BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

PUBLIC HEARING

April 30, 2003

6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Harris Hall Main Floor

APPROVED 6/11/03

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Tom Lininger and Anna Morrison present. Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

18. PUBLIC HEARINGS - CONTINUED

 

a. SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1188/In the Matter of Amending the Lane County Rural Comprehensive Plan to Revise the "Significant Mineral and Aggregate Resources Inventory", Redesignate From "Forest" to "Natural Resource: Mineral", Rezone From "F-1/Non-Impacted Forest Lands" to "QM/Quarry and Mine Operations" and Allow Mining For 40 Acres of Land Pursuant to Lane Code 16.400 and 16.252 and the Goal 5 Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR 660-023); and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (File PA 99-5144; B. J. Equipment Company) (NBA & PM 3/19/03).

 

Sorenson asked if any Board members had any additional ex-parte contacts that weren’t previously disclosed.

 

There were none.

 

Sorenson reported that Mr. Still approached him after the hearing and said he didn’t hear the buzzer go off and that CVALCO gave materials to him and they were concerned about the issue.

 

Thom Lanfear, Land Management, said they are required to state that testimony, arguments and evidence must be directed toward the criteria that the person believes to apply to the decision and failure to raise an issue accompanied by statements or evidence sufficient to afford the decision maker and parties an opportunity to respond to the issue precludes appeal to the Board based on that issue. He noted the criteria they will be using are from Lane Code 16.400, 16.252 and the Oregon Administrative Rules, Section 660-023 and the statewide planning goals.

 

Vicki Curry, 82766 Bradford Road, stated she bought her house six years ago with the knowledge of Ross Bradford’s private quarry. She bought her property to raise animals and for the rural atmosphere. She said after the private quarry became a commercial quarry, she investigated the consequences and recognized the potential risks including sound pollution of the blasting and the trucks and the tranquility would be gone. She added there could be potential water table changes on top of the risk of poor water quality already inherent in that location. She noted the safety issues of truck traffic on the country road. She said the additional dust and diminished property values could be significant. She said that wildlife could also be significantly impacted. She asked the Board to take these things into consideration. She added the quality of the resource is questionable. She didn’t think one person should allow profiting at the expense of many others.

 

Bob Meyers, 82701 S. Bradford, stated he was an adjacent landowner to the property in question. He said they held a reasonable expectation that modern land use planning would not permit a conflicting use like the quarry of this scale so close to a residential area. He said the proposed quarry is not a net benefit to the greater good. He added businesses like quarries operate in a competitive environment. He noted he has lived in the area for 15 years and there is a difference between the transitional light traffic of log trucks and the proposed steady use of 40 loads per day of quarry trucks.

 

John Fleishli, 3422 Jacobs Lane, Eugene, was opposed to the quarry for many reasons. He said the number one reason is what it would do to the quality of life in the neighborhood. He said the dust, pollution and noise will affect those living near the quarry and on the truck route. He noted his parents have a holly tree farm and he was concerned about what the dust and pollution would do to them. He was also concerned about what the quarry would do to the stream that runs through the neighborhood. He hoped the Board would not allow the quarry.

 

Gerald Fleischli, 34977 Meadows Lane, Creswell, passed out letters. (Copy in file.) He commented the application is incomplete because conflicts have not been minimized and the ESEE analysis shows its undesirability. He said the true impact area needs to be identified. He commented it was clear from the Planning Commission’s deliberation that there was confusion about whether there could be one impact area or multiple ones. He noted nowhere did the Goal 5 Rule specify that the impact area must be circular, but they require that it be extended where factual information indicates substantial conflicts beyond this distance. He said they have factual information showing impacts of noise and dust on the private haul road from the quarry with expert testimony showing that DEQ noise standards would be exceeded unless mitigation is done. He added by not identifying the true impact area, the applicant has omitted any analysis of conflict with neighbors including noise, dust and other discharges such as aggregate falling off the trucks. He stated the application was incomplete not only because it failed to analyze the true impact area, but it also lacked specificity. He said while there are no identifiable environmental gains, there are both definite and potential environmental losses. He urged the Board to deny this proposal and place a weight limit notice on Cedarcroft Road as requested by the neighbors’ petition of August 1999.

Linda Fleischli, 34977 Meadow Lane, Creswell, commented that her neighborhood attracts wildlife. She said many of her neighbors do not wish to expose the landscape to the risks of truck traffic. She commented the pollution from the trucks would be a health threat. She noted the placement of the quarry is in conflict with big game habitat. She said her neighborhood deserves attention. She asked the Board to keep in mind that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

 

Diane Lane, 82841 Bradford, Creswell, stated she and her husband bought their property in 1992. She added this is the place they plan to retire. She is concerned the proposed rezoning and commercial quarry operation would destroy her area. She objected to the proposal because of the impact that blasting and trucking will have on their water and the quality of life. She was concerned about wildlife because the primary trucking route to and from the quarry crosses Wildcreek and various sections of wetlands of Cedarcroft and Bear Creek Roads. She added with the quarry will come decreased property values and quality of life. She urged the Board to deny the application for rezoning.

 

Rick Mulholland, 82841 Bradford, Creswell, stated they purchased their home in 1992 due to its location in a quiet rural neighborhood. He noted at that time they researched the zoning in the area and found out it was rural residential agricultural and forestland use. He commented that now he and his neighbors’ quality of life is jeopardized by the quarry proposal. He thought the rezoning would be incompatible with the land use designation of the area that did not exist before. He commented that most of his neighbors he spoke with said they would have not purchased their homes if they had known that this was going to happen and future buyers would think the same. He noted the negative impacts from the quarry would not be limited to the forestlands that is circling the quarry site, but also includes the neighborhood roads to which the only access roads pass. He hoped the Board would reject this proposal.

 

John Henzie, 82882 Bradford, commented there was nothing from preventing the current owners of the quarry to sell it to a large company. He added there could be a quadrupling of the number of trucks that would be traveling the street. He said the quarry represents a significant change in the truck traffic to the community in addition to the dust issues.

 

Mike Butler, 826 McKenzie Crest Drive, Springfield, supported the quarry recommendation. He noted his company has built over 700 houses in Lane County. He has known the Jeremiah family for 35 years. He said their goal is not to make this a large commercial operation. He said there needs to be a commercial operation of aggregate and this is a right place for it. He commented he built homes in an area that borders gravel pits and people do live near quarry areas.

 

John Bianco, P. O. Box 271, Creswell, didn’t think gravel was in short supply in the area. He said the proposed Bradford quarry is located less than two miles from an existing quarry. He noted the Sears quarry is visible on the east side of I-5. He commented there are no houses near that quarry and few on Sears Road that is a paved haul road. He noted the proposed quarry is near a number of houses and the haul road is not built for heavy truck traffic. He is opposed to removing any more of the resource lands from timber production. He commented that the site is a significant resource land and should not be converted into a gravel quarry.

 

Lisa Bianco Davis, P. O. Box 271, Creswell, agreed with a lot of the comments that were made. She added her family owns over 170 acres of forestland and the best use of forestland is in growing forests. She asked how many quarries the area needed. She asked the Board to reject the gravel pit.

 

John Letcher, 82810 Bradford, Creswell, commented a family just moved into the area with no knowledge of the potential for a commercial quarry in the area. He stated there was no way to have an operation like a commercial quarry and not impact homes and property by where they want to run the trucks. He said it would have an impact on their daily lives from noise to safety. He urged the Board to realize that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one.

 

Brenda Olson, 82879 Bear Creek, Road, stated they have lived on their property for 38 years and have enjoyed its quiet setting. She commented the trucks from the quarry travel fast as they are under time constraints. She added it is dangerous for walkers as there are no shoulders on the narrow road. She asked the Board to consider how they would like to have a quarry next to their home when they make a choice on whether this area should remain a rural residential area.

 

Rick Hojnachnis, 82910 Bradford, said he and his wife had recently purchased their home. He had no idea that a quarry pit would be going in until a few days ago. He commented he probably wouldn’t have purchased the property. He urged the Board to think before they issue a permit for the rezoning.

 

Jerome Garger, 1644 Rosie Turn, stated the quarry will cause lower property values. He said the wells would probably run dry. He said there would be an increased danger to wildlife, pets, children and residential motorists as heavy gravel trucks go by people’s homes. He noted that Lloyd Holtcamp requested that zoning changes be denied because of safety issues and conflict with the Lane County transportation plan have never been satisfactorily resolved. He hoped as part of the Board’s decision making process they uphold all the rules and take into account the greater good of the community of more than 80 families versus the desire of one person to profit.

 

Carole Matthews, 82750 S. Bradford, stated they moved onto their property six years ago. She is against the zone change because their home is located directly below the 40 acres in question and they have already had mudslides from the clear cut that was done above their property by Mr. Bradford. She is concerned that eventually the blasting out of the 40 acres will further affect their property and more slides might occur. She said they had already had problems with the settling of the land. She commented the trucks would be coming around a corner that is a blind turn. She thinks that Bradford only cares about his financial gains and does not care about the land or wildlife.

 

Lon Robertson, 82055 Bear Mountain Road, testified against the proposal. He said Bear Creek Road will be affected by truck traffic and it will be hard for people to walk and ride in the bike paths. He urged the Board to deny the proposal.

 

Jim Spickerman, Attorney for the applicant, said this area has in the past and will continue to have extensive logging. He noted in the record there is a soils study, a timber management plan and it references Area 10, which is the area where this quarry will be. He added the area is the worst possible place to grow timber. He said the need for the resource is not a criteria. He commented that the Sears quarry was not ODOT grade and would not be a significant resource in terms of the hardness. He said it was not an alternative.

 

With regard to water discharge, Spickerman said as indicated by Mr. Christianson in his report, there will not be water discharge from the site. He said there would be a requirement of the DEQ storm water discharge permit if waters were to be discharged from the site. He noted the conflicts analysis had been appropriately done and the biggest concerns of people are truck traffic (that is not a conflict addressed by Goal 5 Rule.) He said there had been an attempt to personalize this; that Mr. Bradford is making money at the expense of others. He said with the Goal 5 Rule, the judgments have been made by the state that this is a natural resource and it should be made available and it set out the rules to do that. He said they think they have complied with the rules and the application should be approved. He requested the record be kept open for two weeks.

 

Green asked what was Spickerman’s understanding of reasonable and practicable in terms of minimizing the conflict. He said the Planning Commission had a majority vote and they believed the conflicts could be minimized.

 

Spickerman explained the Planning Commission recommended approval of the application and they did not find that there were conflicts with surrounding uses. He noted there is an impact area of 2100 feet and there were not any residences or any uses that were adversely impacted within that impact distance. He commented the only negative aspect of the Planning Commission is the issue of imposing fees for road impacts. He added that came up late in the process and did not get resolved. They left it up to the Board to work out the issue. He noted that was the only conflict.

With the issue of delay, Lininger asked if they could dismiss it on these grounds. He commented the Lane Manual language that had been cited by Fodor might no longer be binding. He asked to what extent did the delay implicate Goal 1. He asked what the definition was of the impact area and whether mining and processing could be construed to include transportation. He asked if staff could insist on full-width paving as a condition. He asked whether the impact of the applicant’s proposal really does necessitate full-width paving and whether that constitutes an exaction. He wanted to have the limit of 40 loads per day be set with firm levels. He asked if transportation safety issues were under Goal 5 or Goal 12.

 

Dwyer said he would be concerned about jake brakes, the number of trips, the hours of operation and the dust. With regard to activity that results from blasting, he said there should be a way to indemnify those people who are in close proximity from any damage that might result from that type of activity. He said there are a lot of things that need to be considered.

 

Sorenson said they needed to zero in on case law, interpreting those rules regarding the specifics of an impact area beyond the property that is sought to be rezoned for a rock quarry as opposed to a gravel operation. He asked about a condition to require the applicant to pay for the cost of the road both to and from the operation. He asked if it would be considered an appropriate exaction of government power over a landowner who has a right to use public roads. He added assuming the impact area is beyond the area where the quarry would be expanded, he wanted to know the impacts for traffic hazards in light of the testimony about use of the roads for recreational purposes. He was interested in the number of trips per day. He requested additional written material on these topics.

 

Sorenson suggested keeping the record open until May 21, 2003 at 5:00 p.m.

 

With regard to the site visit, Spickerman thought it was important for the Board to visit the site.

 

Fodor agreed that a site visit would be important. He wanted to participate in the process. He recalled some of the questions that arose were in the testimony that he submitted to the Board. He stated they would need three weeks to respond to the applicant.

 

Morrison requested a real estate comparable with property values in sales west of Delta Sand and Gravel with regard to loss of value of property. She said the value of those properties would be different and more in line with what is out in the area than what is off of Ayres Road.

 

Lanfear recommended leaving that to the applicant.

Lanfear said they are leaving the record open for three weeks for both sides to turn in information.

 

Sorenson said they would leave the record open to May 21, 2003, at 5:00 p.m. to submit additional comments to the Board of any type relevant to these proceedings and then the rebuttal to those comments would be due June 11, 2003 at 5:00 p.m. He said the agenda team would be setting this for a site visit on Tuesday May 13, 2003 at 2:30 p.m.

 

Lanfear recalled there is a one-week period to June 18, 2003, after the record has closed for the applicant to provide a final rebuttal, argument only.

 

MOTION: to leave the record open until May 21, 2003 for both sides to submit additional evidence and argument; an additional three week period for response to the materials submitted during the first period, July 11, 2003; a one week period for the applicant to submit final rebuttal to June 18, 2003. All expire at 5:00 p.m. He added the Board will leave for the site visit from the Public Service Building on May 13, 2003 at 2:00 p.m. arriving a the gravel quarry at 2:30 p.m.

 

Morrison MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

Lininger wanted to not only visit the site of the quarry, but the neighborhoods in question. He also wanted to see a typical gravel truck.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Sorenson closed the public hearing.

 

With regard to the site visit, Sorenson requested the Board attend with Vorhes, Spickerman and Fodor. He also included Stinchfield.

 

Spickerman requested Mr. Jeremiah be present as well as representatives of the neighborhood group.

 

Lanfear commented it was not an opportunity to present new evidence, the Board is at the quarry to observe the situation.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary