BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS'

WORK SESSION

May 11, 2004

9:00 a.m. 

Commissioners' Conference Room

APPROVED 6/23/04

 

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

 

1. ADJUSTMENTS TO THE AGENDA

 

None.

 

2. PUBLIC COMMENTS

 

None.

 

3. COMMISSIONERS' REMONSTRANCE

 

None.

 

4. EXECUTIVE SESSION as per ORS 192.660

 

None.

 

5. COUNTY ADMINISTRATION

 

a. Announcements

 

Van Vactor reported that he and Jim Gangle are going to Florence for the regional managerís meeting.He noted one of the topics of the meeting is that they might help Lane County fund certain positions in Assessment and Taxation.He commented when he prepared County Administrationís budget, it listed all the board orders in 2003.He said he would put it in the Boardís circulation mail.

 

6. PUBLIC WORKS

 

a. FOURTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance PA 1197/In the Matter of Amending the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) to Adopt as Part of Periodic Review Metro Plan Housekeeping Revisions, a New Metro Plan Chapter III-C; Environmental Resources Element; a New Metro Plan Diagram; and Adopting Savings and Severability Clauses (NBA & PM 1/21/04, 2/10/04 & 3/17/04).

 

Kent Howe, Land Management, stated the Board received a supplemental packet on May 12 that reflected three changes to the ordinance.He said the first is the retention of the Policy J1.He said the second is finding 4 for forestlands provision, changing that to mimic the current Goal 4 language.He noted Exhibit C is a Metro Plan diagram, that there are two changes on the map that designate two 4J school site, changing them from public designation to one of commercial and residential.

 

Howe indicated the City of Eugene took action on April 21 and they adopted it.He added that Springfield is expected to adopt it next week on May 17.He explained with the changes, the Board has to have another reading for the changes being proposed.

 

Sorenson asked about the deliberations of the Eugene City Council.

 

Kurt Yeiter, City of Eugene, explained that the Eugene City Council deliberated over a couple of meetings.He said they had a series of draft motions and the staff responded and at the April 21 meeting, no other motions to amend were made and it passed unanimously with the amendments.

 

Sorenson asked why the energy component was deleted.

 

Yeiter explained that David Kelly asked for the policy to be retained.He said when the Metro Plan was being reviewed, the utilities requested that that policy be dropped because it had been there for many years and there werenít the resources to do a complete energy plan.He understood the utilities were doing their own energy audits, trying to improve efficiency.He noted that Kelly asked that that policy be retained because he thought it was a good statement of public policy or intent that the County regionally prepares such a plan.He said at the Eugene City Council request, they contacted the utilities and they said if it is retained, to make the elected officials aware that it might not get done without the resources.

 

Sorenson asked what else was in the plan that was required to be done that they are not able to do.

 

Yeiter responded there are still some policies concerning the River Road and Santa Clara area where they were asking for more studies or clarifications on service provisions.

 

Vorhes suggested before the next reading to supply more information on whether that could be developed.He said the proposal in front of the Board and what Eugene and Springfield are scheduled to adopt is not to delete the policy, it is to delete the deletion.†† He noted what happened as a result of the public hearing and the ordinance in front of the Board is that they eliminated that deletion so the policy will remain in the Metro Plan.

 

Sorenson asked what the benefit was in including a broader energy concept in the Metro Plan.

 

Yeiter responded that keeping this as a statement of public policy or a desire for a comprehensive energy plan, and then looking for a long-term strategy.He stated that even though the funding might not be there for the future and it might not meet with state requirements that are imposed on utilities that there is some value to having a statement in the adopted plan.He said it was a value that they stood for.

 

Dwyer asked why they didnít reference the Pudding Creek Heronry.

 

Howe responded that it had policy language that if the herons left the rookery, it triggered a review by ODF & W that if it showed that the nests were abandoned, then there was no need to have the protective measures on the rookery.He added that once they were identified as being abandoned, there is a review that ODF & W did and if in fact a year later the nests were not being used, then that designation would come of the Pudding Creek Heronry and that review process occurred.He stated it has been abandoned and the policies were triggered so now the Pudding Creek Heronry of natural resource will come off.

 

Vorhes said if there is interest on the part of the three elected jurisdictions to look at the issue and provide the protection again, it was something that could be done.

 

Dwyer asked why--when they were talking about open space--that the word ďinterimĒ was used.He asked what that meant.

 

Howe responded that the agricultural designation in the Metro Plan is inconsistent from the standpoint of thinking that it would remain in agricultural use in the Metro Plan.He said those lands are an interim holding zone to allow for future urban development that occurs when the urban growth boundary expands.He said that is the policy the three jurisdictions have had.

 

Dwyer asked why they were changing the designation.He said they used to talk about the urban service area and now they refer to it as urban UGB.

 

Howe explained that the urban growth boundary is the area in which the urban services will be provided.He said they are not changing the use of the word urban growth boundary.

 

Vorhes noted sometimes there was confusion on whether the urban services area was within the area of the urban growth boundary.He said the terminology throughout the Metro Plan is not exactly consistent. He indicated some places use urban service area and some use urban growth boundaries and urban growth areas.He said the effort was designed to use the same terminology throughout.

 

Dwyer asked when they should add the City of Coburg to the Metro Planning process.

 

Howe explained it would be the three jurisdictions conducting a hearing process to determine whether to amend the Metro Plan to include the areas of the City of Coburg.He said it is something the local governments could initiate but it is not part of this periodic review.

 

Dwyer asked what the difference was between the Metro Plan boundary and the urban growth boundary.

 

Howe indicated on Map 3 there are three areas that are out of the UGB.He said to the west of Eugene there is a large area from the airport going south to the Spencer Creek area and that band is outside of the UGB.He added that the LCC basin is outside of the UGB.He said there is also an area outside of Thurston that is outside the UGB.

 

Vorhes explained in the context of the Metro Plan, the idea was to codify by having a Metro Plan boundary that went beyond the urban growth boundary.He stated until the UGB is moved out, the policies that speak of internal open space agricultural donít apply to the areas outside the UGB.He said those are designated and will remain designated until the three jurisdictions agree to change that.

 

Sorenson was concerned because there wasnít any value for open space as being an important urban use of land.He asked in making an amendment to the Metro Plan that Lane County has an obligation to look beyond what they are currently doing.He said with the serious integration of transportation and land use, they are moving ahead with including Coburg in transportation planning because the federal government is requiring it.He said that Coburg is involved in the Metro area transportation planning.He suggested engaging Coburg to get them involved.He thought there should be a policy about downtown revitalization.He also thought they should look at energy conservation with land use planning.

 

Howe indicated they were beyond the deadline.He said they have been working on this for ten years and is a work program that has been adopted by all three jurisdictions.He suggested having a separate discussion after periodic review.He commented if the Board wanted to hold up adoption of this as part of the completion of the periodic review requirements, they could do it.

 

Sorenson asked if they could use road dollars to fund the energy conservation component.

 

Vorhes responded, if they put it in a Metro Plan document it becomes more difficult to maintain the connection.He said they use road fund money to assistin the transportation planning element of the Metro Plan.He said they look at it from a county perspective and how it affects the county road system.

 

Sorenson wanted to involve Coburg in this and they want to have open space between Downtown Eugene and Downtown Coburg.

 

Dwyer asked if the Metro Plan boundary changed from the last time it was adopted.

 

Howe replied that it hadnít changed.

 

Dwyer wasnít willing to let the cities tell the County how agricultural lands are handled and other land outside of the urban growth boundaries.He said the cities have to realize they donít have jurisdiction over areas outside of the urban growth boundary and he wasnít willing to give that away.

 

Green asked about interim use of vacant and undeveloped parcels and interim and temporary use on urbanizable lands.†† He asked if the land could be developed for parkland.

 

Howe responded there are park uses that are allowed in the agricultural designation that arenít developed parks, they are more passive and more primitive.He noted with the interim use, that agricultural production as an interim use is okay on those lands.

 

Yeiter indicated that finding 18, policy 19 refer to urban land or urban agricultural and to them it means inside the urban growth boundary.He noted there was other areas in the Metro Plan boundary were being brought in.He said they have to determine when they work on that if they want the same boundaries.He said there are more communities than just Coburg that would be involved.

 

Sorenson requested a sampling of things they would like to be doing, but are not because they donít have the resources.He wanted the things they are not doing but are currently required to do under the plan or state mandates such as the energy conservation.He wanted them to zero in on the things they are not doing they are required to do that are in the Metro Plan or required by LCDC.He also wanted know the reasons why Coburg and Pleasant Hill are left out of this plan amendment.He wanted Yeiterís view on the topic of an energy conservation component to the Metro Plan that is not focused on utilities but the relationship between land use and conservation.He agreed about the seriousness of the policy issue of including in the Metro Plan and the UGB a map showing additional areas that the UGB could be expanded to and is a policy objective of the government involved.

 

Hampton asked why this process was behind.

 

Howe responded the three jurisdictions adopted a work program and the Board of Commissioners adopted the scope and work program.He said they were going to come back with revisions that would update housekeeping and being consistent with the new Goal 5 policies of the state.He said they have been working on it and the time frames on it and the deadline for completion was June of last year.He said they have been working in a good faith effort to bring closure to it.He noted there are two elements that will go beyond the timeframe.He said they were at a meeting with LCDC a couple of weeks ago.He noted as part of the Goal 5 Rule, the County is doing the safe harbor approach for the natural resources and Eugene and Springfield are doing more specific standard process studies within their UGB and those processes are taking longer because they are doing the inventory and ESEE analysis and then the final conflict resolution and designation of the sites to protect.He said they are planning on being completed with that process in June of 05.He said he was hoping to complete this by June 2004.

 

Dwyer said he had to problem with the UGB, he had problems with the Metro Plan outside of the UGB and needing the other citiesí permission not to include them.

 

Vorhes noted that the other cities couldnít compel Lane County to change things if it wasnít already included.He said the three jurisdictions would need to agree on a change to the Metro Plan that would move the Metro Plan boundary co-terminus with the UGB.

 

Green suggested having another joint elected officials meeting or at MPC where they could raise the question about bringing Coburg in.

 

Van Vactor thought they should have a discussion about developing a County work plan on specific issues they would want to bring to the other governing bodies.

 

Dwyer wanted to have a discussion about allowing productive farmlands to be included in the boundaries.

 

MOTION: to approve a Fourth Reading and Setting a Fifth Reading and Deliberation for June 2 on Ordinance.

 

Morrison MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.

 

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

 

b. FOURTH READING AND DELIBERATION/Ordinance No. 5-04/In the Matter of Amending Lane Code Chapter 16 to Adopt Riparian Protection Regulations to Implement Goal 5 Outside the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area General Plan (Metro Plan) Urban Growth Boundary and Within the Metro Plan Boundary (NBA & PM 1/21/04, 2/10/04 & 3/17/04).

 

Howe explained this item makes Lane Code provisions inside the Metro Plan consistent with the Goal 5 Rule as it deals with safe harbor provisions for riparian protection.He noted the code now establishes setbacks for riparian protection based upon the zoning of the property.He noted as a resourcezone, it is 100 foot a setback and if it is commercial, industrial or residential zone, it is a 50 foot setback.He said to be consistent with the new state Goal 5 Rule, the setbacks are based upon volume of flow of the river.He said it is a 10,000 cubic foot volume or greater.He said the setback is 75 feet and if the volume of flow is less than that, the setback is 50 feet.

 

Sorenson asked how much land would be affected if they were to say for public safety that they would like to have a larger set back for the watercourses.

 

Howe noted that under the safe harbor regulations, if they were going that route under the Goal 5 Rule, they couldnít change the standards.They have to apply the standards that the rule directs. He said they wouldnít have that ability.He said if the Board doesnít want to go safe harbor, then they could change the standards.

 

Sorenson asked what the rationale was to have only 50 feet or 75, as it is totally inadequate.

 

Howe responded it wasnít a hazard zone, it was a zone that is looking at protecting a riparian fringe along the river from development encroachment.He said that standard is acceptable based upon stream flow for providing shade and the aquatic habitats and riparian protection measures that would keep the habitat healthy from striking a balance with development and protecting the stream corridor.He added it is not a hazard regulation that is trying to protect people from erosion events.He said they donít have regulations that deal with channel migration.He said they have regulations dealing with the protection of the riparian fringe and with flood evaluations to protect people in the event of high water events, not from the meander channel.

 

Sorenson asked if the other jurisdictions approved the ordinance.

 

Howe responded they had approved the policy that provides the direction for the ordinance to implement, but they donít have to adopt it.

 

Vorhes commented if they have a discussion of adopting riparian regulations that implement the policy in the Metro Plan, he encouraged the Board to look at the changes they need to make to the policy in the Metro Plan to move away from the safe harbor of the Goal 5 Rule.He said it defines the riparian corridor with the distances.He said it would take an effort by the County to identify the riparian resources through the standard Goal 5 process similar to what is happening inside the UGB, do the inventory, come up with the areas and the regulatory measures designed to protect those riparian resources.

 

Hampton shared Sorensonís concern that people would misinterpret the riparian protection as the public safety standard.He wanted something more site specific related to a soil type.He thought public safety should be their number one priority.

 

Morrison asked if something came in under the safe harbor approach if it was looked at on a site-specific basis.

 

Howe responded that any development application is reviewed on a site-specific fashion that looks at setbacks from rivers and property lines and right-of-ways.With regard to hazards, he said that Lane County doesnít have a map that shows where they have fire hazards that would prevent people from developing, but they do have fuel break requirements.He noted they have steep slope regulations that prohibit development on steep slopes.He said they donít have hazard mapping for river migration.He said they do have flood elevation requirements.

 

Dwyer wanted to scrap the safe harbor.He thought they should do the inventory site specific and give the protection where it is so when people come in they can rely on the County that they have broader goals.He said he would vote against this.

 

Morrison asked what the cost would be in using the inventory approach.

 

Howe recalled they were looking at a $30,000 or $40,000 work program.He said they would have to start over again with notice to the citizens of the specific property owners along the streams, going through an analysis of the inventory of which streams are significant and which arenít.He said when that is completed they have to develop the actual provisions that will govern development alongthose streams and going through the hearing process for the new standards.He thought it would take eight or nine months for the work program to do that.He said they would have to come back to the Board if they do this to find out what projects they wouldnít be doing if they did this.He said the Board would have to make them change the priorities.

 

Vorhes cautioned that in looking at the riparian Goal 5 issues (not necessarily including the Goal 7 natural hazard types of issues ) it is possible they could be folded together, but the issue of safe harbor or standard inventory in the Goal 5 will not get them entirely to public safety and hazard protection of Goal 7.

 

Dwyerís preference would be to fold them together.

 

Howe stated the resources and timeline he gave were limited to the Goal 5 riparian analysis.He said if they were looking at a larger study looking at hazards, he would have to go back to the beginning.He didnít think any jurisdiction had come up with something like that yet.

 

Sorenson asked what the current regulatory context was for the lands that are the subject of this ordinance.

 

Howe responded that it is the zoning that governs the setback.He said if they are in a resource zone, farm or forest the setback is 100 feet, if they are in a developed and committed zone, it would be industrial, commercial and residential zones and the setback is 50 feet.

 

Sorenson wanted to keep what they have, as it is more protective than what the ordinance is proposing.

 

Green disagreed with either plan.

 

MOTION:to move that they direct staff to come back with a conglomerate of protections that would be site specific that would take in both Goal 5 and Goal 7 policy objectives that would be site specific instead of the safe harbor concept that might apply inside with some cities that would create sound public policy based on the common good.

 

Dwyer MOVED, Hampton SECONDED.

 

Vorhes said if the Board wanted to take final action on this today they could, but it would then have consequences with what they have in front of them and the policy package.He said the code provisions implement the policy that is directed in this package.

 

Sorenson supported continuing to work on how they could properly protect the riparian resources.He wanted to know more about the work plan implications.He would not approve the ordinance.

 

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

 

Vorhes stated the current regulations for riparian do not provide public safety, it provides an effect by keeping people away, but it is not addressing public safety and it never had.He said if they adopt something to address the issue that will take into account public safety and flood hazards are two different issues.He said they will report at the Fifth Reading what the effect of this decision is and what if any change needs to be made in the policy that all three jurisdictions have to adopt.

 

With regard to the work program, staffing aspects and the resources that are going to be necessary, Howe said they had spent a decade in getting where they are, where Eugene, Springfield and Lane County adopt a work program that concludes periodic review with two exceptions:the Springfield and Eugene inventories inside the urban growth boundaries and their natural resource study.He said this Board scoped the work program and gave them direction to come back.He said he understands the Board wants to visit the issue of hazards and the Metro Plan boundary in consideration of Coburg.He said the periodic review is a state mandate and he didnít want to hang the County up on a time frame that involves the state because they are going to start a new project and go a different direction.He wanted to complete the periodic review but they could state they wanted to make significant changes and engage with the two city councils and setting up a work program that takes them beyond periodic review where they are in control and it is not under the periodic review statutes of the state.He said they would bring closure to periodic review and move forward with the next planning phase they want to have on the Metro Plan.That was his recommendation.

 

Green indicated the majority of the Board didnít have the desire to implement it.

 

Dwyer concurred as it relates to the urban growth boundaries, but as it relates to the service area boundaries, he was against it.

 

Sorenson didnít agree that the ordinance would never protect public safety.He requested any letters from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Fish and Wildlife Service or Oregon Stateís School of Fisheries about the benefits of making the ordinance it was proposed for adoption.He wanted to see written documentation that this would protect the resources.He wanted an e-mail on what they are planning to do and what the resources are, given the likely reduction in the general fund budget of Lane County, and what he would be doing over the next year with the resources they have so they are better informed on what the consequences of their decision would be today and what the decision might be in two weeks regarding the housekeeping adoption of the Metro Plan map that they might not want to do.

 

Green asked Howe to come back on June 2 instead of responding by e-mail to make it part of the presentation.

 

Vorhes wanted the report to reflect how it affects the simple changes to them now and from the standpoint of by direction of the Board for the periodic review package engage in a review of potential ways to address not only the riparian regulations currently in place designed to protect the riparian resources, but the Goal 7 natural hazards issues they had been articulating.He said in some respects the existing riparian regulation provides some measure of protection even though the line is not drawn for that purpose.He said their current riparian regulations are not there for the purpose of public safety even though they might have an unintended consequence of keeping people safer because they are not developing into the riparian area.He noted it is not their function, from a liability standpoint, even though the message people might get when they build is different.He said that is not the intent and people shouldnít have that understanding because from a liability standpoint the County is going to continue until they take on the role of public safety and implement an policy and regulations that are designed to do that which could happen but currently the regulations on the book are not there for that purpose.

 

7. COMMISSIONERS' ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

Dwyer reported that Food for Lane County was having Chefís Night Out at the Hult Center.

 

Sorenson reported that the LRAPA Board of Directors is continuing to work on the odors from the J. H. Baxter Plant.He noted that so far the LRAPA Board has declined to take this issue away from staff and it is being worked out between LRAPAísstaff and Baxter and the neighbors.He noted a new program called the Walkable Community Workshop with locations in Eugene and Springfield.He said they have trainers coming out to help people.He thought this could possibly held with the obesity problems.

 

8. CORRESPONDENCE TO THE BOARD

 

None.

 

9. COMMISSIONERS' BUSINESS

 

None.

 

10. EMERGENCY BUSINESS

 

None.

 

There being no further business, Commissioner Sorenson adjourned the meeting at 11:10 a.m. .

 

 

Melissa Zimmer

Recording Secretary