BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS' REGULAR MEETING 

May 14, 2003

1:30 p.m.

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 6/18/03

 

Commissioner Peter Sorenson presided with Commissioners Bill Dwyer, Bobby Green, Sr., Tom Lininger and Anna Morrison present.  County Administrator Bill Van Vactor, County Counsel Teresa Wilson and Recording Secretary Melissa Zimmer were also present.

 

13.  PUBLIC HEARINGS

 

a.  SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/Ordinance No. 03-3/In the Matter of Authorizing the Transfer of Surplus County Owned Real Property Located at 2280 G Street, Springfield to the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation for the Purpose of Providing Affordable Housing (Map No. 17-03-36-12-08600).

 

Jeff Turk, Management Services, explained that this matter is whether to transfer County owned property to the Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) for affordable housing.  He noted the County (through tax foreclosure) acquired the property at 2280 G Street in September of 2001.  He said there is a 1,000 square foot house on the property that was built in 1946.  He commented when the County acquired the property it was in a state of disrepair.  He noted it cost the County approximately $2,500 to clean up the property.  He added HACSA approached him wanting the County to transfer the property to them, but because of all the work that was needed on the property, they thought it would be better handled by NEDCO. He noted that NEDCO has agreed to pay the County $6,000 consideration for the property.  He added it would reimburse the program expenses for the clean up, returning money to the taxing districts and for NEDCO to develop the property for affordable housing.  He reported that NEDCO and HACSA  approached the Housing Policy Board with the idea of  acquiring the property.  He reported there were no objections from any of the entities of the Housing Policy Board. 

 

Dwyer commented he had no objection if the County is made whole.

 

Morrison was not opposed to the transfer to NEDCO.  She thought the direction had been that they would try to utilize the properties to the County’s maximum benefit.  She asked why they didn’t sell this house.  She was concerned about how this was being handled.

 

Turk responded that the Housing and Community Services Agency approached him for using this for affordable housing.  He added that Lane Manual has provisions for this occurrence.  He said it requires that the County make available to the Housing Policy Board and non-profits its inventory of properties.

 

Commissioner Sorenson opened up the Public Hearing.

 

Sandy Halonen, Executive Director, NEDCO, 775 Monroe St., reported they wanted to acquire the home, rehab it and put into their program for first time low-income homebuyers in Springfield.  She said they are in the process of building five homes in Springfield.  She stated they are committed to working in Springfield.  She explained their program is to help low income people build assets.  She commented that being able to put another house into the homeownership program works well with them.

 

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

 

MOTION: to approve Ordinance No. 03-3.

 

Green MOVED,  Dwyer SECONDED.

 

ROLL CALL VOTE: 4-1 (Morrison dissenting).

 

14.  COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Morrison announced that this weekend was Rhododendron Festival weekend.

 

Dwyer noted he and Morrison attended the Food for Lane County luncheon.

 

Sorenson stated that Storm the Stadium would take place on Saturday at Civic Stadium.  He suggested sending out a letter in May or June to all of the city councils asking if they want to meet with the Board.  He asked Van Vactor to set this up.

 

Green announced that on June 18 there would be a joint elected officials meeting in Springfield.  He had been coordinating the recognition for the ACTSO presentation for the three governmental bodies to observe.

 

15.  CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

16.  OTHER BUSINESS

 

a.  ORDER 03-5-14-10/In the Matter of Electing Whether or Not to Hear Arguments on Appeals of a Hearings Official’s Second Reconsidered Decision Regarding the Verification of Nonconforming Use Status of a Race Track Facility and Supporting Structures Within the Cottage Grove Urban Growth Boundary (File PA 02-5472/Leach).

 

Sorenson disclosed he received an e-mail from Assistant County Counsel Stephen Vorhes. He added many people called him about the speedway, asking him to help on both sides. 

 

Sorenson asked if any Board members had ex-parte contacts.

 

Dwyer responded he received e-mails from people using the track.  He responded to one but not the others.  He stated that wouldn’t influence his decision.

 

Lininger commented he discussed the Cottage Grove Speedway many times in the past two years.  He noted that both parties and their attorneys contacted him in writing.  He spoke with all elected officials in Cottage Grove and the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce, members of service clubs that were concerned about economic development, members of Land Watch.  He received a communication from the project proponents.  He said none of these contacts would influence him.  He added he received e-mails, phone calls and personal contacts from opponents of the speedway.  He stated he took a site visit twice in September.  He added he attended a meeting of Speedway proponents.  He commented he wouldn’t base his decision on anything other than the record.  He said he makes an effort to balance his comments.  He added the contacts were not about what the issue is today.

 

Morrison responded that she received several e-mails.  She noted that none of them had any influence.

 

Green explained a few years ago he took a call for Weeldreyer when she was out of the office regarding the speedway.

 

Jerry Kendall, Land Management, passed out Bill Kloos’ letter. (Copy in file.)  He explained today the Board is going to elect whether to hear the appeal.  He noted the election to hear is based on four standards found in Lane Code 14.600 as listed on page 4 and 5 of the agenda cover memo.  He stated neither the planning director nor the hearings official recommend review of this appeal.  He commented that the key in the decision was the applicability of state law governing non-conformed uses, ORS 215.130 and how it blends with Lane Code Chapter 10.  He noted the property is located within the urban growth boundary.  He said if the Board decides that the hearing official ruled properly on his interpretation that Lane Code Chapter 10 does not allow alterations of non-conforming uses, and then staff would recommend that the Board affirm the hearing’s official decision to not elect to hear and let the appeal be carried onto LUBA.

 

Lininger stated the speedway in Cottage Grove is not operating in conformance with land use laws.  He noted the landowner bears a lot of the responsibility for disregarding the rules.  He said there are serious concerns with the speedway.  He said the speedway brings economic benefit to the community, and recreational benefit.  He thought Cottage Grove should annex the property and decide how local people want to manage a speedway in the environment of a city.  He said as to verification, he believed Gary Darnielle, Hearings Official, had done an accurate job of putting together all of the facts in presenting the matter.  Lininger wasn’t interested in hearing the appeal in that the four criteria that were mentioned by Kendall had not been met.  He wasn’t comfortable with Darnielle’s legal conclusions.  He suggested that the PA system would be one small piece that they could refine the review.  He added the safety of the visitor at the speedway is a matter of countywide significance.  He thought the narrow issue might meet the criteria to review.  He didn’t recommend reviewing anything more as a factual matter. He asked if there was a way for them affirming the factual record, but not expressing any deference as to legal conclusions.  He was in favor of affirming to the facts and not defer as to the legal analysis.  He wanted to enforce Darnielle’s ruling as they enforce the other land use determinations as they wait for the appeal to be worked out.

 

Kendall commented Lininger was in favor of Option 2, to not hear the arguments on the appeals and to remain silent on the hearing official’s decision and interpretation of law.

 

Vorhes explained there were two issues.  He noted one is how the Board thinks about adopting the hearing official’s interpretations factual and legal and acting on whether they hear the appeal or not.  He added the other aspect Lininger articulated is through the Board’s decision describing something different in terms of result from the hearing’s official’s decision as it relates to the PA system specifically.  He said in order to do that, the Board would need to hear the appeal, limit it to that issue and then rule on the arguments.

 

Lininger was in favor of not affirming the conclusion and declining to hear the appeal.  He wanted Option 3.

 

Vorhes explained if the Board wanted to hear the appeal on record, it would get the Board to the result of looking at the PA system or any of the other issues that are raised in the appeal.  He noted Option 2 is to not hear arguments on the appeal, affirm the hearing official’s decision and expressly agree with and adopt as the Board’s interpretation of the hearing official.  He explained Option 3 was not to hear arguments on the appeal, to remain silent on the hearing official’s decision and interpretation.  He said that comes down to Lane Code provisions and how the Lane Code provision is interpreted. He added that would be the only place that LUBA deference would be an issue.

 

MOTION: to move the Board not hear the appeal and remain silent on the hearing official’s decision.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

Dwyer didn’t want to get into all the conclusions, he wanted LUBA to deal with the terms of enforcement.

 

Sorenson commented there were legal and factual issues in this appeal.  He said it was important that the major sides involved are all represented and there is community interest.  He thought no matter what the Board did, that decision would be appealed to LUBA. He stated as to the issue of whether not to hear, with deference to the hearing official’s factual conclusions or legal conclusions, if the interpretation of local law were closer in time to the present, he would have been willing to see it that way.  With regard to the public address system, he said the opponents in their brief state the hearings official erred in finding the PA system in 1982 consisted of 20 speakers   He noted the evidence was the public address system in 1982 consisted of four large 2000 horn speakers.  He added the 16 smaller circular speakers were subsequent additions. On the comment of the opponents, he said there is an error in the hearing official’s decision that is sufficient to say they should remain silent on the hearing official’s decision.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

Vorhes passed out the revised order with changes made to the findings 16, 17, 19 and 22 to take out anything stating that the Board specifically adopted and do anything but remain silent on the interpretations.

 

Sorenson said they would take the language-interpreted applicable provisions of state and local law out.  He said they want to remain silent on the hearing’s official’s interpretation.

 

Vorhes explained the language was intended to indicate some of what the hearings official’s decision did.  He noted the Board was affirming the decision.  He added Exhibit B would be the actual reconsidered decision dated April 22.

 

MOTION: to approve ORDER  03-5-14-10 with the changes discussed.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Morrison SECONDED.

 

VOTE: 5-0.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 3:10 p.m.

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary