Lane Code Chapter 16 FAQ's

Did you receive a notice like this in the mail from Lane County?



FREQUENTY ASKED QUESTIONS


Proposed amendments to Lane Code Chapter 16 resource zones
Code Modernization Project  |  File No. 509-PA18-05035

1. What is this project / File No. 509-PA18-05035?

Amendments are proposed to Lane Code (LC) 16.090 (Definitions), LC 16.210 (F-1 Non-Impacted Forest Zone), LC 16.211 (F-2 Impacted Forest Lands Zone), LC 16.212 (Exclusive Farm Use Zone), and LC 16.214 (Marginal Lands Zone). Lane Code Chapter 16 contains our zoning regulations for all rural land in Lane County.

2. Why did I receive a notice that proposed land use regulations may affect the permissible uses of your property, and other properties in the affected zone, and may change the value of my property?

 In 1998, Oregon’s voters passed a law known as Ballot Measure 56. It requires that notices like the one you may have received be mailed to landowners when a change in land-use laws might limit use of their property. The law requires that the notice include specific language, including “may affect the permissible uses of your property, and other properties in the affected zone, and may change the value of my property.” However, Lane County does not know how these amendments might affect the value of your property, if at all. In fact, it is feasible that these changes could add value to rural properties. Ultimately, to determine the effect on the use or value of a property, owner(s) may evaluate the draft code amendments and contact the Lane County Assessment & Taxation office with questions about property value and how it is calculated. If you have a general question about zoning and land use regulations, feel free to contact a planner-on-duty at 541-682-3577. If you have a question about this proposed code amendment or the Ballot Measure 56 notice, please contact Lindsey Eichner, Senior Planner at 541-682-3998.

3. Why did my neighbor receive the Planning Commission hearing notice, but I did not?

Notices were sent to owners of land in the Non-Impacted Forest (F-1), Impacted Forest (F-2), Exclusive Farm Use (EFU), and Marginal Lands (ML) zones. The mailing list was generated from the current tax roll of the Lane County Assessor. If you very recently purchased property, do not own the property in one of these zones, or if you own or reside on property that is not within one of these zones, you may not have received the notice.

If you did receive the notice and would like to share it with your neighbors, please feel free to share the notice and this FAQ.

4. Why are code amendments being proposed?

The County has not thoroughly modernized or reformatted its land use regulations, contained in Lane Code Chapter 16, since their initial adoption in 1984. While periodic updates have been completed and new code provisions have been added over the years, the regulations have not been comprehensively updated in over 30 years. Needless to say, Chapter 16 is out-of-date and many areas contain inconsistencies, poor formatting, and are difficult to understand.

These changes are being proposed to: employ a more user-friendly, readable format; implement current Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) and Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS); modernize terminology and update definitions of terms; and streamline review processes.

5. What properties will this affect?

These amendments will affect properties zoned Non-Impacted Forest Lands (F-1), Impacted Forest Lands (F-2), Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) Zone, and Marginal Lands (ML). Questions about your property’s zoning? See more information in this FAQ below.

6. What is my zoning? What is zoning?

You can view the zoning of your property by entering in your address or assessor’s map and tax lot number at: www.lanecounty.org/epil or you can ask a planner on duty (541-682-3577). The notice mailed to you should also contain the zone name on it.

In general, zoning has been adopted for each lot or parcel in the County. Zoning establishes the uses and development that are permitted, require a land use application(s) subject to certain standards and criteria, or prohibited. Zoning also sets forth some of the standards (e.g. property line setbacks, riparian setbacks, requirements for signs, and siting standards) that development must abide by.

7. Is my property being rezoned?

No. The zone assigned to your property will not change. If approved by the Board of County Commissioners, the proposal will only affect the regulations of the zone section that applies to F-1, F-2, EFU, and ML-zoned property.

8. How will these changes affect me? What can I do with my property now that I won’t be able to do if these changes are adopted?

This largely depends on the zoning of your property and what you plan to do on your property. After identifying your property’s zoning, see Table 1 below for a general summary of how the proposed code amendments (if approved by the Board of County Commissioners) would affect your property use. Please note that this is not intended as a complete list of the proposed changes. If you have questions about Type I through IV procedure types that are referenced in the below table, please see more information about Type I-IV procedures in this FAQ below.


TABLE 1 - SUMMARY OF PROPOSED AMENDMENTS

F-1, F-2, EFU, and ML Zones

• If you plan to apply for a small in-home business (subject to certain limitations), previously it may have required a Home Occupation Director-review (Type II) application and now it would require a Type I application

• If you plan to apply for a new Home Occupation application, the current code requires a renewal application every 1-2 years. Under the proposed amendments, this renewal would no longer be required as a condition of a Home Occupation approval.

• State Law requires development or "siting" standards to protect big game habitat. Dwellings and structures that are subject to a Type I application would be subject to new proposed "clear and objective" siting standards, i.e. standards that do not require a Type II Director level review. A Type II application would only be required if these clear and objective siting standards are not met.

• Guest houses uses and conversion of lawfully existing dwellings to a guest house have been allowed in these zones through County practice and policy interpretation. These uses would now be explicitly listed uses to clarify these uses are not prohibited and are allowed either through a Type I or II procedure. The use type would depend on whether clear and objective siting standards are met.

• If you plan to apply for a telecommunications tower collocation, the current code requires a Director-level (Type II) application and would now be a Type I administrative review application

• Mass outdoor gatherings are new listed uses allowed through Type I or III (LCPC Hearing) in the F-1, F-2, and ML zones

• The current code does not allow any illumination of signs and now illumination would be allowed. The code would only prohibit signs that are flashing, blinking, contain scrolling images, or capable of movement.

Non-Impacted Forest Lands (F-1) Zone

• Caretaker residences for public parks and public fish hatcheries are currently a permitted (Type I) use and would now be a Type II use

• Parking of up to seven dump trucks is proposed as new use (Type II)

• Firearms training facility is in the current code a Type III use that requires a public hearing and would now be Type II use that usually would not involve a public hearing. However, the Planning Director can still elevate a Type II application to a public hearing if sufficient concerns are raised by neighbors.

• Storage structures for emergency supplies to serve communities located in tsunami inundation zones proposed as new use (Type II)

• Some uses currently require a Director-level land use application (Type II) and would now be a Type I use including: Uses to conserve soil, air, and water quality and to provide for wildlife and fisheries resources; Uninhabitable structures accessory to fish and wildlife enhancement; Temporary portable facility for the primary processing of forest products; Temporary forest labor camps; Exploration for mineral and aggregate resources as defined in ORS Chapter 517; Local distribution lines (e.g., electric distribution transformers, poles, meter cabinets, terminal boxes, pedestals), or equipment that provide service hookups, including water service hookups.

Impacted Forest Lands (F-2) Zone

• Caretaker residences for public parks and public fish hatcheries are currently a permitted (Type I) use and would now be a Type II use

• Parking of up to seven dump trucks is proposed as new use (Type II)

• Mining and processing of oil, gas, or other subsurface resources, as defined in ORS chapter 520, and not otherwise permitted by 4.2 (e.g. compressors, separators, and storage servicing multiple wells), and mining and processing of aggregate and mineral resources as defined in ORS chapter 517 uses are currently Director level review (Type II) uses and would now require a Type III review with a public hearing

• 'A wildlife habitat conservation and management plan…' and a 'disposal site for solid waste that has been ordered established by the Environmental Quality Commission…' uses have been deleted because they are no longer applicable per State Law

• Storage structures for emergency supplies to serve communities located in tsunami inundation zones are proposed as new use (Type II)

• Some uses currently require a Director level land use application (Type II) and would now be a Type I use including: Uses to conserve soil, air, and water quality and to provide for wildlife and fisheries resources; Uninhabitable structures accessory to fish and wildlife enhancement; Temporary portable facility for the primary processing of forest products; Temporary forest labor camps; Exploration for mineral and aggregate resources as defined in ORS Chapter 517; Local distribution lines (e.g., electric distribution transformers, poles, meter cabinets, terminal boxes, pedestals), or equipment that provide service hookups, including water service hookups.

Exclusive Farm Use (EFU) Zone

• Cider businesses on apple and pear orchards are a new use (Type I), subject to certain standards. Certain activities in conjunction with a cider business may be allowed through a Type I or II procedure.

• For a proposed ‘outdoor mass gathering of more than 3,000 persons’ use, a public hearing would now be required

• Kennel, Commercial; or Kennel, Commercial Breeding; or dog training classes or testing trials would now be a Type II Conditional use on high value farm lands in addition to non-high value farm land

• For a proposed farm stand, new minimum development standards related to circulation, parking, and outdoor lighting, etc. will need to be met

• If you plan to apply for a new Commercial Activity in conjunction with a farm use, you may now need to meet new criteria such as "products and services provided must be essential to the practice of agriculture..." and "the commercial activity must enhance the farming enterprises of the local agricultural community to which the EFU land hosting that commercial activity relates"

• For a proposed primary or accessory farm dwelling on non-high value (marginal lands) soils that requires the minimum income test, the income test is increased from $32,500 to $40,000

• For a proposed primary farm dwelling, the subject parcel will also need to comply with the minimum lot or parcel size of the EFU zone

• If a lawful dwelling is demolished or destructed and a "replacement dwelling" is later proposed, the maximum timeframe between demolition/destruction and a replacement dwelling would be five years per State Law. I.e. a replacement dwelling for a dwelling removed more than five years ago would not be an allowable use.

• 'Destination resort' and 'wildlife habitat conservation and management plan...' uses have been deleted because they are no longer applicable in State Law or Lane County

• Any outdoor gathering of more than 3,000 persons that is anticipated to continue for more than 120 hours in any three-month planning period currently requires a Director-level (Type II) land use application and would now be a Type III use and require a land use application involving a public hearing

Marginal Lands (ML) Zone

• Recreational marijuana uses would now be allowed as a Type I or II use


9. Where can I find the full language of proposed code amendments?

Proposed amendments to each of the sections (Lane Code Chapter 16.090, 16.210, 16.211, 16.212, and 16.214), comparison tables of the proposed amendments with current code language, and additional information is available online at: http://www.lanecounty.org/CMP . Additionally, the proposed drafts and staff report may be viewed at Land Management Division located at 3050 N Delta Highway, Eugene, Oregon and copies are available for purchase upon request.

10. How will these changes affect my building permit or land use application or decision?

Proposed amendments, if approved by the Board of County Commissioners, would apply to new development projects submitted on or after the date the amendments become effective. In general, if you have a land use application that has already been deemed complete (and not void pursuant to ORS 215.427), the standards in effect at the time that application was first submitted apply. If you have a land use approval that has an effective period has not yet expired, the proposed amendments do not affect that approval. An exception to this last statement is if you have received an extension to the effective period of an approved decision and the applicable criteria changed substantially – this might require a new land use application and the decision may no longer be eligible for extensions.

11. What is the review process?

First, the Lane County Planning Commission conducted a work session & multiple public hearings. The Planning Commission deliberated and made a recommendation to the Board of County Commissioners for approval on this matter. A public hearing before the Board of County Commissioners will be held on September 11, 2018 at 1:30 pm, Harris Hall. The Board will ultimately render a decision on whether or not the proposed amendments should be approved.

If someone disagrees with the Board’s approval of the proposed amendments, there is an appeal process before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. Generally, a person must participate during the local process either in writing during the open record period or orally at the County’s public hearing, in order to qualify for an appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). See more information about LUBA appeal procedures here: www.oregon.gov/luba/pages/faq.aspx .

12. I have questions or comments about the proposed amendments. How do I participate or is this a done deal?

This is a public process and public input is invited and encouraged! Public comments are an important part of developing new code language and amendments to Lane Code. While many of the regulations in these zones are from state law, this proposal is not a done deal.

The notice mailed to all property owners possibly affected by the changes to encourage participation in this process.

Public comments will be considered throughout this process and we anticipate making further revisions to the code to the extent that concerns are raised that are consistent with State Law, application criteria, and the direction of the Lane County Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners.

If you have comments that you would like to be considered by the Planning Commission: written comments should be emailed or mailed to Lindsey Eichner (see contact information below) or submitted at the public hearings. Written comments will be accepted until the close of the record. Oral statements and testimony must be given at the public hearing to be considered by the decision makers.

13. Has there been any public review or involvement in the drafting of the proposed code amendments?

Yes, a diverse and balanced group of interested technical experts has been provided an initial opportunity to review and comment on the proposals. This group included: land use attorneys, planning consultants, engineers and surveyors, all who typically work with or represent rural property owners and their interests. In addition, the group included individuals representing environmental advocacy groups including LandWatch Lane County.

It is important to note that the public involvement phase of this process is really just beginning with Planning Commission public hearing process. The Planning Commission’s role is to gather public input, review applicable criteria, and make a recommendation to the Board of commissioners.

The notice mailed to all property owners possibly affected by the changes in order to encourage participation in this process. Notice was also published in the Register Guard newspaper.

As the second public hearing process commences with the Board of Commissioners and there will be additional opportunities for public engagement during that process.

14. What are Type I through IV applications?

Application and appeal procedures are provided in Lane Code Chapter 14. The Board of County Commissioners adopted an amended version of Lane Code Chapter 14 on July 10, 2018. If you have questions about amendments to Lane Code Chapter 14, please contact Amber Bell, Associate Planner, at 541-682-8517.

Type I: Type I applications are administrative and involve the application of only clear and objective criteria. No public notice is required and there is no local appeals process. The Type I application involves a relatively simple procedure and application requirements compared with Type II-IV applications. Land Management Division strives to complete Type I applications same-day or over the planner-on-duty counter when possible. Some Type I applications may require more staff review and/or a staff report, but staff still strive to process these applications within a reasonable timeframe.

Type II: Type II applications involve application of certain standards or conditional use criteria. Notice is mailed to neighbors before and after the decision is issued. The decision is generally issued by the Planning Director, but can be elevated to a public hearing before the Hearings Official. Generally, the filing fee is higher than a Type I application due to the greater amount of staff time needed to process these applications. These decisions can be appealed locally, usually to the Hearings Official.

Type III: Type III applications usually require Hearings Official review. They are typically more complex proposals than Type I or II applications, involve greater development impacts, and/or are more controversial. The applications involve a public hearing with notice and an opportunity to appeal the decision to the Board of County Commissioners.

Type IV: Type IV applications typically are plan amendments or legislative code amendments. This procedure is the most complex of the application types and requires notice of public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners. The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Board and the Board will ultimately render a decision on the matter. A Type IV decision may be appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.

15. Who do I contact for more information?

Lindsey Eichner, Senior Planner
Lane County Land Management Division
3050 North Delta Highway
Eugene, OR 97408
541-682-3998
lindsey.eichner@co.lane.or.us

OR

Amber Bell, Senior Planner
Lane County Land Management Division
3050 North Delta Highway
Eugene, OR 97408
541-682-8517
amber.bell@co.lane.or.us

Full drafts of the proposed amendments 
(then scroll down to Chapter 16 Resource Zone Update section)

Comparison tables between the current and the proposed code language.
 
(then scroll down to Chapter 16 Resource Zone Update section)

Link to Code Modernization Project Page
(contains all project documents and is updated with current information regularly)

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