April 17, 2002

7:00 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

PASSED 8/28/02


Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioners Bobby Green, Sr., Anna Morrison, and Peter Sorenson present.  Commissioner Cindy Weeldreyer was not present.  Lane County Planning Commissioners Jacque Betz, Don Clarke, Chris Clemow, Marion Esty, Juanita Kirkham, were present.  County Counsel Steven Vorhes, Planning Director Kent Howe, and Recording Secretary Daniel Lindstrom were present.


Chair Dwyer announced the purpose of the meeting.


1.  SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1172/In the matter of amending the Lane County General Plan Policies (an element of the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan) By revising Goal 3 Agricultural Lands policies 1, 4, 9, 11, 13 and 14, to Comply with Statewide Planning Goal 3; By Revision Goal 4 Forest Lands Policies 3, 7 and 15 to Comply with Statewide Planning goal 4; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses.


SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 5-02/In the Matter of Amending Chapter 16 of Lane Code to Modify Farm and Forest Zone Classifications and Regulations (LC 16.090, LC 16.100, LC 16.211 and LC 16.212).


Chair Dwyer reviewed procedures for participating in the Public Hearing.  He announced that decisions about the ordinances would be made at a later meeting.  He invited members of the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission to introduce themselves.


Land Management Division Senior Planner Jim Mann presented the staff report. 


Mr. Mann reported that comments had been received from Ron Eber of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (LCDC) stemming from its review of the Lane County draft ordinances.  He said the department had determined (1) that certain uses permitted in the Exclusive Farm Use zone were discretionary and needed to be subject to “notice and opportunity for appeal” requirements; and (2) minimum parcel size exception in Agricultural Zone for horticultural uses needs to be deleted.  Such changes would require an additional reading on the Ordinance and Planning Commission deliberation.


Mr. Mann said the proposed ordinances would bring the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan policies regarding Agricultural and Forest land into compliance with state land use requirements.


Mr. Mann explained that Lane County had last updated its policies to be in compliance with state requirements in 1991 and that significant changes had taken place.  He said Land Management personnel applied a maze of complicated state and county requirements in permitting processes since 1998.


Mr. Mann said the proposed amendments were a major update of the Lane Code, but were the minimum necessary to comply with the requirements of state law. 


Mr. Mann reviewed highlights of proposed changes to construction of a residence on an Exclusive Farm Use zone.  He explained that state policy set a gross income minimum threshold to allow a dwelling on high value farm land.  He said existing dwellings in farm areas were permitted and could be maintained, repaired or replaced in the zone; uses permitted by statute in certain farm land were not permitted on prime farm land; and other complicated regulations had severely limited the approvals of dwelling units in farm zones.


Mr. Mann reviewed highlights of proposed changes to dwellings in Impacted Forest Land zones.  He said there were three conditions in state regulations which allowed dwellings to be constructed in such areas: (1) a lot of record which would not produce more than a maximum amount timber; (2) a large tract dwelling option requiring 160 acres in one or more parcels; and (3) a template dwelling involving other dwellings within a certain distance.


Chair Dwyer opened the public hearing and invited testimony on Ordinance PA 1172 and Ordinance No. 5-02.


Robert Emmons, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, asked for an extension of the time allowed for submission of additional testimony for the record. 


Chair Dwyer said the deadline for submission of testimony was extended to 5:00 p.m. April 24, 2002.


Mr. Emmons commended members of the Board and Planning Commission and staff for their efforts in understanding the proposed amendments.  He said he would submit written testimony about details of the ordinance.  He said he did not believe the proposals did not provide reasonable and essential protections, but offered too many opportunities for urbanization and commercialization in rural zones.  He said 50 non-farm uses were currently permitted in Exclusive Farm Use zones in contradiction to Statewide Planning Goal 3.  He said the same weaknesses were evident in proposals for Forest zones.


Commissioner Green encouraged Mr. Emmons and all those testifying to submit written material.


Commissioner Sorenson said the Planning Commission would determine the next steps in dealing with the proposed amendments.


Assistant County Counsel Steve Vorhes said changes made to the ordinance proposals by the Planning Commission could trigger another public hearing, but that would not be legally required unless substantial changes were made.


Nena Lovinger, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, said the proposed amendments were in conflict with Oregon Revised Statue 215.730(1)(b)(g) which stipulates that local governments require fuel breaks for single family dwellings on Forest zoned land.  She said substitute means for protecting a dwelling from fire hazards were permitted and should be incorporated into the Lane Code.  She suggested that Lane Code 16.211(8) be amended by adding “Provided, however, in performing such weighing together to determine the location of the building site, the requirements of LC 16.211(8) (a) or (b) shall be modified to the least extent practicable to facilitate the siting of the residence and the requirements of LC 16.211(8)(c), (d) and (e) shall not be modified.”

Norm Maxwell, 79550 Fire Road, Loraine, said he was submitting a detailed written statement.  He said he supported increasing up-front notice requirements and opportunities for appeal of permits and land use changes.


Gary Sutley, Post Office Box 295, Dexter, submitted material describing zone change requests on property he owned west of Eugene on Crowe Road.  He said the property was mis-zoned and described its zoning history.  He encouraged an “errors and omissions clause” to be added to the ordinances and that previously granted site commitments to lands be honored.


Alice Doyle, 78185 Rat Creek Road, Cottage Grove, described what she said was the springtime beauty of Lane County farm land.  She warned about inroads of development into agricultural resource land.  She rhetorically asked why the Board of County Commissioners had directed the Land Management Division to prepare a “minimal approach” to amending the Rural Comprehensive Plan instead of striving for excellence.  He said three-years of public involvement had been wasted “in anticipation of Measure Seven.”  She said she believed it was important to be pro-active in preserving the quality of life in the future of Lane County.


Jozef Zdzienicki, 1025 Taylor Street, Eugene, said he appreciated the intention of the proposed ordinances to preserve and maintain agricultural and forest land in accordance with Statewide Planning Goals.  He said he had prepared 25 questions after studying the drafts which he had discussed with staff.  He suggested that the Planning Commission should engage in a similar thorough study.  He said drafts distributed to the public should contain all relevant information, Exclusive Farm Use with excessive exceptions was an oxymoron, more restrictive measures should be considered, a definition of private parks was needed, and set backs of 100 feet in riparian zones should be established in which no plowing or agricultural pollutants were allowed.


Kent Olsen, 33180 Dillard Road, Eugene, said he disagreed with many of the proposals in the draft ordinances on the basis of his 40 years of experience in farming and ranching.  He said agricultural users of land did not need someone to tell them how to take care of their land.  He said he did not believe it was appropriate for government to make rules and regulations on private property.


Dean Bishop, 2835 West 11th Avenue, Eugene, said, as a small property owner, he supported preservation of rural land.  He said many owners of property zoned for Exclusive Farm Use did not fit size definitions included in the proposed ordinances.  He said he was concerned that such areas would be reduced to rural residential development zoning allowing encroachment past Urban Growth Boundaries and eliminating valuable land uses.


Charles Janz, 85898 Loraine Highway, Eugene, said he supported proposed modifications of the Lane Code to State standards.  He said the standards had been used since 1993, been developed by professional land use consultants and adopted by the State Legislature.


Edward G. LeRoy, 5998 North “A” Street #C, Springfield, recommended that Lane County adopt state land use codes.  He said he had been waiting for two years to build on property he owned in the Fall Creek area, but had been prevented by conflicting requirements for fire barriers when other property owners in similar situations had received necessary permits.  He said adoption of the proposed ordinances would allow him to begin construction.


Harry Taylor, Post Office Box 1420, Veneta, submitted a written statement from 12 land use attorneys, planning consultants, and engineers supporting immediate adoption of the proposed amendments.  He read the statement which described the experience of the statement sponsors and their reasons for advocating the adoption.


Angie Janz, 85898 Loraine Highway, Eugene, said the proposed ordinances would bring the Lane Code into compliance with State land use standards.  She encouraged their immediate adoption.


Robert Edwards, Springfield, described his difficulty in getting permission to build on property and asked for the help of the Board of County Commissioners.


Bill Holland, said he supported adoption of the proposed ordinances to reduce duplication and increase the ease of use of land use recommendations.


Chair Dwyer determined that there were no other persons wishing to testify and closed the public hearing.  He stated that the Board of County Commissioners would not deliberate on the proposed ordinances until recommendations were received from the Planning Commission.


Commissioner Sorenson asked if members of the Planning Commission wanted Commissioners to remain while they discussed the testimony received.  Planning Director Kent Howe recommended that the Planning Commission wait to begin its deliberations until after staff analysis of the comments from the LCDC was completed.


Planning Commission Chair Clemow determined there was consensus to accept the suggestion of Mr. Kent.


There being no further business, Chair Dwyer adjourned the Joint Public Hearing at 8:10 p.m.



C. Daniel Lindstrom

Recording Secretary