BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
January 30, 2002
Commissioner Bill Dwyer presided with Commissioner Bobby Green, Anna Morrison and Peter Sorenson.† Cindy Weeldreyer was present via telephone.† County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
10. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. REVIEW/Request by Eugene Sand and Gravel for Reconsideration of the December 4, 2001 Tentative Board Decision on Ordinance PA 1164.
Dwyer explained that the hearing is to consider and provide an opportunity for all parties to respond to the January 2, 2002 letter from Eugene Sand and Gravel requesting reconsideration of the tentative Board decision made on December 4, 2001.† He added that written testimony or evidence may also be submitted.† He said the comments should focus on the request for reconsideration and not restate evidence or arguments in the record on the substantive issues involved in the application.
Dwyer asked the Board to disclose any ex-parte contacts they have had since December 4.
Green responded he had received as many e-mails as everyone else.† He said he received a phone call from a representative from the Alltuckers, the same afternoon they had the meeting.† He didnít return the phone call and discussed it with legal counsel.† Green called the owner of Thistledown Farm back out of courtesy.† He added there were other letters he gave to staff.† He noted someone from the Parks' advisory committee had also met with him on other matters and mentioned the Eugene Sand and Gravel issue.† He said none of the conversations would change his objective opinion on this.
Morrison declared she spoke with Mike Alltucker on December 6, expressing concern that they had not allowed his entire application to be heard fully.† She wanted to do a review of the videotape of the proceedings and explore whether there was a procedure to review the entire application.† She spoke with Randy Henderson on January 11 and his comments were directed toward the Reed report.† She heard no new additional information.† She said on January 15, she met with Helen Goss in her office and she shared conversations about traffic at Beacon and River Road and impacts to her business.† Goss submitted a photo that was already submitted into the record.† She had given the duplicate information to Thom Lanfear and didnít think it was new.† She noted she had a phone conversation with Travis Williams and Libby McCulley on January 23 regarding significance of the site, public interest and the Beak Report.† She said they sent a letter confirming the original phone conversation and it is in the record.† She noted in todayís Register Guard there is an editorial about the public having to pay.† She said as a decision maker for Lane County, she had to be concerned about how monies were spent.† She added the decision the Board makes would predicate the amount of money that not only would the applicant pay, but also the opponent and the Lane County taxpayers, would by bouncing this back and forth through the system.† She received numerous e-mails and voice mails, letters to the editor, and editorials. She had listened and not heard anything beyond what had already been put into the record.† She said there would be no further contacts with the public on this issue because this is her last opportunity to disclose contacts.†
Sorenson said in addition to written materials, e-mails and letters, he had telephone conversations with Mike Alltucker, Randy Pape, Mary OíBrien and Lori Jenson.† He also received comments from the public.† He stated he had seen articles in the Register Guard and Eugene Weekly and letters to the editor.† He noted he had been on a radio talk show and one of the callers asked about the issue.
Weeldreyer stated she had an ex-parte contact the afternoon of the day they made their tentative decision.† She had a five minute telephone conversation with Mike Alltucker about future plans. She referred him back to the Planning Department. She forwarded all of the e-mails she had received (through Monday) to Thom Lanfear.† She added she had been following the letters to the editors in the newspaper and she received a voice mail message from a community activist in Cottage Grove.† She also received a voice mail on her home answer machine from a woman she did not know in Springfield encouraging her not to support the Eugene Sand and Gravel proposal.† She had no conflicts of interest.
Dwyer announced he had a telephone conversation with Mike Alltucker after the hearing.† He told Alltucker his objections were part of the record.† Dwyer objected because he wanted farm land protected.† He also told Alltucker they needed to have a better test if they expected to prevail with the significance issue.† He said even if they did get by these issues, the other issues might have some impacts.† He added even if Alltucker were to amend his application to address his concerns, there would be no guaranty that he could mitigate the other concerns.† He talked with Lori Jenson and he told her of his conversation with Alltucker.† He added there was also a public request for all of their e-mail and they provided that to the attorney for the farms.† He spoke to County Counsel about Alltucker and they told him not to discuss this with Alltucker any further.† He also spoke with the public on the issue.† He stated he received a call from the press that someone had said that he left Eugene Sand and Gravel under adverse conditions when he drove a truck for them and that was what was driving his decision and he had a vendetta against Eugene Sand and Gravel because they parted ways.† He said 12 years in the legislature he had a 95% voting record in terms of aggregate mining.† He said he is a miner and has had mines and he drove gravel trucks.† He said this decision was not based on any water under the bridge, it was based on the facts before him and he was sworn to uphold the law.† He said he tries to make sound public policy based on the common good.
Dwyer asked if there was anyone that wanted to respond to the ex-parte disclosures or challenge any board member hearing this matter on the account of bias or conflict of interest.
Shannon Nill, 91502 Coburg Rd., Eugene, raised a challenge based upon the ex-parte contact between representatives of the applicant and Commissioner Morrison.† He requested that she disqualify herself from this deliberation based upon her description of the ex-parte contact in the Register Guard newspaper that indicated there was a change in her position following the meeting with the applicant.† He said this indicated their meeting was prejudicial and there was potential for bias based on the ex-parte contact with the applicant.† He requested that Morrison abstain from voting on this matter for the same reason.† This objection was on his own behalf and not for any other opponents.
Norm Maxwell, 79550 Fire Road, Lorane, was concerned about Morrisonís qualifications to impartially reconsider this matter.† He noted in August 2000, he had the same situation with the Fire Road and he was told he could not communicate with his County Commissioner, Anna Morrison.†
Thom Lanfear, Land Management, reported the commissioners had received copies of all e-mails and letters he had received since the December 4 tentative decision.† He added that included all the materials gathered under the public records request received in early December.†
Sorenson stated they made a tentative decision to have staff prepare a draft denial of the application.† He asked about the status of the draft denial and if it was available to reviewed by the Board.
Lanfear responded it was in the process of being drafted but not ready for review.
Dwyer explained todayís meeting was to give the public an opportunity to comment on the request for reconsideration, but not to go into other issues that would be deliberated at some other time.†
Randy Henderson, 94155 River Road, Junction City, stated with Step 2, (in determining whether the site is significant) if the answer is no, then it is a dead-end and stops. He discussed Exhibit 35 (the letter from the Eugene Sand and Gravelís attorney) that was in the record.† He asked the Board to follow the rules that were laid out initially.
Robert Emmons, 40093 Little Fall Creek Road, stated he had testified on this issue on two previous occasions.† He said the issue was decided when the application had an overestimated amount of aggregate and did not meet state regulations.† He said there was no reason for Morrison to reconsider her vote.† He said the meeting between Alltucker and Morrison was improper and unethical and in the interest of fairness, he asked Morrison to recuse herself from voting.
Bruce Loudon, 30318 Victory Dr., Junction City, stated he was the president of the Oregon Thoroughbred Breeders Association.† He said when the Board gets to Item 2, the aggregate is not met.
Jeffrey Lyons, 221 Hileman Lane, Eugene, commented that Alltucker was willing to forego standard practices if he stands to benefit.† He asked Morrison to stand by her decision to deny.
Jolene Loudon, P. O. Box 677, Junction City, said reopening the issue was shady and asked why once a decision was made, they could go back on the decision after having ex-parte contacts.†
Mary Oí Brien, 3525 Gilham, Eugene, stated she submitted a letter for the record.† She said the Board needed to follow Goal 5 Rules.† She added once they acknowledged that Eugene Sand and Gravel had not demonstrated having a significant gravel source, then it wasnít right to subject the parties to go through the steps to consider what damage the mining would do when it is not a significant resource to begin with.† She asked Morrison to recuse herself from voting because she was requesting a bending of the Goal 5 Rule process on the basis of a closed door meeting with Alltucker.
Bob Oí Brien, 3525 Gilham, Eugene, prepared a letter that was submitted into the record.† He said they have to determine there is a significant resource before they could mine on the sites.† He said the evidence was clear there was not a significant resource.† He asked the Board to reaffirm their earlier decision.
David Hoffman, 2790 Madison, Eugene, stated he had submitted an e-mail about food supply and homeland security.† He said there are farms close to the gravel pit that are growing a wide variety of crops and support families.
Ken Riverlighter, 140 Hamilton Ave, submitted written testimony to the Board.† He said the Board should stick with the original decision.
Rich Engstrom, OCAPA, explained they represent the construction of concrete, aggregate and aggregate related products and they have 85% production statewide.† He said he was involved in the development and the implementation of the Goal 5 Rule.† He noted they spent time with the governorís office in collaborating on the new Goal 5 Rule with the farm bureau and the Association of Oregon Counties.† He didnít take a position on the application and did not testify.† His comments were to follow the law as they worked out process and apply fact to the law and come up with conclusions.† He said they wanted to have less mines and fully utilize the resource.† He said the practice of the industry was to mine through the intermittent layers found throughout aggregate deposits.† He encouraged the Board to separate what is relevant and irrelevant within the decision making process.
Dwyer asked how they justified the rule that allowed averaging whereby they could pick a site of which only a portion is prime farmland in meeting the test.
Engstrom responded the prime soil determination of 35% or better came up throughout the Willamette Valley where there are pockets of soil classification.† He said in the balance with the farm community, they acknowledged areas where there are Class 1 soils but in a small pocket.† He noted there were different depths in different counties.
Dan Stotter, 259, E. 5th, stated he was the attorney for Thistledown and Lone Pine Farms. He explained there were undisputed facts on the reconsideration that the Boardís decision making is limited by the Goal 5 Rule and it is not an open political decision.† He said it was undisputed that this was a sequential step by step rule.† He submitted an e-mail to the Board that indicated by law they could not address or skip to Step 3, if the prerequisite of Step 2 was not met.† He noted the Board made the correct decision on the aggregate issue based on the requirements and the language of the rule that is statewide.† He said that the testimony of Mark Reed goes step by step on that issue.† He said the rule requires a 60 foot layer, not layers.† He said if the Board thought notwithstanding the legal requirement of the rule, that they have to break the law and reconsider the rest of the process, (that is a violation of law) then he asked the Board to consider only the other issues other than aggregate.† He urged the Board to reject reconsideration.
Mark Reed, Mineral Resource Geologist, University of Oregon, indicated he submitted written testimony. He said the difference between the everyday use of the term significance and the definition of significance meeting Goal 5 standards is confusing.† He said the County Planning Commission missed the distinction that is critical to the decision.† He said for a gravel deposit to be legally significant according to Goal 5, all four of the questions must be answered in the affirmative, but Eugene Sand and Gravel fails on three of the four.† He said if it fails on one, the deposit is not significant.† He said that Eugene Sand and Gravel had not taken representative samples and no one knows if the gravel passes ODOT standards.† He added half of the deposits may not pass based on problems with sampling, and the deposit is not significant.
Marie Gray, 353 Knoop Lane, Eugene, hoped the Board would vote their same response.
Wanda Simmons, 1183 Skipper, River Road, hoped the Board would deny the application.† She turned in a written response.
Lyn Wineger, 37221 Wallace Creek Road, Springfield, spoke on behalf of the employees of Eugene Sand and Gravel.† She asked the Board to reconsider their previous decision and move forward to approve their companyís application.† She said they were asking for fair treatment.† She noted the science shows they will not hurt their neighbors on River Road.† She stated they have been good neighbors at their current site and that is why their close neighbors had testified on their behalf.† She asked the Board to approve the application because their future livelihood depends on it.
James Ralph, 2161 University, Eugene, said this was an unfortunate development.† He urged the Board to reconsider their vote.† He commended Anna Morrison for her urging the reconsideration.† He said the Board should be as fair as possible and hear the entire matter.
Kathy Alfers, P. O. Box 557, Monroe, stated it was unnecessary that this had to happen again.† She said Morrison brought them due to her indecision on this. She said with Morrisonís ex-parte meeting with Alltucker that she should be dismissed from voting.† Alfers thought this was a violation of ethics.† She said if this is allowed it would destroy a way of life.† She said the City of Moser has two gravel pits they are trying to be shut down because of dust, noise and traffic impacts.† She asked the Board to contact Don Clarke to see what they had been going through.
Lori Jenson, 92019 River Road, Junction City,† said in the beginning everyone agreed this was a step process, passing the first step before going onto the next step.† She believed that the statute required this.† She understood the record was closed to all parties on October 29, 2001.† She noted that 53 feet of gravel did not meet the 60 foot rule and the representative sample failed the test.† She understood what was asked to be reconsidered is the entire step process, for the benefit of Eugene Sand and Gravel to save time and money.† She said the law stated at Step 2, if it was no, then it was denied.† She said Morrison was more than able to make a good decision.† She noted Morrison voted for a denial the first time.† Jenson said she did not read in any place that Morrison would change her vote.
Doug Graves, 9217 River Road, Junction City, stated he had previously submitted evidence into the record.† He read quotes from the first night of testimony at Sheldon High School.† He noted they were dealing with a letter that came in after the record was closed and no commissioner should have had any ex-parte contact with Eugene Sand and Gravel.† He asked the Board not to be persuaded and to stick by their decision of December 4, 2001.
Ben Brown, 4300 Goodpasture Loop, thanked the Board for opening this back up. He thought this would speed up the process so there wouldnít be continual appeals.† He said if this decision goes against Eugene Sand and Gravel it would hurt their company to the point where it may shut down.† He said they donít need to lose any more jobs.† He said they can get along with the farms and it shouldnít be a problem.
Marilyn Rear, 91820 Territorial Highway, Junction City, stated she had testified previously.† She commended the Board for reconsidering the Eugene Sand and Gravelís request.† She urged the Board to re-examine the science of the project by engineers and geologists.† She said it was a serious issue for her farm and it is about survival of her farm and other farmers who own farmland on River Road.† She said by voting no on the gravel pit, the River Road area would stay the same and not change.† She said production farming in the area had changed.† She noted the land being leased to Eugene Sand and Gravel is river bottom soil and is coarse in nature.† She added that soils of this makeup limit the kind of crops that could be successfully grown.† She asked the Board to save the farms.† She urged the Board to reconsider the permit to harvest gravel.
Janet Harper, 29850 Harper Road, stated her family is one of the groups involved in the project in leasing to Eugene Sand and Gravel.† She appreciated the Board reconsidering the subject.
Coralee Whitley, 3535 Alameda St., stated she lives near where the gravel pit would go in.† She said peopleís wishes should be considered.† She was concerned there wasnít enough emphasis on parks.† She said there should be a policy change so they donít go through this with another company that wanted to put a gravel pit in the city.
Dale Miller, 4750 River Road, said he testified at the last hearing.† He noted across the street from his house are two housing projects with over 100 homes.† He stated the traffic alone along River Road should stop the building of the gravel pit.† He hoped the Board would keep the decision they made.
Joy Knutson, 4440 Ryan, strongly opposed what had happened.† She said if this goes through, then the other gravel companies would need to have the same opportunity.† She asked the Board to stick with their first decision.
George Banke, 2040 Willamette St., Eugene, said that Eugene Sand and Gravel over the years have been good citizens.† He said the Alltuckers had been good citizens and kept their place clean. He urged the Board to change their vote.
Hazel Jenson, 30776 Lone Pine, stated that after December 4, the record was closed and the January 2, 2002 letter was inadmissible.† She noted step 2 of the process was to determine if the resource site was significant.† She said it was found not to be.† She said the opponents of the gravel pits are required to follow the law, but the applicant doesnít have to.† She added if the applicant chooses to break the law via ex-parte contacts and submittal of testimony after the record is closed, consideration would be given for these actions.† She didnít think the Eugene Sand and Gravel January 2, 2002 letter should be accepted into the record.† She said this decision wasnít about the future of Eugene Sand and Gravel as a company.† She noted the Commissioners did not cause Eugene Sand and Gravel to be struggling for survival, they did it on their own.† She noted that Mike Alltucker stated there were other sites for mining.† She suggested they pursue those other options.
Baynard McConnaughley, 1653 Fairmount Boulevard, Eugene, commented under current regulations, the Alltuckerís application is not admissible and could not be permitted without a change in regulations.† He said the Board should be bound by current regulations instead of hoping for a change.† He noted if such a change occurred, that would be the time to consider this again.† He said there was no alternative but to deny the application because it does not meet the current regulations.
Patty Driscoll, 671 Irving Road, asked the Board to vote no on reopening Eugene Sand and Gravel for mining at the River Road site.† She said the Board couldnít look at the other issues involved if there is no significant resource. She understood that if there was not significant resources shown by Randy Henderson that it would be denied.† She said they would be saving Eugene Sand and Gravel time and money and the rest of the community time by letting them get on with the process of finding a site.† She corresponded with Morrison by e-mail and asked her questions.† She didnít think the news coverage gave adequate consideration to what was coming back.
John Alltucker P. O. Box 1067, Eugene, stated he wasnít asking to help the Alltucker family as people, he asked to look at his employees to see if they could be helped.† He wanted the Boardís final decision to be made on what is best for Lane County and most of the people in Lane County.† He noted at the present time, they have 209 employees and they are paying $9 million per year in pay and benefits.† He added that amounted to $44,000 per year for each of their employees.† He said if they shut down, there would only be a few people who could obtain a comparable salary.† He said if their permit is delayed or they have to go to Court for the next five years, they would have to shut down.† He asked for the meeting so the Board could make their decision on all of the issues.† He said if they are turned down they will close.† He said the only evidence that there is not a significant amount of material on the property that meets state law is testimony by Mark Reed.† They could not find that he had a license.
Roxie Cuellar, Home Builders, 2053 Laura St., submitted written material.† She stated she didnít know if this was a significant resource or not.† She said they were familiar with land use decisions and LUBA appeals.† She reminded the Board how expensive and time consuming the processes have become.† She said it is becoming too expensive for everyone in the land use arena.† She said the process doesnít work well if decisions are not made on the merits of the case.† She encouraged the Board to reconsider their vote.
Shannon Nill, 91502 Coburg Road, didnít think the revote should be allowed. He noted sufficient time was available to all parties to study the materials submitted.† He said they were wasting peopleís time because one commissioner was convinced to change her stance by the applicant.† He stated if every issue was allowed to be revoted, society would collapse.† He said if a revote is given, it would give the time for Weeldreyer and Green to vote properly.† He said that Morrison voted and he asked her to stick to her vote.
Mike Alltucker, President, Eugene Sand and Gravel, noted they filed their application with Lane County 922 days ago to permit aggregate mining on River Road.† He said that process was mandated to take 180 days.† He said they asked for a process that would be fair and predictable and the application judged on its merits under statewide planning rules.† He said since that time, they had designed a plan that answered all concerns raised by the community.† He said the record was clear that they had met the rule.† He asked the Board that they reconsider the decision on significance.† He noted their application was consistent with the practice of the industry statewide.† He asked the Board to reconsider and move quickly through the rest of the process to complete their application.† He noted the record was overwhelming and clear they had met the rule.† He added that Lane County staff recommended approval of the application.† He thought if the application was denied, it was for political reasons.† He noted the appeal process was more uncertain and expensive and an option they werenít willing to pursue.† He said if the Board denies their application they would be forced to start to shut their operation and lay people off.† He asked the Board to approve the project and save 200 jobs.
Sophie Bello, 30699 Maple Drive, said if there is no new information, she asked why this was being reconsidered.† She stated she just bought a farm down the road from the site and they have been farming on it.† She said this was between economy and environment and preserving both of them for a healthy community.† She said it was hard to say what the impact the gravel pit would be, but it was easy to predict the domino effect that allowing this would create.† She urged the Board to stick with their original decision.
Lisa Arkin, 29136 Gimple Hill, Eugene, voiced her objection to a request by Mr. Alltucker of Eugene Sand and Gravel to reopen this process and give his companyís proposal another ďhearingĒ and decision.† She added the official record had been closed and citizens witnessed the public vote by the County Commissioners. She noted the vote on December 4 reflects the evidence in the record and if there is no new evidence, there is no need for considering Alltuckerís request for a new vote or decision.† She stated the vote to deny the application is the correct decision based on testimony and documentation that had been submitted.† She said if the Board alters its vote after contact with Eugene Sand and Gravel, it would be a slap in the face to citizens who gave testimony.† She urged the Board to stand by the December 4 vote, a decision that took into account the failure of the application to satisfy the requirements of Step 2 of the Oregon Administrative Rules regarding Goal 5.
Jan Spencer, †212 Benjamin, Eugene, stated he testified and submitted written documents at previous hearings.† He said the proposed gravel mining is not a good idea. He asked the Board to stand by their previous decision and deny the application and save the farmland.
David Sullivan, 30797 Maple Drive, Eugene, testified that he spoke at the two other hearings and he sent a letter to the editor at the Register Guard. He said he was opposed to the application and urged the Board to stick with their original vote.† He noted that Step 2 of Goal 5 stated that the Board must deny the application.† He urged the Board to make a serious commitment to farmland.
Shelley Reed, 30145 El Rio Lane, Junction City, urged the Board not to reconsider their December decision on the matter.† She said it was her observation that in order to challenge the data that Eugene Sand and Gravel puts forward, no one has had the funds to provide independent studies.† She noted that the issue of relevance was absent.† She said that all of the challenges had been based upon identifying weaknesses in the application.† She believed it gave Eugene Sand the opportunity to determine the substance of the debate and there is no real opportunity for anyone to provide good solid information that is irrefutable.† She said this was not a fair process.
Kevin Jones, 4740 Wendover St., stated the Boardís original decision was correct.† He submitted testimony into the record.
Gabe Cox, 30699 Maple Drive, Junction City, said he is a farmer against gravel mining operations on River Road.† He asked the Board to follow the rules of Goal 5 and for them to keep their original vote.
Jessie Coon, 93510 River Road, stated the best thing for that land would be a gravel pit.† He said the farmland is marginal and if they want to keep people working they should allow Eugene Sand and Gravel come in to take the gravel.
There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Dwyer closed the Public Hearing.
Dwyer explained this hearing is to give everyone in the community an opportunity to respond to the letter that was submitted from Eugene Sand and Gravel.† He noted that under Roberts Rules of Order, Morrison could have moved to reconsider at the next meeting related to sand and gravel.
Lanfear noted they had received a request from Dan Stotter (representing Thistledown Farms) for an opportunity to present additional evidence to address any new information presented on the reconsideration issue.† He added it was pursuant to ORS 197.763.† He said he had not heard any new evidence that had been submitted.
Vorhes explained the request and the focus of the request and the obligation to allow additional time only occurs in the initial public hearing.† Vorhes noted this was not the initial public hearing so there was not an obligation.† He added the decision was up to the Board.
Sorenson stated that all parties should have an opportunity to respond to what had been put into the record.† He didnít think that it was fair for one side to submit something without having parties determining if it was new information.
Vorhes stated there was no obligation for the Board to do anything more than an opportunity for people to respond to the request for reconsideration to reopen the record.† He said the Board chose to reopen the record to allow response to the request for reconsideration, a focused issue.† Vorhes stated the Board took in the information on the issue of reconsideration.† He added there was no legal obligation to continue with the record open for any period of time.
Sorenson asked if the Board should deny the request for a rebuttal opportunity.
Vorhes stated it was up to the Board to decide.† He said the Board could and not run any significant legal risk for closing the record since the notice was pointing to this proceeding and hearing.† He indicated there was an opportunity to submit the written comments prior to the meeting.† He said there was opportunity to provide input to the Board on the issue of reconsideration.
Sorenson requested allowing the rebuttal opportunity for any party.† He didnít want to close off the opportunity.
Weeldreyer wanted to do everything they could to make sure the record procedures were as clean as possible.† She said if this would help move the process forward, then she would have no objection to it.
Dwyer reiterated they held this hearing strictly on the issue of reconsideration.† He asked Stotter the purpose for allowing rebuttal.
Stotter explained there is new information submitted that was not in the record.† He said for the first time they heard that the Alltuckerís might close down Eugene Sand and Gravel.† He added there were economic impacts, aggregate impacts and none was in the record.† He asked if the Board was going to take the information that had never been put into the record and make a decision.† He suggested the Board could create a Goal 1 and statutory procedural error.† He said for the Board to say that he could not respond to new information is creating a procedural error.† He said if the Board agrees that they are not going to reconsider this matter, he would be willing to withdraw his request for additional time. He said he wouldnít need more than 14 days to respond to the new information submitted into the record.
Morrison stated there was a request under the Freedom of Information Act to receive information and she asked if that was complied with.
Lanfear responded it was available for review.† He said the request occurred in early December and all of the material submitted within the last week was what Stotter was referring to.† He added Stotter received a copy of the information this morning at the same time the Board received their copy.
Stotter responded this was information that he had never seen before and testimony that was presented with inaccurate information by the applicant they had never had an opportunity to respond to.
MOTION: to move that the Board reconsider the application they have in front of them.
Morrison MOVED, Green SECONDED.
Dwyer explained the motion to reconsider, (having been made by a person who voted on the prevailing side) is a legitimate motion and the second was not required to have the same status.† He noted it was a valid motion.
Morrison stated she recently made a process error.† She said the recent vote she took on the Eugene Sand and Gravel issue cut the hearing process short on an issue with so much meaning to so many people.† She wanted the issue brought back to the table to insure that both sides of the issue have a complete and thorough discussion by the Board.† She added bringing the issue back might not be politically popular, it was the right thing to do for everyone involved.† She said that people matter, not politics.† She was not convinced that the resource is significant, but she said there was enough doubt in her mind that she wanted to complete the process and reserve the right to make a decision on all of the merits of the proposed application.† She questioned whether there had been any new information received.
Sorenson said it was his view that there was nothing else to reconsider.† He said they have the information and testimony.† He didnít think the Board needed to reconsider this matter.† He thought the motion for reconsideration should be denied.
Dwyer did not support the motion.† He objected on the ground of public interest.† He said it was in the publicís interest to preserve prime farmland.† He didnít see anything that would change his mind on the issue.† He said the burden is on the applicant and they will have a hard time proving that things are no longer significant.
Weeldreyer said the state processing allowed for averaging of the cells.† Through the averaging process, she still believes that the issue of significance was adequately addressed by the application. She said the Board needs to focus on mitigating the impacts of the mining operation on the property owners and people in the River Road area.† She noted what Morrison did was courageous.† She supported the motion.
Green said when they met last time, he had hoped they would have gone through the whole process.† He recalled asking staff twice that if the Board took a position on the first question, if they could still go through the step process.† He said he misinterpreted their response.† He supported the motion as they should get into the process with a full discussion.† He noted that Morrison came to him the same day after the December 4 meeting and admitted that she made a procedural error.
VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Sorenson dissenting).
Dwyer didnít believe there was anything material that had been put in the record that hadnít been heard before.† He wanted to get to the issues of whether the impacts are significant and that mining shouldnít be allowed, and whether or not they could be mitigated to the point where they are no longer significant or whether or not an ESEE analysis might be required to make that determination.† He announced the date of February 20, 2002 to deliberate on the application issues starting with the significance under Goal 5.
Vorhes explained the Board had voted to reconsider the decision on significance and the next step for the Board is to decide what to do about significance.† He said the discussion that took place was when it should occur.† He said the Board could take up the significance issue, now.† He said the Board needed to decide when to take up the decision that is being reconsidered.
MOTION: to move to approve Option 1, setting the date of February 20 to deliberate on the application issues starting with significance under Goal 5.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Sorenson stated the motion would delay the review of this further to move it out into February.† He said they could reconsider this now.† He didnít support the motion.
Dwyer didnít support the motion.† He agreed with Sorenson that they could make a decision on the issue of significance now.† He said there was no more evidence entered into the record.
Morrison stated it didnít matter if they heard this today or on February 20 because it would be the same.† She thought it would be simpler if they did everything all at one time.
Green said the commissioners asked for reconsideration of the vote on significance.† He explained a majority of the Board had supported Morrisonís motion.† He said even if they went back to discuss significance, they still have a majority of the Board in the position to agree there is significance and they could discuss the conflicts.
Dwyer noted the motion to find that it is significant (if it is made now) and the motion to reconsider would clarify the issues they would deal with on February 20.† He added it would take away the politicking as it related to the issue of significance.
Weeldreyer withdrew her motion and Morrison withdrew her second.
Morrison wanted to discuss significance today and on February 20, they would start with Step 3.
Weeldreyer stated she wouldnít change her vote on significance.† She wanted to take this up on February 20, when she would have all the information in front of her.
Sorenson asked if the motion to take this on February 20 had been withdrawn.
Vorhes noted what the Board had in front of them is the motion previously made that was to find that this was not a significant resource.† He said if the Board chooses to take this up now, the motion that was made was to postpone the debate to February 20.† He said they could discuss the issue now and decide if they wanted.† He said part of the reason for providing an option for this Board was to give ideas of what the possibilities are and some of it had to do with staff preparation and the ability to respond to commissioner questions on the issue that is in front of the Board and that was why one of the options was for February 20.† He said the action that was taken tentatively was the motion to find that there was not a significance resource on December 4.† He added the Board voted to reconsider that decision on that motion so the motion is alive.
Sorenson wanted to deal with the significance issue, moving all other issues to February 20.
MOTION: to move that there is a significant resource at the Eugene Sand and Gravel site in the proposal.
Morrison MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.
Vorhes requested that the Board make these decisions tentative because until they have a decision in writing, they do not have a final decision.
Dwyer reiterated it was a tentative decision to find a significant resource.
Sorenson stated by the Board making a reversal on the decision that they had contradicted data in the record.† He said the reports that had been submitted by the opponents are forceful.
Dwyer was not convinced it was a significant resource.† He said it moves to the next step of groundwater, dust, noise and the other issues.† He did not support the motion.
VOTE: 3-2 (Dwyer, Sorenson dissenting).
Dwyer said the Board determined it was a significant site and they would set the date of February 20 to deliberate on the application issues other than significance.
11. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
12. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 4:50 p.m.