BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING

March 19, 2003

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 4/9/03

 

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.

 

12.PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a.PUBLIC HEARING AND FINAL ORDER 03-3-19-6/In the Matter of Withdrawal of County Road Status (But Not the Public Road Status) From Conley Road (County Road Number 56), Located Off the McKenzie Highway (State Highway Number 126) in Section 32, Township 16 South, Range 3 East of the Willamette Meridian (16-35-32-3). (NBA & PM 1/22/03)

 

Bob Ezell, Land Management, passed out a map. (Copy in file.) He stated that Conley Road was a short segment of the Old McKenzie Highway, was originally established in 1896 and ran from Hendricks Bridge to Belknap Springs.He said the County road was transferred to the State Highway Department between 1926 and 1933, and during that course they realigned some of the road.He said that Conley Road was a segment of road that was bypassed during the transfer to the State Highway Department.

 

Ezell stated this was brought to their attention when the Oxleys requested a building permit.†† He explained the Transportation and Planning Department on review of the 10-foot wide width of road stated the road required improvements.He noted the Countyís specifications have a 60-foot roadbed for a frontage road and a 24-foot wide for other roads.He said on review of the road, it was noted as impractical to bring those road standards up because of the severe drop-off on the McKenzie River side.He added there is the extreme cost of construction if there was a survey crew to do construction to design a road.He said the County Engineer dropped his requirements to a 6 to 8 inch gravel surface and the length of the improvement from Tax Lot 2300 to McKenzie Highway is 705 feet.He noted according to the Oxleys, the cost to them is $5,000 to make the gravel improvement.

 

Ezell explained the criteria in the state law is that the County Engineer or road official make a report to the Board of Commissioners on the effects of the proposed road conversion from a County road to a public road.He said the County has criteria.He said they sent the public notice out to convert the road from a County road to a public road.He said they received comments back with mixed response.He added the fire chief of the area expressed no opposition, provided that the landowners continue to use this road as their driveway access point.

 

With regard to consideration, Ezell explained the Directorís Report (page 2) noted 10 items that are considerations of converting the road from a County road to a public road.He said there was the heavy expense of bringing this road into minimum road standards with a 60-foot roadbed.He added he provided public notice as required by statute.

 

Tom Stinchfield, Public Works, reported Sonny Chickering, County Engineer, considered a request to lower the standards from the full County road standard as a condition of the building permit.He said after considering that, Chickering would accept a lower level of road improvement to 12 foot wide, six inches of rock.He indicated at that time that he intended to pursue the conversion of the road from a County road to a local access road because the lower standard was more consistent with that, but it wasnít a requirement of the building permit that the road status change.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.

 

Pricella Oxley, 48148 Conely Road, stated she is developing tax lot 2300.She had a copy of a letter that was sent to their attorney from Chickering stating that they were responsible for the road and it did not require that the County road be altered.She stated to get a permit for a driveway that has existed for 30 years, they were required by the County to have the road 24 foot wide paved with gutters.She said that was impossible because the land couldnít support it.She said it was suggested to them that they could vacate the land.She noted they couldnít do the vacation process so they got an attorney to work on it.She said after a year and a half, the solution was to have 12 foot wide with a pull-out with 8 inches of gravel over the existing road.She said at this point their variances were due to expire within a couple of months.She said they were forced to go ahead and spend $5,000 on it along with $3,000 of attorneyís fees.She had spent money, but the County found out it was a road they were supposed to have been maintaining.She didnít think it was fair that they had to pay to maintain all the deferred maintenance over all the years that the County didnít, for them to get a permit for a driveway that had been there for 30 years.She thought the County should maintain it, as it is an old historic loop.

 

Dwyer asked what she wanted the Board to do.

 

Oxley responded to keep it as a County road and to continue to maintain it from where it is now.

 

Dwyer stated this is not a public access road, it is a County road that the County failed to maintain.He said there is no consequence to the neighbors.He said the County has a duty to maintain County roads.He commented that it slipped through the cracks.

 

Jim Baker, 5101 McKenzie Highway, Vida, stated he is the President of the McKenzie Guardians.He thinks this request to change Conley Road from a County Road to a public road is a misguided request that would facilitate the destruction of a piece of Lane County history.He said this is an historic road and should be kept an unimproved County road.He noted this was only one of two sections of the McKenzie Wagon Road that are in a condition similar to the past.

 

Mary Childs, stated there was no reason to take it out of its status.She thought it should stay the way it is.

 

Bob Lafont, 48160 Conley, Vida, didnít oppose or approve of this because he didnít know what was going on.He said he uses the road the most.He stated that in the three years he had lived there, the County had never maintained the road; the local property owners did.He didnít mind paying his share of the maintenance.He said the Oxleys had done most of the work on the road.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Sorenson closed the Public Hearing.

 

Vorhes explained this came to the attention of Public Works because of the development permit and the requirement for improvement that brought the transportation department into the picture.He said they found out it was a County road and decided this didnít make sense to leave it as a County road status.He stated there was nothing in the code that would do that.

 

Green asked what the County was going to do with this since it hadnít been a part of their system.

 

Stinchfield commented they had not been maintaining the road when they found out it was in County status.He noted that Chickering wanted the County to do minimal maintenance.He said if the Board didnít want to take away the County status, the Public Works would provide minimal maintenance.

 

Lininger thought staff was proceeding in good faith.He said everyone agrees it shouldnít become a wide public road and should remain in its present state.He supported keeping it as a County road.

 

MOTION:to move to not approve the withdrawal of the County road status and continue it as a County road with minimum maintenance.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

Morrison didnít support the motion.She said they have to look at equity issues with other similar roads that are County roads.She said she has roads in her district that had three times the population as this that the County is not maintaining.

 

Dwyer requested a list of all County roads that the County doesnít maintain.

 

Green didnít support the motion.He said based on Lane Manual, the road didnít meet any of the criteria.

 

Lininger supported the motion.

 

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

 

Ezell said he would bring back an order to deny this matter on the Consent Calendar.

 

b.PUBLIC HEARING AND FINAL ORDER 03-3-19-7/In the Matter of Vacating a Portion of Glenada-Sand Dunes Road, Commonly Known as South Jetty Road (County Road Number 1330) Located Approximately .66 Miles West of U.S. Highway Number 101 in the Southwest Quarter (SW ľ) of Section 34, Township 18 South, Range 12 West of the Willamette Meridian, in Lane County, Oregon (18-12-34). (NBA & PM 1/21/03 & 2/12/03)

 

Sorenson recalled this was an item set on the Consent Calendar and it was taken off for a public hearing.

 

Ezell passed out an aerial photo. (Copy in file.)He noted a piece of the road was vacated in 1979.He explained it is an access road into the Department of Agriculture in the Siuslaw National Forest and the proposal is to vacate the road.He recalled it came to the Board on a petition from the Siuslaw National Forest and the Oregon Division of State Lands.He noted that all the Board has to find in the matter is that it is in the interest of the public to do this.

 

Ezell explained the petition is to vacate the westerly section of the South Jetty Road, approximately 300 feet in length.He said the original South Jetty Road was established in 1964 as an access road to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area as managed by the Siuslaw National Forest.He said this road vacation was nearly a duplicate of the one in 1979.He said they found out that the Forest Service had built fee booths on the County road right-of-way and the conclusion of Public Works was to accept a petition to vacate the road that has the fee booth on it.He noted the County had maintained the road up to the fee booths but had not maintained it from the fee booths to the vacated area.He explained if the road is vacated, it would revert back to the Oregon Division of State Lands and they had already granted out an easement to the Forest Service to continue use of the road as it had been in the past.He commented the public would not notice any difference whether or not the road was vacated. He stated he provided all of the necessary public notice as required by the statutes and he had not received any objections.

 

Dwyer asked why it was in the publicís interest to vacate the portion of this road.

 

Ezell responded that the fee booths were on the County road right-of-way and that was a normal use of their County right-of-way.

 

Dwyer stated they illegally put a fee booth in the center of Lane Countyís public road and the fix for it is for the County to fix their error.

 

Ezell commented what Dwyer stated was correct.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.

 

Dave Braley, 4480 Highway 101, Florence, reported the sections of the road go through state property and there are several easements.He noted on March 6, 1959, the State of Oregon provided an easement to Lane County for a road to the sand.He added on January 12, 1978, the state provided the federal government an exclusive easement for the same piece of property.He said on May 8, 1985, the state provided the federal government another exclusive easement incorporating both the previous easement and the easterly extension.He agreed with the staff report that there would be nothing that would change regarding the public and how it is operated.He noted for the past 20 years the Forest Service had done the maintenance on that portion of the road.

 

Morrison stated she was in favor of this.

 

Lininger was in favor of clearing up this mistake.

 

Braley commented that a few years ago there was reconstruction of some of the road.He said in order to accommodate that for a lane of traffic, it is wide at that particular point.He said they have plans to further widen the turning lane.He added they have a letter from the state saying that everything that would be planned is consistent with the easement they received from the state.

 

There being no one else signed up to speak, Commissioner Sorenson closed the Public Hearing.

 

MOTION:to move to approve ORDER 03-3-19-7.

 

Morrison MOVED, Lininger SECONDED.

 

Green left the meeting, but he stated he was in favor of the vacation.

 

Dwyer stated he wouldnít approve it.He stated he pulled it off the Consent Calendar.He said it is on the Countyís property and the Forest Service made the mistake.He commented there are few times when it is in the public interest to vacate a public road.He was voting against this on principle.

 

Sorenson saw argument in favor of the road vacation but he shared the concern that the vacation of Lane County roads should be done carefully. He was concerned that federal lands and state lands should be open to the public.He stated having a County right-of-way increases the accessibility to the public.He thought the federal government should compensate the County for it.

 

VOTE:2-2 (Green excused).

 

††††††† ††Dwyer changed his vote in deference to Green.

 

VOTE:3-1 (Sorenson dissenting).

 

c.SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance PA 1184/In the Matter of Naming an Unnamed Private Road, Iris Hill Lane (19-05-25 & 26). (NBA & PM 1/21/03)

 

Ezell explained this is a proposal to name a long private road that is 1.3 miles long.He noted the applicants are the landowners.He commented that Lane Manual 1502.03 has criteria for road naming and it says it should meet the standards of one word and not exceed 12 letters. He noted that Iris Hill is two words.He said the applicants noted that if they put the words together that it could be construed to be Iris Ill.He said they hoped the Board would make an exception to allow the road name to be Iris Hill.He stated all the addresses are off of Territorial Road and it is hard for delivery people to find them because they donít have a distinctive road name.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.There being no one signed up to speak, he closed the Public Hearing.

 

MOTION:to adopt Ordinance PA 1184.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE(4-0).

 

13.COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

None.

 

14.OTHER BUSINESS

 

Airport Letter.

 

Sorenson explained this was a letter that Bob Noble, Eugene Airport Manager, wrote to him.He noted that the City of Eugene had an airport advisory committee that is made by appointments made by their Director of Public Works.He said for many years the Board of Commissioners designated two representatives on the committee. He said that was out for public notice and now Noble stated they think it is a suitable remedy to not have the Board designate any members and they would name two representatives of the County.

 

Dwyer rescinded the letter because of the principle behind it.He wanted to see how the original agreement was structured.He said if the agreement states the County appoints someone, then that is what they will do.

 

Morrison said there is research that needs to be done to find out what the original agreement said should be done.

 

Sorenson requested that Van Vactor contact Jim Carlson and Bob Noble and ask them to have a briefing to the Board on the history of the Eugene Airport Advisory Committee, bringing whatever information they have involving Lane County government.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:00 p.m.

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary