BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'
September 25, 2002
Commissioners' Conference Room
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 Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.
14. PUBLIC HEARINGS
a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1176/In the Matter of Naming an Unnamed Private Road, Northpole Lane (19-02-03). (NBA & PM 8/21/02)
Tom Drechsler, Land Management, reported this was the Second Reading and Public Hearing to consider naming a private road. He noted it was in the Pleasant Hill neighborhood off Enterprise Road. He added one of the properties served by the road is the Christmas Tree Farm and in connection with that business, the applicant wanted to name the road Northpole Lane.
Drechsler stated the name met the criteria in the manual for new road names. He said they provided a referral notice to the fire district, 911, and the Post Office. He added he had not heard any negative feedback. He noted that legal notice of the hearing had been provided and he recommended approval.
Commissioner Dwyer opened up the Public Hearing. There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.
MOTION: to adopt Ordinance PA 1176.
Weeldreyer MOVED, Green SECONDED.
ROLL CALL VOTE: 4-0. (Morrison out of room.)
b. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 11-02/In the Matter of Amending Chapters 10 and 16 of Lane Code to Revise the Telecommunication Tower Standards, and Declaring an Emergency. (NBA & PM 9/11/02)
Kent Howe, Land Management, recalled the Board conducted a Public Hearing on April 10 and issues were forwarded to the Planning Commission for work on the ordinance. He explained those issues were notice, setbacks, siting standards, the performance bond requirements and review standards. He said the Planning Commission conducted an additional work session on May 7 and they came up with recommendations regarding three of the five areas.
Howe commented under notice, it was open-ended, requiring notice of not more than 30 days in advance of a meeting. He said the Planning Commission recommended putting in at least 14 days but not more than 30 days.
Howe said under setbacks, the Planning Commission recommended an increase to 1,200 feet from dwellings and they also added schools to the setback requirement in their recommendation. He noted they made no recommendation to changes to the sitting standards. He added under the performance standards, they recommended a performance bond review that would assure that upon abandonment of the facility that there would be adequate funds to cover the cost of removal and restoration of the site if it were abandoned. He added under review standards, they didn’t recommend any changes.
Howe stated the Board conducted a work session on this on June 18 and recommended that the staff move this forward in ordinance form to prepare for the public hearing. He said they sent out the 45-day notice to LCDC on August 8 and because they are adding restrictions to the land use regulations, it required a Ballot Measure 56 notice. He said approximately 40,000 notices went out to property owners outside of the city limits of the small cities and outside of the urban growth boundaries of Eugene and Springfield at a cost of approximately $10,000. He stated those notices were sent out on August 23. He said The Register-Guard published a legal ad on September 4 for the Public Hearing and the Board conducted a First Reading on September 11.
Howe noted he received approximately 80 phone calls on how it would reduce people’s property values. He added he received a letter that the Board received from Dan Stotter about the definition of tract and contiguous ownership. He said that staff thinks the ordinance specifically addresses the issue of setbacks as it deals with the definition of tract, that the application requires the owner of the property in granting authorization before an application can be made. He noted the definition of tract is the contiguous property under the same ownership. He stated that covered whether either the applicant who owns the subject property or the landowner (if the applicant is leasing the property). He said the contiguous ownership is what is being addressed when it comes to setback requirements.
Commissioner Dwyer opened up the Public Hearing.
Nina Lovinger, 40093 Little Fall Creek, Fall Creek, read a recommendation from Martin Conner of Torrington, CT. She said that Lane County should hire experts at the applicant’s expense to review the applications. She said the City of Eugene’s telecommunication ordinance has a provision for an independent expert review but because it is not integrated into the application process, the provision had been rendered useless. She noted under 16.2643 (IX) the director can request in the application form, peer review by an independent engineering firm. She said it is discretionary by the director. She didn’t know if Lane County would follow what the City of Eugene, whose similar provision had never been utilized. She asked if Lane County could ensure that the applicant’s technical information is accurate, thorough and pertinent. She said this ordinance along with the proposed amendments could go a long way ensuring that cell phone transmission towers would be appropriately placed in Lane County. She encouraged the Board to approve the amendment recommended by the Planning Commission and the recommendations made by Dan Stotter.
Mona Lindstromberg, Veneta, stated this is a countywide issue and not about stopping the placement of all cell phone transmission towers. She said it had been about the appropriate placement away from homes and schools. She said it is about service providers and tower companies knowing that neighborhoods cannot be bullied. She said they had tried to show that in the long term it is fiscally prudent for tower company providers to work with people that they impact most. She said the Lane County telecommunication ordinance with the amendments recommended by the Lane County Planning Commission will go far in protecting Lane County residences from the intrusive nature of those facilities while in no way infringing on their ability to provide service. She asked the Board to include Stotter’s definition of applicant’s tract in the code in order to clarify the intent and purpose of the setback provision. She hopes Land Management will implement this ordinance with due diligence and make sure it stays in step with the changing technology. She asked the emergency clause to be included.
Heather Kent, 24214 Suttle Road, Veneta, echoed what Lindstromberg and Lovinger had recommended. She said it was important to keep what was in the ordinance about funds the applicant needs to put up in advance.
Martha Johnson, explained the federal government had issued a document through the FCC, mentioning that it wasn’t uncommon for local governments to contract with an RF engineer. She added it was common across the United States that applications are reviewed by an independent engineer. She urged the Board to adopt the amendments that are proposed by the Planning Commission and making the language change that Stotter recommended about the applicant’s tract.
Kathy Haworth, 25921 Crow Rd., Eugene, encouraged the Board to examine keeping the telecommunication towers away from neighborhoods and schools and areas where children play. She thought forestlands should be utilized.
Dan Stotter, 259 E. 5th, Portland, thought the Board was moving in the right direction. He said the amendments were necessary and he didn’t think they were controversial but said they were important and the addition of schools and the 1,200 foot setback were important. He said the Board was ready to move on the matters except there is a legal requirement for notice and notice was set. With regard to the coverage of the applicant’s tract issue, he agreed with staff about the intent to cover all contiguous property. His concern is that by referencing only the applicant’s tract, they could have an applicant and landowner who are different. He suggested stating in the ordinance: the applicant/landowner’s tract. He said that way there is no confusion about the subject property. With regard to technical expertise, he didn’t think that should delay the Board from moving forward with the already noticed amendment. He thought the issue of technical expertise is a broader question than in the cell tower context. He suggested having it go to the Planning Commission with direction to look at the idea of the applicant paying for expertise to enable Land Management to do its review functions in a variety of ways.
Vorhes noted there is currently a definition for application, but there is an indication that the owner of the property has to sign the application. He said the provisions of 16.264 and 10.400 talks about a tract and defines it as contiguous property under the same ownership. He said they had defined tract in a way that meets with the concerns that were raised. He said if there were interest from the Board to make additional clarification, it would require a change to come back to the Board for an additional two readings, and recommended additional readings.
Sorenson asked if it were possible under this proposed ordinance for someone other than a landowner to be an applicant.
Stotter said there could be an applicant who is not a landowner. He said although the landowner may be signing the application, it might not be clear that the setback requirement applies to the landowner’s property, just because they signed the application. He said there is no harm in adding the language “or landowner.” He disagreed with Vorhes in the need to notice. He said it was the intention to cover the landowner and application and this is not a substantive change, it is an administrative change that clarifies the Board’s intention. He encouraged the Board to add the language but not to delay the process.
Howe explained the applications were property specific to the owner of the property who has to sign as part of the application. He noted the ordinance as written is property owner specific. He said an application has to reference the subject property to which the cell tower is proposed to be located. He added the property couldn’t be part of the application without the owner’s signature being part of the application.
Vorhes said the applicant’s application includes the signature of the property owner. He said they were one and the same. He noted as a legal matter he didn’t think the change was necessary, but it was up to the Board to include language in the code that clarifies the change, and should be done today for the next reading to shorten the timeframe for action on the change. He said the issue of notice and intent is not the only issue to be concerned about. He recommended including the changes with the two readings 13 days apart.
Mickey Scott, 30764 Koinoia Rd., Eugene, supported an independent review, the setbacks and cell phone towers not being located around schools or homes.
Cindy Driscoll, 11460 E. Mapleton Road, Mapleton, asked if there were any applicants in her area.
Jeannie Hunt, 3049 Hawkins Lane, represented Weyerhaeuser Company. She stated that Weyerhaeuser does lease sites for communication. She said they would consider themselves the applicant but it would be their obligation to sign as landowner and have the responsibilities for setbacks. She said the leaseholder would be the applicant. She was concerned about the permit applying to the contiguous property. She noted it should be to an area around the site.
Dwyer suggested that there be contiguous properties within a community of interest.
Howe explained that prior to an applicant making an application, they send notice meeting the Lane Code Chapter 14 requirement that are 750 feet in resource lands and 500 feet in exception areas to adjacent property owners and that distance is measured from the perimeter of the property line. He added in addition to the notice, the applicant is responsible for making an application to Lane County. He said once they make an application to Lane County, a public hearing is conducted and that notice is sent to people within one-half mile of the boundaries.
Vorhes noted under Chapter 14 they used the concept of contiguity on all land use applications. He said it was not a new concept they included in this set of regulations, it is something that is always used as a measure for notice in any land use application that goes out for any land use activity on any property that is processed through the code provision. He said if they were to refine the notice provisions of this ordinance, he recommended doing it in the context of these regulations and not necessarily with the whole system they currently have in place.
Sorenson suggested making the landowner part of the ordinance to conform to the intent. He said they should pass the ordinance and have all the matters referred to the Planning Commission.
Green requested a Third Reading and Deliberation and discussion to combine the two issues and then if there were outstanding matters that need the planning commission reviews, he would support that.
MOTION: to approve a Second Reading and Setting a Third Reading and Deliberation, including language in Lane Code 10.400-30(5), inserting property owner/applicant’s tract in both places in the section where applicant’s tract is used and in Lane Code 16.264(5 e), doing the same thing for Ordinance No. 11-02 on October 16, 2002.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Morrison stated that once a performance bond is paid for, it would not go away.
Dwyer recommended having the Planning Commission work on the definition of technical assistance and when it might be required.
Sorenson suggested sending to the Planning Commission the matter of the notice for land use matters and whether the notice is getting to the people.
Vorhes passed out copies of 10.400-30(5). He inserted property owner/applicant’s tract in the two places that it appears. He recommended if the language was satisfactory, to move the second reading and set the third reading and deliberation for October 16.
MOTION: to approve a Second Reading and Setting a Third Reading and Deliberation for Ordinance No. 11-02 on October 16, 2002 with the proposed revisions.
Green MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.
Vorhes noted the sections will now read: “The proposed telecommunications tower is sited at least 1,200 feet from nearby residences and schools not on the property owner/applicant’s tract or as far away from nearby residences and schools as it is sited from the closest dwelling on the property owner/applicant’s tract, whichever is greater.”
15. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS
Weeldreyer said the Board needs to rank the needs and issues inventory and have it back to Mike Meyers by this Friday so it could go into next week’s agenda packet as LCOG has to decide on this by October 3.
Dwyer stated he attended the POW/MIA event in Springfield.
Sorenson announced he attended the Labor Council meeting to discuss the Yes on Parks campaign. He said that tomorrow night he and Bonny Bettman were hosting a program called Jobs and Smart Growth.
16. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD
17. OTHER BUSINESS
There being no further business, Commissioner Dwyer adjourned the meeting at 3:30 p.m.