and that the members of the group bring this matter to closure.  Regarding the County’s help, she said it was an administrative issue to be resolved.  She said the cemetery has been cleaned up.  She commended the people of  the Cottage Grove Historical Society who put in so much work and effort in restoring it to its rightful place in Cottage Grove History and the Pioneer Museum.

 

Morrison congratulated the Siuslaw Girls and Boys Basketball team.  Concerning Spring Break, on Highway 101, she noted they have made changes.  She said it will be opened from March 17 to March 26, from noon to 8:00 p.m.  She noted it would change if there was rain.  She also noted that on Friday she will be meeting with representatives of the Siuslaw Ranger District and ODOT concerning a Forest Service road above the slide.  They were going to discuss using that as an access route in the interim.

 

Green congratulated Creswell on their state championship.  He announced that the Bethel area opened a new branch library.  He reported it took eight years and it is in the old Wells Fargo Building at Beltline and Barger.

 

Weeldreyer announced that tomorrow at 7:00 a.m., she meets with the Delta Road residents to discuss the Horsecreek Bridge project. She said on Monday morning she went up the river with Bob Keefer and Jake Grisley of the Parks Department.  She said they examined the redesign concerned citizens had done in response to the Marine Board and the Department of Fish and Wildlife about modifying the Riverside Inn site to make it more usable.  She noted the owner of the Riverside Inn is willing to donate his land.  She explained that Bob Keefer recommended to the Parks Advisory Committee they grant additional time for the concerned citizens to achieve a win-win resolution.  She said the Parks Advisory Committee recommended the Goodpasture site.

 

9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson recessed the meeting at 12:20 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary

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