BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

REGULAR MEETING

July 31, 2002

10:00 a.m.

Commissionersí Conference Room

APPROVED 8/14/02

 

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

 

1.ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

# 2.PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

Dawn Leslie, 4495 River Road, Eugene, thanked the Board for walking River Road and examining the area to be impacted.She noted Howard Malcolm could not be present and she put his letter into the record.She added Malcolm had issues about drainage and assessment.She urged the Board to consider a traffic signal at Beacon, as it is important to the safety of the area.She also wanted the speed limit lowered in the area.She supported Option 2 as it would affect trees the least, but she would accept Option 3.

 

Darlene Goss, Beacon House, 90980 River Road, reported there was an informal meeting of the property owners on Monday, studying the designs of River Road.She noted they were in unanimous agreement for Option 3 as it saves the trees and allows for two bike lanes, two sidewalks and has a continuous turn lane from Carthage to Beacon.She added the neighbors were in agreement that a traffic signal was needed to reduce speed.She said they want to see the project go forward and urged the Board to choose Option 3.

 

Mike Hennesy, 375 Carthage, Eugene, stated he was a member of the Santa Clara Community Organization.He stated at their last meeting, they agreed unanimously to send a letter requesting that the Board of Commissioners work well with the neighbors affected.He stated that Option 3 was what the homeowners had been promised in 1992.He said the property owners and the Santa Clara Community Organization were in agreement with Option 3.

 

Dale Miller, 4750 River Road, Eugene, appreciated the Board coming out to walk River Road.He said the homeowners were in agreement of Option 3.He didnít want sidewalks on the west side and neither did his neighbors.He didnít think it would be an improvement.He thought if the County wanted them that the County should pay for them.

 

Lee Hunsaker, 155 Myoak Dr., Eugene, stated he is the Chairman of the Santa Clara Community Organization.He reported that they urged the Board to not change the road until they get an agreement from all of the neighbors.

 

3COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

4.EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5.COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

a.ACT-SO Awards Presentation:

- Jenna Washington

- l'Esha Henderson

- Kelly Lee

- Jennifer Lee

- Justin Roberts

- Jonathan Davis

 

Green presented the ACT-SO awards to the named recipients.

 

6.COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a.                   Announcements

 

None.

 

b.VIDEO PRESENTATION/Lane County Service Overview: "Lane County Works for You."

 

Melinda Kletzok, Public Information Officer, reported the video was created so large sectors of the community could learn about what Lane County does with tax dollars.She added it was in conjunction with the communication and strategic plan.She noted the Forest Work Camp was building a kiosk to be placed in the Public Service Building for the public to view.

 

Morrison suggested submitting the video to the NACo convention for consideration.

 

7.PUBLIC WORKS

 

a.CONTINUED DISCUSSION AND ORDER 02-7-2-3/In the Matter of Approving a Project Design Concept and Acquiring Fee or Other Interests in Portions of Certain Real Properties for Improvement of River Road, MP 7.747 to MP 7.366, Based on the Design Concept in Exhibit A; and Authorizing Staff to Prepare a Right-of-Way Plan Necessary to Construct the Road, Pursue All Necessary Planning Actions, Acquire Right-of-Way and Prepare Plans and Specifications for Improvement of Said Road. (NBA & PM 4/16/02, 4/17/02, 5/28/02 & 7/2/02).

 

Sonny Chickering, Public Works, reported the Board toured the River Road project.He stated Public Works had presented this to the Board three times, with the last meeting being July 3.He noted at that time Public Works came with an order asking for an approval of a design concept.He stated there is a design concept attached to the order and the contents of that concept are in line with the Boardís preferences from a matrix.He explained that recommendation is for a three-lane roadway, consisting of a 12-foot center continuous turn lane, two 11-foot travel lanes, two 5Ĺ foot bicycle lanes, curb, gutters and meandering sidewalks.He stated they eliminated the left-turn pockets on both Beacon Drive east and west, being in line with the requests of the local property owners.He added the design concept as attached to the order now does include the installation of a traffic signal.He recalled none of the eight warrants for a traffic signal was met at the intersection of River Road and Beacon Drive.He noted staff recommended that a traffic light not be installed at this time.He said if they do not install the signal, they would put in a conduit for future installation when the warrants are met.

 

Chickering noted the original design of River Road was done specifically to miss a direct hit on any of the large fir trees.He indicated that there were 10 of 120 trees on the project but they are farther to the north.He noted the original design had wider lanes.He stated the plans have been drawn with narrower lanes.He explained that there were three options.The first is the original with the narrow lanes but with sidewalks set back behind the trees.He noted that Option 2 would narrow River Road to two lanes, suggested by the property owners in an effort to restrict the impact of the paved surfaces and miss trees.He didnít recommend that option.He explained Option 3 preserves three lanes through the area and moves the sidewalk from setback to a curbside.

 

Weeldreyer asked why staff was recommending sidewalks on both sides of River Road. She noted there was testimony in public comment from property owners on the west side that didnít want a sidewalk.

 

Chickering responded that this roadway is the highest classification of road that Lane County has in its system.He noted it is an urban arterial and the function of the roadway is to move traffic through and across neighborhoods to their ultimate destinations.He added in TransPlan there is policy that indicates that sidewalks and bicycle lanes should be included in all urban arterial projects.He stated this project was consistent with that policy.He said they are trying to encourage alternate modes of transportation throughout the metro area and putting sidewalks on both sides of the road does that.He added that sidewalks are also safety considerations.

 

Weeldreyer supported applying the same assessment policy that they did on Ayres Road.She didnít think it was fair to force someone who has large rural property in an area that is growing to subdivide the property in order to pay for those assessments.She wanted to move the order with this caveat.

 

Green wouldnít support applying the same assessment policy.He stated this matter was different than on Ayres Road.He was willing to assist in the cost for the sidewalk development but he didnít want to extract this matter from the order.He said that sidewalks are necessary to create an additional level of safety.

 

Dwyer agreed sidewalks were necessary.He asked why Lane County and the City of Eugene didnít have consistent policy with development.He didnít want to force people who have large portions of property to sell their property to pay for the assessment.He said the same formula they used for the Ayres Road was an appropriate formula for this project.He thought there should be a middle ground to move forward with the project, but not taxing the residents out of their houses.He supported the traffic signal being installed when the road is worked on.

 

Snowden stated Lane County assesses a uniform rate for the entire frontage:for curb, gutter, sidewalk, and an engineering fee.He noted the City of Eugene assesses a portion of the road and storm drainage system depending on the classification of road.He added the front foot assessment for the City would be higher than the County.

 

Chickering stated that the property owners were generally in agreement with Option 3. He added that they wanted the traffic signal installed and the speed reduced.

 

MOTION: to approve Option 3, deleting the paragraph about the assessment, referring the assessment issue to Finance and Audit.

 

Sorenson MOVED, Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

Dwyer didnít think Finance and Audit was the appropriate place to bring the assessment.He suggested approving Option 3 without the assessment and having staff formulate the financial impact on the County as a result of those different adjustments.

 

Sorenson stated he would amend his motion to approve Option 3, deleting the language about the assessment and asking staff to come back with a report about the financial implications to the property owners as well as to the taxpayers.

 

Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

Dwyer asked for the motion to be amended to have the speed board lower the speed limit and installing the traffic signal at the time of construction.

 

Sorenson accepted the amendment.

 

Weeldreyer had concerns about installing a traffic signal where there are not warrants.She suggested wiring for the signal and when they meet warrants, they could put a traffic signal in then.

 

Weeldreyer SECONDED.

 

Chickering noted the design concept that is attached to the order includes a traffic signal at the time of construction.He said if they donít construct a signal at that time, they would put in the underground conduit so it would be ready for installation.

 

Chickering asked if the Boardís motion contained a signal to be installed now or for the future.

 

Van Vactor responded the Board wanted it installed later.

 

Weeldreyer stated it was important that they have warrants met at the time of the signal because there are other areas where warrants are needed that could use a signal.

 

Dwyer reiterated that the motion states (for the design concept) that they would have the speed control with the conduit so when it meets the warrants a light could be installed.He added the assessments would be deferred until they bring back the information as to what the actual cost would be to the affected property owners.

 

Sorenson suggested Chickering write a board order reflecting what was discussed.He added the order could come back on the consent calendar.

 

Green wasnít in support.He said they were deviating from a practice they have had for a long time.He said they would be sending a mixed message by making a change like this to previous property owners.

 

Sorenson stated by voting for this motion he was not necessarily in agreement that the property owners should not pay any assessments.He said that with the urban growth boundary ending at Beacon, (and across the street is a new subdivision) the property owners across the street were benefiting from the improvements to be made.He said because of the way the assessment policy is written, they donít pay, even though their properties would be improved.He said instead of using the County rural road policy, he suggested obtaining more facts.He said deferrals and liens would come out in the analysis.

 

VOTE: 3-2 (Morrison, Green dissenting).

 

b.FOURTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1174/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area Transportation Plan (TransPlan) to Include the Entire West Eugene Parkway Within the 20-Year Financially-Constrained Roadway Project List and to Make Related Amendments; Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) and Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan to Adopt Exceptions to Statewide Planning Goals 3, 4, 11 and 14; and Adopting a Severability Clause. (NBA & PM 5/14/02, 5/29/02 & 7/24/02).

 

Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, explained the Board is considering two ordinances that would revise the TransPlan, Metro Plan and West Eugene Wetlands Plan.He noted there had been a joint public hearing with the two cities and the Lane Transit City Board on May 29, 2002.He said the motions are to approve the two ordinances with replacements reflecting changes and error corrections.†† He stated the Cities of Eugene and Springfield and the LTD Board had all approved the changes.He said in order for the plan amendments to become effective, the Board must adopt the same amendments that the other agencies had.He stated ODOT requested the Board take action by August 1, 2002.

 

Green stated this had been one of the few items that had come before the Board that was an easy decision for him.He focused on the vote of the people that wanted this.He stated he would not as a commissioner insult the voters of Eugene by rejecting the vote.He didnít think that there was an elected official that would not honor a vote that the citizens favored.

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance PA 1174.

 

Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

Sorenson asked which projects were being shifted in the TransPlan amendment.

 

Jan Childs, City of Eugene, responded the projects moved to the future list are Beltline stage 3, Roosevelt to West 11th, ($17 million); West 11th, Terry Street to Greenhill Road ($4.5 million); Beltline River Road to Delta ($13.4 million); Washington Jefferson Bridge southbound extra lane ($4.3 million); Jasper Road, S. 42nd to Jasper Road Extension ($5.3 million).

 

Sorenson asked why these projects had to be moved when they were already identified in the approved TransPlan.

 

Childs replied it was a federal requirement.She said the 1986 TransPlan did not have a requirement for fiscal constraint. She explained federal requirements for metropolitan area transportation plans had changed and with the TransPlan update, under federal requirements, they had to match projects with the expected revenue in the 20 year financially constrained project list.She noted only the first phase of the West Eugene Parkway is within the 20-year project list.She said that ODOT recognizes that both projects in the 20-year list and projects in the future list are part of the overall TransPlan, but the federal government does not.

 

Sorenson asked why they were not using existing right-of-ways as opposed to crossing lands.

 

Childs responded there had been information since the supplemental EIS report was published in 1997.She said it had been determined the lands do not fall under the requirements of Section 4F.

 

Weeldreyer asked what else could be done with existing resources if they list the Delta Beltline Project to River Road.

 

Bob Pirrie, ODOT, stated there are opportunities to solve those problems.He said the Oregon Transportation Commission had allowed development STIP projects where environmental work and initial preliminary engineering begins to look at those types of projects, for alternatives and cost benefits.He said they were looking at projects for federal earmark in the next transportation bill.He said there is an opportunity with local support to put the project forward for the future and have the opportunity to earn earmarked money.

 

Stinchfield reported that the County still has a project for the Delta Beltline interchange in TransPlan in the County CIP.He said they have a project that would make the interchange safer and has opportunities to deal with the ramps.

 

Sorenson thought the motion should be defeated.He said the state land use laws and the federal transportation law require local officials to consider testimony given at a public hearing.He took that testimony seriously.He didnít think there would be enough money to do the project.He stated federal lands were not purchased for highway purposes.†† He declared he wanted to be true to the vote of the people and pursue an option for a transportation plan.He said it was important to follow the law and to keep working on the issue.He urged the Board not to throw out the projects that had been approved that are in place.

 

Morrison supported the motion.

 

Weeldreyer asked if she decided not to support the motion, and the motion didnít pass, what the next step would be.

 

Childs responded if the vote didnít pass, there is a concept resolution through the Metropolitan Policy Committee.She said the question is whether the West Eugene Parkway moves forward or not.She didnít think that was something that could be resolved at MPC. She said if the vote is not positive that the West Eugene Parkway is dead.

 

Weeldreyer said she wanted future generations to have a chance to see a part of Lane County that is rapidly disappearing.She said the community of Eugene has spoken to say it is something they value as well.She said voting for this raises the expectation that the plan is going to reflect the sensitivity of the area andmitigate and improve the wetlands.She supported the project but wanted everyone to work together to show how it could become a nationwide model.

 

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

 

Dwyer said there were serious safety issues in Springfield that wonít be addressed waiting for this to be built.He didnít think the money would be there to build the project.He thought the project was a bad idea.He said there needs to be connectivity to the coast, but he didnít think this was the best way to do it.He wanted alternate roads to be used.He stated the people in his district did not support this project.

 

c.FOURTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1175/In the Matter of Amending the West Eugene Wetlands Plan to Redesignate Property Within the Modified Project Alignment of the West Eugene Parkway from Protect and Restore to Planned Transportation Corridor. (NBA & PM 5/14/02, 5/29/02 & 7/24/02).

 

MOTION: to adopt Ordinance PA 1175.

 

Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

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

 

Sorenson stated the narrowness of the approval by the city and county government requires them to work harder to solve the transportation problems and to avoid the destruction of the environment by incremental decisions.

 

8.COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

9.EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer recessed the meeting at 12:15 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary