BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
September 12, 2000
Commissioners' Conference Room
Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioner Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr. and Cindy Weeldreyer. Anna Morrison was excused. Acting County Administrator Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA
There will be an emergency business item.
2. PUBLIC COMMENTS
3. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660
4. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION
5. PUBLIC WORKS
a. DISCUSSION Metro Regional Open Space and Parks.
Kent Howe, Land Management, noted the Board asked him to coordinate a presentation on the metro regional open space and parks concept. He said the purpose of todays meeting was the specifics of the validity or need for this type of effort, and agreeing to meet with the other jurisdictions this fall.
Steve Gordon, LCOG, prepared a background packet at the request of County Administrator Bill Van Vactor and the managers of Eugene, Springfield and Lane County. (Copy in file.) He added it began at the instigation of Commissioner Dwyer, when he suggested that it be part of the United Front lobbying agenda to find funding for a metropolitan regional park and open space study. Gordon reported the project did not make it on the United Front agenda, but the managers asked that a study be put together. (Copy in file). He said the idea of developing a regional vision for parks and open space addresses multiple objectives. He said they suggested getting elected officials together to discuss the idea and on June 12, the Eugene City Council (by unanimous vote) agreed to meet with the other elected officials; and on September 6, the Willamalane Park District agreed to meet with the elected officials. He said the Springfield City Council will take up the question on September 25.
He noted the vision would be long-term, that would be implemented in a greater than a 20 year time-frame. He suggested obtaining ideas about better partnering, using a variety of mechanisms to protect land. He said they would work together for a coordinated effort. He noted the plan could grow to the regional 2050 program, making connections with neighboring cities. He reported the last part of the study would be a significant involvement of citizens and property owners. He said by taking on this study, it would improve private stewardship and partnering on restoration projects and acquisitions. He added it would be regional, assisting local park planning. He noted this item could be an item for the United Front agenda for the federal year 2002.
Jim Carlson, City of Eugene, reported the city council met on June 12, 2000 to discuss this and there was unanimous support for the overall concept. He said they agreed to participate in a joint public meeting this fall. He added there was discussion about the concept of greenbelts and preserving farm and forest land on the fringe. He said they see their role as limited to the areas that are nearest to Eugene, with the need for an intergovernmental partnership. He noted funding for the planning of this was not discussed, but they indicated a willingness to consider use of some of their contingency money to fund a portion of a planning project. He said they see this as an opportunity for the metro area to join together to develop a comprehensive vision of what an open space system might be in the central Lane County area. He said this could be a win-win for the governments and people of the community.
Bob Keefer, Parks, reported that during the work session with the Parks Advisory Committee in February, a concern was growth and the impact on open space and natural areas within the urban area. He said it is an important concern and this was a step toward solving the problem. He recalled that the revision of the 1980 Comprehensive Master Plan for Parks in Lane County needed updating. He said this would puts the County in a good position when applying for funds. He added they are not talking about natural areas or greenways but places for people to play and it doesnt exclude developed facilities.
Sorenson asked if the Park Department was working on system development charges.
Keefer responded he met with other cities, and invited them to review SDC proposals. He noted they refined the proposals to include revenue sharing for the cities and the proposal will go to the Finance and Audit Committee on September 28, with an October 18 work session with the Board. He noted the smaller cities had concerns about the impacts to their own SDC's and they are putting in a revenue package so some of the proposed revenue would be shared. He reported the Parks Advisory Committee recommended that 25% be set aside for cities. He added that no city would get less than $7,500 per year to use for capital expansion of their park system. He said it would have to meet the SDC test and be approved for the CIP.
Carlson said having a vision and having it adopted among all local agencies would be a big step forward. He said they were looking for a variety of projects. He added it would be important to have matching dollars for resources from the state and federal agencies.
Dwyer had concerns about preservation of agricultural as a viable industry. He said the urban growth boundaries are reserved for cities. He suggested serious planning for the future. He wanted a bill in the legislature for conservation easements and deferrals for farmers. He was concerned about the lands outside of the urban growth boundaries. He wanted to keep farmers farming and developers from becoming farmers in the interim while the federal government pays for all the costs and land values build. He suggested a committee to help farmers preserve open space in perpetuity.
Green said he would meet with the other elected officials on an agreement to make it a United Front issue. He had no problem reserving land with agricultural zoning and protecting spaces and sees opportunities to make Lane County a destination point for those opportunities.
Sorenson asked if they wanted a more aggressive approach toward protecting livability and open space because he was concerned about Lane County passing this to LCOG.
Howe said that funding the Land Management comprehensive long range planning effort was through fees on development applications. He said it is a resource that varies. He noted they had to pull back on some long range planning and it was important to look at other funding for long range planning.
Weeldreyer asked if LCOG would be more suited (on small grants) to do a master park and open space plan than Land Management.
John Cole, Land Management, responded that it was as a good project for LCOG with coordination between Eugene and Springfield and grant efforts. He said the Lane County planning program has a role, and for a program to be successful, there needs to balance between a regulatory approach and continued efforts for open space purposes.
Keefer said there are willing partners with the City of Eugene and the Willamalane Park District to discuss this concept. He said that LCOG could help coordinate this effort. He noted that as the plan grows, the County might take the largest role because of open space and areas to be protected. He requested that LCOG provide the vision so everyone could work together.
Sorenson asked what it would take for a locally funded major open space acquisition.
Gordon said it would be strategies but a dilemma is that a county vote on a park bond would require a countywide vote. He suggested forming a park district in the metropolitan area with bonding authority. He said there could be revenue sharing between the district and the park providers within the urban growth boundary.
Weeldreyer agreed on a need for better coordination among jurisdictions in open spaces. She liked LCOG coordinating the effort. She said some rural lands need good connectivity and corridors to link Lane County as an entire region. She provided the Board with a template for how the legislation enacted a parks and open space program (copy in file). She suggested piggybacking efforts rather than starting from zero. She concurred with Green on preservation of open space with opportunities that create profit centers ( i.e., a publicly owned golf course) to lower the cost to taxpayers for a regional park and open space program.
Dwyer agreed that LCOG was the appropriate group.
Gordon said there would be a joint meeting in November. He suggested at the meeting to decide whether to move forward with United Front lobbying for the study.
Sorenson stated the Board wanted a meeting with the other jurisdictions.
6. REVIEW ASSIGNMENTS
7. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer said there was a good turnout for the Day of Caring. She said that the Board toured the jail this morning. She reported that nursing staff at the jail continue to tell of monumental challenges in managing the inmate population.
8. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS
9. EMERGENCY BUSINESS
ORDER 00-9-12-1 Ratifying the County Administrators Grant Application for Digital Secure Communications for Interoperability in Lane County Law Enforcement Agencies in the Amount $384,460.
Sorenson reported that Sheriff Jan Clements requested that the Lane County Board of Commissioners approve a Board Order ratifying the County Administrator's Grant Application. He said there is no controversy with this routine matter.
MOTION: to approve Order 00-9-12-1.
Green MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting of 11:40 a.m.