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Friends of Marion County generally meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in the Salem Public Library Anderson Room. Board meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month. If you are interested in helping the Friends of Marion County, please E-mail: rkaye@OregonVOS.net. The Friends of Marion County does not share its mailing list with other organizations or individuals.

 

Minutes for 2006

 

November Minutes

 

The general meeting of Friends of Marion County took place at the West Salem Library November 14th, 2006.  The meeting commenced at 7:00 PM and ended at 8:45.  The guest speaker was Wes Hare, Albany City Manager.

 

Wes is a member of the “Big Look” committee charged with examination of all facets of Oregon’s land-use planning system.  Wes has also served as city manager in Oakridge and LaGrande.

 

Wes’ presentation offered the audience an opportunity to mull over, discuss, and confront the issues facing the Big Look committee.  The discussion and questions ranged widely, addressing the ideals, politics, and goals of Oregon’s land-use system and the issues of freedom, liberty, and the limits individuals and communities have over land ownership.  Whirling about, around, and through the discussion like the Cheshire cat, these issues would appear, fade, or move off the stage.  Sometimes expressed, often implied, the divisions facing the Big Look work group represent at the level of land use, the values debate that confronts citizens daily at the political, social, and cultural levels.

 

The following is the Secretary’s attempt to take the wide range of questions posed, and Wes’ answers and explanations and to summarize the colloquium in a narrative format.

 

Wes successfully described the challenges facing the workgroup as he responded to questions from the audience.  Land use is a visceral issue.  In the 1970’s, Oregonians looked to the south and expressed their fears in the tongue-in-cheek “don’t Californicate Oregon.”  Wes described his early experience with land use as it emerged from Senate Bills 10 and 100 in the early 1970’s as being a case of having seen Southern California and not wanting Oregon to end up that way.

 

At its most basic level, Wes described SB10-SB100 as a set of goals designed to keep Oregon from turning into Southern California.  That was in the early 70’s.  A recent visit to the LA area affirmed that such a vision retains much of the potency it had then.

 

Times, though, have changed.  Wes described his experiences in Oakridge as an example of how the vision of Oregon depends upon the frame of reference with which you view it.  One will have one view of Oregon if it is framed in terms of a one-company town that no longer has a company – as was the case when Pope and Talbot moved out of Oakridge.  Oregon is different; few of the people making decisions today regarding what Oregon ought to look like tomorrow were here or able to vote, or who crafted the land use system now under review, revision, or assault (depending upon your perspective).

 

Many who had reservations then, who owned land then, are older; circumstances have changed.  Their expectations have changed as the economic and demographic landscape has changed.  People who bought into the vision the, affirm the vision today, but with qualifications.  Those who opposed land use goals then, have, during the succeeding thirty years, articulated counter values that framed the issue as a debate over individual liberties.  At its crudest level, it presented an elderly widow standing up to an impersonal and bureaucratic state.

 

“It’s my land, I ought to be able to use it as I choose.”  This was a powerful message that resonated at a time when regulation of the marketplace in any form was seen as inhibiting and restricting the economy’s ability to compete.  Measure 37, at the state level, replicated the Vice President’s opinion of energy conservation – a personal virtue not appropriate for public policy.

 

Land use advocates could not effectively defend the virtues of the system – the definition of a virtue being far more complex than the virtue itself.  The enabling legislation spawned rules and court cases and it was not uncommon to find that outcomes emerged that contradicted the spirit of the legislation.

 

As a result, a new generation of voters, abetted by clever framing of the issue, confused zoning with eminent domain.  While saying they valued preservation of farmland, they also said landowners should have greater freedom to use land as they choose.

 

Members of the audience saw these views as contradictory.  Others see room for compromise.  The Big Look task force seeks to make recommendations or to present options regarding land use principles to Oregonians and eventually to the Legislature.

 

The task force sought, given limitations of time and money, to frame the issues as a series of six questions.  The key issues selected by the task force, stated as questions, are (followed by the work group that will investigate the issue, the chair of the work group is indicated by an asterisk):

 

Ø                  What are the appropriate roles of state and local governments in land use in Oregon? (Judie Hammerstad, Nikki Whitty, and Mike Thorne)

Ø                  What is the appropriate role of citizen involvement in land use? (Gretchen Palmer, Jill Gelineau, Judie Hammerstad)

Ø                  What role should land use planning play in enhancing Oregon’s economy now and in the future? (*Steve Clark, Nikki Whitty, Cameron Krauss, Ken Bailey)

Ø                  What are the most effective tools to manage population growth to achieve community goals? (Ken Bailey, Gretchen Palmer, Steve Clark, David Bragdon)

Ø                  How should Oregon’s system of infrastructure, finance and governance influence land use? (David Bragdon, Wes Hare, Mike Thorne)

Ø                  How can the land use process appropriately address the benefits and burdens that fall on individual land owners and the general public? (Jill Gelineau, Cameron Krauss, Wes Hare)

 

The audience at the meeting saw another force at work – another theme – and that is politics.  If politics is the art of the possible, there are those who seek to use the present situation for purely selfish advantage.  Using this debate, they attach themselves, barnacle-like to the property rights advocates.  These are developers who profit from converting land to residential or commercial use.  Their ability to profit requires a loose system of regulation; they gain by the concessions the extract from the process..

 

Questions from the audience addressed this issue in terms of the perceived slant of the Salem City Council.  As players, questioners in the audience saw developers turning the process and principles of land use zoning on its head.  Land use encourages growth and development based upon a plan; a developers success in the current environment under Measure 37 results in communities planning around development, the end of which is an Oregon that becomes more and more like that of Southern California.

 

In responding to questions, Mr. Hare described the challenges facing the committee.  The audience presented him with local issues that expressed concerns about a bias toward the development community and the increasing marginalization of the community from the land-use decision-making process.  This was best summarized by one member of the audience who contrasted the community based Salem Futures process with its rejection by the current council in terms of one which would be top-down driven and which excludes community involvement.

 

 

September Minutes

 

 

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 20th September 2006

 

 

The general meeting featured three speakers.  Julie Warncke, 

Transportation Planning Manager, briefed members on the Salem Systems 

Trasportation Plan (STSP); Jeff Hamm, General Manager of the Salem 

Area Mass Transit District (SAMTD); and Mike Jaffe, manager of the 

Metropolitan Planning Organisation.

 

Julie Warncke discussed the relationship between the transportation 

plan and the Comprehensive Plan.  The transportation plan is a 20 

year master plan adopted in 1998 and amended periodically.  It 

identifies transportation system needs, integrates land and 

transportation, and prioritizes investments.  She described how 

streets are categorized as major or minor arterials and how the 

transportation plan makes best use of the existing roads and 

facilities.  She discussed rideshare and neighborhood traffic 

management.

 

She discussed needs and priorities.  There are over 250 identified 

needs with a projected cost of $580 million, but there are only $324 

million in identified revenues.

 

Mike Jaffe discussed the role of the Metropolitan Planning 

Organization (MPO).  MPO is a umbrella organization coordinating the 

multi-modal planning of Salem, Keizer, Turner, the transit district, 

Marion county, Polk county, ODOT, and the Salem-Keizer school 

district.  The MPO exists as a requirement in federal law to insure 

the existence of regional transportation plans and the requirement 

for transportation improvement programs.  His discussion focused on a 

discussion of projects and funding and the coordination of plans 

among many governmental jurisdictions.

 

He, too, discussed the mismatch between needs and revenues of almost 

$200 million. the limited funds available are used to enhance and 

improve traffic flow, mainly by addressing selected bottlenecks,  

More information is available at www.mwvcog.org

 

Jeff Hamm, the Salem Transit District general manager discussed 

integrating land use and transportation.  The transit system has 1500 

bus stops and 175 shelters.  75% of the population live within 1/4 

mile of a bus stop.

 

The challenge for the transit district is to balance capacity versus 

coverage.  The system must balance running the district as a business 

versus meeting the social needs of the population and taxpayers.  

capacity is measured by the number of boardings per mile of a bus 

route.  With the defeat of the recent request for funds, the transit 

board as decided to balance capacity versus coverage by focusing 80% 

on ridership and 20% on coverage.  Outlying areas would have fewer 

buses than would say from downtown to Chemeketa Community College.

 

Hamm pointed out that bus ridership depends upon land use codes land 

use influences how successful a transit system is.  He identified two 

bad examples of land use integration with transit:  Wachovia and 

Salem Hospital; the first being bad, the second terrible.  The price 

of parking has a greater influence on the mode of transportation than 

does the price of gas.  He gave as an example, the State Fair 

decision to offer free parking.  The transit system saw a 40% drop in 

ridership as a result.

 

There then followed a spirited question and answer period.  The meeting adjourned at 8:45.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

 

June Minutes

 

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 21st June 2006

 

The June general meeting of the Friends of Marion County took place at the West Salem Library.  The meeting began at 7:00PM and concluded at 8:30PM.

 

Susan Watkins presented the Treasurer’s report.  FOMC had $109.95 income and a balance of $2565.22

 

We continued the discussion of the Big Look and Roger explained what the Board came up with, which included the following:

 

  1. Preserving farm and forest land;
  2. Revision of land use laws;
  3. Preserving UGB’s
  4. Citizen involvement; making it meaningful;
  5. Transportation plan should have a greater weight;
  6. Define the true costs of development and equitable distribution of costs.
  7. Measure 37; define waiver at the time the rule was imposed;
  8. Planning goals should factor in the best and worst cases;
  9. Develop a vision of the future of Oregon thirty years out.  Institute periodic reviews to adjust goals as necessary.
  10. Primate Property interests should not trump community interests;
  11. Redefine growth.
  12. Come up with better design standards for neighborhoods.
  13. Streamline, review, and consolidate land use OARs.

 

The following further suggestions were offered:

 

  1. Make communities self-sufficient; encourage self-sufficiency as a goal of the planning process;
  2. Redefine boundaries to protect land; the concept of land use in British Columbia was suggested as a model.
  3. Affirm the original planning goals and stress conservation..

 

The task of the group was to then identify the top five.  We were to state each priority in twenty words with a further one hundred words to flesh out the concept.  The Secretary was asked to do this.  The top five were as follows (as fleshed out for comment by the Secretary):

 

We came up with the following priorities for the Big Look task force:

 

  1. Make citizen involvement more meaningful;

 

  1. Preserve the concept of Urban Growth Boundaries;

 

  1. Preserve farm and forest land;

 

  1. Affirm the original planning goals;

 

  1. Combine the following concepts:

 

Ø                  Private property interests cannot trump community interests;

Ø                  Build sustainable communities so as to preserve the natural environment and livability

Ø                  Redefine growth.

 

I have taken these points and fleshed them out as the email requests.  Here they are for your comment and desecration.  I have made every effort to insure that the word limits are met.

 

1.  MAKE CITIZEN INVOLVEMENT MORE MEANINGFUL

 

I changed it to read: 

 

AT THE EXPENSE OF TIMELINESS AND EFFICIENCY, CONSCIOUSLY INVOLVE THE PUBLIC IN ALL PHASES OF THE BIG LOOK PROCESS.

 

A current of distrust is sweeping the country.  Officials and lobbyists are charged with corruption and influence-peddling.  At many levels of government, citizens feel excluded from the process of decision making that affect them.  The work this taskforce will affect millions of Oregonians, now and in the future.  You work is too important to be done as if it were a committee meeting during the closing days of the Legislature.  It is an inconvenient truth that your work will have validity and successfully if you can convince the Governor and the Legislature that it represents the broadest possible public involvement.

 

2.  PRESERVE UGB CONCEPT

 

RETAIN THE UGB CONCEPT.

 

Urban areas, like water, seek their own level.  They do not have a right to expand into rural areas.  Rural areas are always the price we pay for growth.  For centuries cities have simply spread.  Such growth should be the exception instead of the rule.  Urban areas should live within predictable boundaries.  Urban areas must seriously consider new paradigms to growth.  Sprawl does more harm than good.

 

3.  PRESERVE FARM AND FOREST LAND

 

PROTECTION OF FARM AND FOREST LANDS SHOULD BE VIEWED AS HAVING EQUAL WEIGHT WITH THE CONCEPT OF HAVING DEVELOPABLE LAND.

 

Nothing ever encroaches upon the urban sector; it is always the reverse.  The prevailing vision compares developed land with “undeveloped” land; such a vision represents urban arrogance.  Rural land is developed – as farms, orchards, vineyards, ranches, and nurseries.  Human population density should not be the determining factor in either land value or growth boundaries.  Urban residential and business models should not priority over those who derive their livelihoods from the land.

 

4.  AFFIRM ORIGINAL PLANNING GOALS.

 

THE NINETEEN GOALS DEVELOPED THRITY YEARS AGO ARE AS CRUCIAL TODAY AS WHEN PROMULGATED.  THEY SHOULD BE AFFIRMED AND RETAINED.

 

Thirty years ago, these were concepts for shaping the future.  They did so, and they did so, well.  There has been so sea change, Measure 37 notwithstanding, that should cause us to jettison these ideals.

 

5.  COMBINGING PRIVATE PROPERTY INTERSTS, SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES AND REDEFINING GROWTH.

 

DEFINE GROWTH IN TERMS OF PRESERVING THE ENVIRONMENT AND LIVEABILITY.  PRIVATE PROPERTY INTERESTS SHOULD NEVER TRUMP THOSE OF THE COMMUNITY.

 

Land use laws extend the concept of zoning beyond the urban areas that have accepted and lived with the concept since the 18th century.  All land is a grant from the government and this task force needs to recognize that regulation is one of the rights government retains over all land, along with eminent domain, escheat, and taxation.  The task force needs to take into account that decisions affecting one specific piece of land impact the value of surrounding land.  Land is not a commodity; it is not chattel that can be used or abused at the whim of the owner.

 

Carla Mikkelson discussed the Woodburn UGB update.  Carla contacted Commissioner Brentano and was told that the Board of Commissioners would approve Woodburn’s plan despite two thirds of those testifying in opposition.  The Board appears to recognize that Woodburn was seeking far more than it needed.  In addition, the City would be able to revisit the approval in two years and to seek even more.  This sets up a conflict with Metro over the division of urban and rural land in North Marion County.  In the Woodburn plan, the unusual concept of “site suitable Land drives the allocation of land, not population needs.  The State of Oregon economic forecast is essentially flat during a period that Woodburn anticipate generating 23% of the County’s growth.  Under their plan, the project land acquisition is to drive growth rather than the other way around.

 

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

 

May Minutes

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 17th May, 2006

 

The February general meeting of the Friends of Marion County took place at the West Salem Library.  The meeting began at 7:00PM and concluded at 8:30PM.

 

The speaker this month was Sid Friedman, local advocate for One Thousand Friends of Oregon.

 

Sid addressed the status of Measure 37 and One Thousand Friends plans for the coming year.  Initially, One Thousand Friends planned a ballot initiative, but a dispute over the ballot title led to the decision not to proceed with the collection of signatures.  Oregonians in Action, the primary supporter of Measure 37 protested the wording of the title, a decision that is made by the office of the Secretary of State.  The success or failure of an initiative often turns on the wording of the title as most voters do not take the trouble to read the entire measure.

 

The ballot measure supported by One Thousand Friends would have been called the Homeowners and Family Farmers Bill of Rights.  The proposed initiative would have provided for one single family residence on land where such is now prohibited, provided that the waiving of zoning would not have harmed neighbors.  It would have also prohibited compensation to waive development rights.

 

Sid discussed the land use landscape as it now exists.  He pointed out that Measure 37 created two different land use systems, the effect of which jeopardizes the future of our children.

 

Against this background, the last session of the Legislature created the Big Look Task Force.  There is a critical need for a broad public dialogue regarding the future of Oregon and what it is that we expect for the future.  He, as myself, believe that the task force is not particularly concerned with what Oregonians want and that they will present the public with their vision, which is exactly upside down from the process followed after the enactment of SB 100.  Sid believes that there is active discouragement of public participation by government, and that this is demonstrated in the restricted ability of the public to provide meaningful input.

 

One Thousand Friends is committed to a meaningful reform of Measure 37.  There are several avenues available:  (1) through the legislative process, change to the law; (2) the ballot box by means of an initiative; (3) through the Courts by means of specific cases in which damage on the ground may raise public awareness of the negative nature of the Measure; and (4) efforts to bring the Governor around.

 

Any legislative fix will turn on the outcome of the election in November.

 

Sid also discussed a strategy involving the executive branch.  This involves how reduction in value is calculated.  Every jurisdiction accepts that there has been some reduction in value.  The amount is, to this point, immaterial.  This results in windfall development rights.  One Thousand Friends seeks to calculate the loss of value at the time, factoring in inflation and interest.  Los of value would mean calculating the loss at the time; not what the loss would be today had the regulation been imposed.

 

In the Courts, a number of lawsuits by various parties are addressing transferability, and the reduction in value.  One Thousand Friends seeks to examine reduced value in terms of the status quo ante.  If accepted, this would dramatically reduce the impact of the Measure.  As an example, Sid used the case of forest land owned by a Yamhill County Developer.  When the land was purchased, it had no value for development purposes.  Imposition of land use regulations might have caused some minor loss at the time.  Now, the property has very high value for mini-estates.  Under One Thousand Friends’ plan, the developer might be able to build one house, not the vast number that he seeks as a windfall now.

 

Roger discussed the upcoming Marion County Fair and the need for volunteers.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

 

March Minutes

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 15th March, 2006

 

The February general meeting of the Friends of Marion County took place at the West Salem Library.  The meeting began at 7:00PM and concluded at 8:30PM.

 

This month’s guest speaker was Sue Ann Reddick, historian at Chemawa Indian School.  With her was Cassandra Ross, a member of the school’s board.  Trained as a landscape architect at the University of Oregon, she is interested in the importance of tribal and federal lands and has studied the history of the school with emphasis on how the land the school occupies was obtained.

 

The history of the land in the past and its effect on the present was the theme of her talk.  History takes place; the players and the context of history rise or fall on some ground.  Land becomes a sacred place based on the effect it has had on the people who, in the case of Chemawa, attended school there.

 

Two hundred died and are buried at the cemetery.

 

The school was an off-reservation school that was once private property.  The school was so located as to deliberately remove children from their families.

 

The land for the school was not donated; it was purchased by the students through their labor, but was deeded to the federal government.  Originally, the school consisted of 450 acres, but is now reduced to about 300 plus acres.  It is located at one of the few undeveloped interchanges along Interstate 5.

 

Fifteen acres at the interchange ws given to the two tribes of the Grande Ronde and Siletz.  This land is located to the west of I-5.  In the transaction, there was no mention of any benefit to the students.  This was an arbitrary action by the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).

 

By a resolution of the coalition of tribes, Chemawa is deemed to be sacred land.

 

The school was first opened in 1880 at what is now Pacific University in Forest Grove.  It was an industrial school and students were expected to work half-time.  In 1883, the school moved to Salem.  Students cleared the land, built the buildings, did carpentry and blacksmithing.  The women carried out housekeeping and domestic activities.

 

The new school was authorized by Congress, but funds were not allocated.  Students were persuaded to work to buy the land.  In 1884, the school paper, “The Indian Citizen” wrote that $550 had already been given and the paper wrote of land that they could call their own where they could have a school and land “of our own.”  The name of the paper was ironic since at that time Indians were not citizens and could not own land.

 

In 1968 a parcel of land belonging to the school was sold at silent auction for $176,000.  This parcel is located west of Portland Road and north of Chemawa Road.  Known as “The Onion Flats,” this is some of the most fertile agricultural land in Oregon.

 

The BIAS looks upon school land as commodities.

 

The concern of the school and the students and alumni is that the property owned by the Colson’s, along I-5 and Chemawa Road may be developed as a shopping center.  The Colson organization approached the school seeking to obtain land to the south of Chemawa Road and along Indian School Road.  They need this land because development would require additional property for roads into and out of the proposed development.  They need to create a loop road.

 

The City of Salem recently disposed of any requirement that a transportation plan be provided prior to considering annexation of that land to Salem.  The developer’s approach to the school indicates that a plan does exist and that it would require the school to cede land in order for the development to occur.

 

Following Ms Reddick’s presentation, Jim Gilbert, candidate for the House of Representatives, District 18, spoke to the group.  Mr. Gilbert was a plaintiff in the Measure 37 case that sought to overturn the measure, but which was upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court

 

The transactions by which the land was obtained did not set out that students had paid for the land.  The 1887 Indian Appropriation Act provided that the school could be purchased with student funds and deeded to the United States.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

 

February Minutes

 

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 8th February, 2006

 

The February general meeting of the Friends of Marion County took place at the Woodburn Public Library.  The meeting began at 6:00PM and concluded at 8:00PM.

 

Friends and Neighbors of Woodburn hosted the meeting.  The featured speaker was State Representative Betty Komp (D), District 22.

 

Roger Kaye presided. 

 

Carla Mikkelson introduced Representative Komp.  Carla addressed uncertainties surrounding Measure 37, which she referred to as the Lawyers’ Full Employment Act.  A decision by the Supreme Court is expected in June, though it could be later.  Carla invited Representative Komp to address how the Legislature itself might address Measure 37 in the 2007 session.

 

Representative Komp explained that she is a life-long Oregonian and that land use, education, and health care are her primary issues.  She was born and raised in Silverton and her parents were dairy farmers.  She is one of 14 children.  She returned to school as an adult, graduating in 1990.  She took her Masters in ’92 and has nearly completed work on her Doctorate.

 

Given her background in education, the House leadership elected to assign her to the Revenue Committee and the Veterans Committee.  House Committee assignments are made by the Speaker and the minority party has no say in those assignments.

 

On the Revenue Committee, of the 9 members, six had no experience.  Given the steep learning curve, Representative Komp hopes to remain on both Revenue and Veterans.  The Veterans Committee, she related, was recently revived after a 35 year hiatus.  There are 360,000 vets in Oregon.

 

Rather than provide information, Representative Komp wanted to know what we thought about land use in Oregon.  The Legislature plans to wait until after the Court has made its decision before addressing the issue.  Legislative action will likely reflect the overwhelming number of votes in favor of the Measure.  By 2050, Oregon will have gained another million residents, raising the population to 4.5 million.  How, she wondered, do you balance demands.

 

Questions from the audience addressed both sides of the issue.  Some were concerned that land use is broken and that Measure 37 represented voters’ disgust with the rules.  Others defended land use, but were frustrated with the process which seems to have been designed to exclude public input.  Some commented that a growing population requires a strong land use policy.

 

Representative Komp complained that the Legislature is hamstrung for information, which makes it very difficult to craft public policy.  She commented that Oregon’s legislature is beset by partisanship that is not present in the legislature in the other thirteen Western states.  She feels that the system in the legislature is so slow that many ideas are set up to fail.

 

Participants raised questions and frustrations related to the Woodburn extension of its UGB.  Sid Friedman and Carla commented that conflicts over the vision of growth between Marion County and Woodburn contributed to the long period of time needed to reach a decision.

 

Representative Komp said that apathy results when the public is treated more as a nuisance than as players and encouraged those present to literally camp out at the elected officials doors to make their opinions known.

 

Both sides of the legislative aisle are seeking to change the process, but it is difficult.  The system is broken, she said.

 

After Representative Komp’s presentation, Roger discussed the annexation of the I-5 Chemawa interchange property and the importance that this be opposed.  The speaker at next month’s meeting will be SuAnn Reddick from Chemawa, who will explain what Colson plans for the interchange based upon discussions with the school to release land they own along Indian School Road that is necessary for traffic control for his planned shopping center.

 

The meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

 

January Minutes  

 

Friends of Marion County

Minutes of General Meeting, 11th January, 2006

 

The January general meeting of the Friends of Marion County took place in the Anderson Room of the Salem Public Library.  The meeting commenced at 7:00 PM and adjourned at 9:00 PM.

 

There were 19 people present at the meeting.

 

Roger Kaye presided.

 

Joe Kuhn began by introducing Fred Harris, an architect new to Salem and active in the land use network.

 

The presentation for the evening was presented by Suzanne Dufner, assisted by Cecilia Urbani and Peter Fernandez.  Ms Dufner’s presentation addressed the ECO Northwest software used by the City to estimate the costs and benefits from annexing and developing land in Salem.  The study estimates how growth will impact the city’s fiscal position over the next 20 years.  The study focused on the General Fund, Public Works, and Water and Sewer.

 

Key assumptions of the study and the matrix used in the program include estimated growth; translating growth into costs; forecast revenues induced by these costs; and comparisons of growth induced costs to revenues.

 

There were three key findings.  (1)  The fiscal position for the general fund is slightly stronger under growth scenarios than under no-growth scenarios; (2) There are modest deficits in the General Fund as the City attempts to accommodate growth and improve the level of services with a greater deficit under the no-growth option; and (3) single family, commercial/office, and industrial uses contribute more in revenue than they generate in service costs.

 

Ms Dufner emphasized that this was a projection out 20 years, rather than the normal 3 year projection.

 

Out of this study came the Annexation fiscal Impact Analysis Model.  This computer model uses the underlying assumption of the growth study and then crunches numbers to show how any specific development affects each department of city government and breaks out the revenue generated by the development.

 

Questions after the presentation noted that the single biggest part of any property tax statement relates to schools, which does not show up in the study or the annexation model.  The presenters admitted that this was the case and noted that the annexation model does not address transportation, either.  Concerns were expressed with respect to the impact of development on infrastructure and concern about factors left out that impact growth.  Russ Beaton noted that these models are site and assumption specific in determining whether growth pays for itself, and hence are extremely optimistic, at best.  A question was raised about transportation and schools and their impact on annexation and whether enough information is available for voters to make an informed decision.  The concerns raised implied that city decisions with respect to growth force schools and transportation to play catch-up because they are not included in the decision to develop or not to develop.

 

The meeting concluded with a slide presentation by Susan Watkins and her trip to Iran with the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Richard van Pelt

 

Minutes for 2005

November Minutes                                                                                                                       

 

Friends of Marion County Member’s Meeting- Nov. 9th-2005

 

 

Roger opened the meeting with an invitation for members present to introduce themselves; there were 20 people in attendance.

 

Vicki Harden-Woods of the City of Salem Planning Dept. was the guest speaker.  She talked about the city’s new annexation strategy, which is a two part program. Some parcels of land which will be considered for annexation will go to the voters for approval in November of 2006.  Other parcels, which have signed contracts for future annexation prior to the passage of the Voter Approval Ordinance, will be annexed without voter approval.

The first goal is to annex the “islands” which are surrounded by the city; the second goal is to annex properties contiguous to city limits. The City expects to have over 25 parcels of land for annexation on the November 2006 ballot.

 

Representatives of the Fire Department spoke about the need for passage of a bond levy to increase funding for the Department.

 

Following Vicki’s presentation there was a brief discussion about appropriate actions that FMC could or should take regarding the annexation plans of the city.  It seems sensible to pick those that seem most objectionable to oppose, rather than a blanket opposition to all the parcels that will be considered.  FMC will defer until a later date a decision about which parcels to oppose.

Treasurer’s report: There is a balance of $1,595.02, not counting checks for $112.00 written at the meeting. There was a net loss in October of $232.00.  Anna Braun moved, and Joe Kuehn seconded that the report be approved, passed unanimously.

 

The minutes of the October meeting were presented, Anna Braun moved, and Susan Watkins seconded that they be approved, passed unanimously.

 

Anna Braun, speaking for the nominating committee, presented a slate of Officers for the 2005- 2006 year:  President-Roger Kaye, Vice-President-Joe Kuehn, Secretary-Richard Van Pelt, (with Anna Braun volunteering to provide assistance) Treasurer-Susan Watkins. Nominees for the Board are Linda Peterson, Laurel Hines, Joan Power, Kasia Quillinan and Carla Mikkelson.   Anna Braun moved, and Nancy Kuehn seconded, that the proposed board be accepted.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Joe Kuehn moved, and David Engen seconded, that we discuss the anti-Wal-Mart movie at the next meeting. 

Dave Engen mentioned the O.L.C.V. holiday party; tickets are on sale for $10.00.  John Zielinski announced the annual Agriculture dinner on Jan. 20th; the program will be cowboy poets.  Kasia Quillinan announced the Festival Chorale concert on Nov. 19th.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

Respectfully submitted- Nancy Kuehn-Secretary

 

September Minutes

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Friends of Marion County-Monthly Meeting-Sept. 14, 2005

 

 

The meeting was convened at 7:10 p.m. with twelve members attending, and two speakers, Carolyn Gutman-Dey and Joan Green.

 

Joe Kuehn introduced the speakers and provided a brief background, explaining that they have been involved in a zoning dispute with the city of Salem.  The issue in question concerns lot sizes for duplexes, with city planners failing to apply consistent and specific lot size criteria when issuing building permits for the construction of new duplexes.  Ms. Gutman-Dey and Green described a long series of frustrating and inconclusive meetings with various city staff in their efforts to clarify the reasons why a building permit was given for a duplex on a very small lot in their neighborhood.

 

A general discussion followed, including the suggestion that neighborhood committees should complain to the city about the high numbers of brokers/developers who hold seats on the Planning Commission.  The speakers said that they plan to contact Neighborhood Associations asking them to send letters to the Planning Commission asking the commission to support staff reports.

 

The Treasurer’s Report showed a balance of $2,022.35, with approximately $1000.00 worth of bills due.

 

The minutes of the June 8th meeting was read, Kaisia Quillenan moved, and Dave Engen seconded that they be approved, the motion carried.

 

Roger reviewed the Marion County Fair booth which FMC maintained.  The cost for the activity was $697.39.  New names were added to the list serve, and one new member joined.

 

Roger passed out copies of the brain storming activity to generate ideas for ways to increase the membership in FMC.

 

1000 Friends of Oregon is celebrating its’ 30th year with a dinner in Portland on Oct. 15th. Joe Kuehn volunteered to try to find 10 people who would be willing to attend, to fill up a table for the Friends of Marion County.

 

Joe announced that he has talked to a member of the Willamette faculty about the possibility of holding a noon meeting on campus sometime during the year.  He will check to see if December would be a possibility.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted-

Nancy Kuehn-Secretary

 

 

June Minutes

 

Friends of Marion County-Monthly Meeting- June 8, 2005

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:05 p.m.  Guests Jim and Irina Just from Linn County, Marilyn Reeves from Yamhill County and Pat Wheeler from Polk County were introduced by Joe Kuehn.

 

Joan Power and Joe and Nancy Kuehn presented a brief summary of the 1000 Friends of Oregon Workshop held at Silver Creek Falls on May 14th, 2005.  After the report Joan led the group in a brainstorming exercise to generate positive ideas for creating public support for sensible land use. A list of these ideas will be compiled by Joan, and will be disseminated to FMC members and friends.  There was general agreement that a new vision, similar to the one promulgated by former Governor McCall, must be articulated. There is a need to be pro-active and positive to attract the support of citizens who are not currently involved in land use activities or discussions. 

 

Jim Just reported on a 1000 Friends of Oregon Task Force which will be proactive in litigation, they will litigate state level challenges, focusing on those cases which may give legal precedence, or result in positive information to the public.  These cases will be heard in the Circuit Courts.

 

There was more discussion of Measure 37; the House Land Use Committee will work out a bill to send to the full house.

 

Susan Watkins presented the Treasurer’s report; FMC currently has a balance of $1,927.76.

 

Joe Kuehn suggested that a letter writing committee be established to contact newspapers, legislators and others in a systematic way. Laurel Hines, Joan Power, Dave Engen and Joe Kuehn will be on the committee.

 

It was decided that FMC should look into the possibility of having a booth at the Marion County Fair.  John Zielinski will contact the Fair manager, John Burt, for information.  The Fair runs for 3 days the second week of July.  Susan Watkins said she would prepare a power point presentation about FMC for use at the booth.  Various ideas for the power point were suggested.  George Porter moved, and Dave Engen seconded that FMC spend up to $500.00 at the Marion Co. Fair.  John Zielinski will look into getting green ribbons, with the message “Dream green or sprawl” printed on them.

 

Joan Power, Nancy Kuehn, John Zielinski and Roger Kaye volunteered to help work at the booth; others will need to be recruited to fill out the schedule.

Dave Engen announced that City Watch will meet at 10:00 a.m. at the Morningside Methodist Church on Saturday, June 11th.

Joe Kuehn noted an article written by Kaisia Quillinan in the current Salem Monthly newspaper.

 

Respectfully submitted- Nancy Kuehn Secretary

 

May Minutes                                                                                                                                 

 

Friends of Marion County Monthly Meeting, May 11, 2005

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by President Roger Kaye, with 11 members in attendance.

 

Joe Kuehn introduced Sid Friedman, Willamette Valley Advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon.  Sid explained the organizational structure of 1000 Friends and the relationship of the County Chapters to the central office.  He outlined a brief history of 1000 Friends since 1975, and also talked about strategies for the future. The passage of Measure 37 has resulted in a change in emphasis, there will be more time and energy spent in building public support for the goals of the organization.

 

Sid encouraged FMC to develop a close working relationship with other organizations such as the Farm Bureau and the Friends and Neighbors of Woodburn.

 

Kasia Quillinan reported on the recent Oregon League of Conservation Voters annual meeting. The keynote speaker talked about CAFOs, (concentrated animal feeding operations) and the devastating effect these feed lots have on the environment. There are two such operations now operating in Oregon.

 

The Treasurer’s Report showed a balance of $1,936.61, with income in April totaling $305.75.  Expenses for the month were $84.25

 

The minutes were read, Dave Engen moved to approve, seconded by Kasia Quillinan.

 

Richard Van Pelt presented an update on Measure 37 claims. A discussion on Senate bill 10-37 followed, the bill is considered to be flawed by both land use advocates and Oregonians in Action.  Richard passed out a summary of a state wide survey of Oregonian regarding attitudes toward land use.  A majority of those surveyed favor protection of farm lands, environment, wild life and believe that growth management has made Oregon a more desirable place to live.

 

Laurel Hines talked about being interviewed by a Statesman Journal reporter regarding Measure 37. 

 

Kasia suggested that the new Salem City Urban Planner, Glen Gross, be invited to speak to FMC.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted-

Nancy Kuehn-Secretary 

 

April Minutes                                                                                                                                

 

Friends of Marion County – April 13, 2005

 

17 members attended the monthly meeting; the speaker was Mitch Rohse, Interim Planning Administrator for the City of Salem. Joe Kuehn introduced him to the group.

 

Mr. Rohse discussed the issue of annexation, in particular the efforts in the State Legislature to pass anti-annexation bills which make it more difficult for cities to annex land.  He explained the procedure by which cities use “average cost pricing” of urban city services, and discussed how the use of Urban Growth Boundaries helps cities plan growth 20 years forward. He talked about good land use concepts, and how those concepts are considered when cities plan for growth.  A lively discussion followed his remarks.

 

Treasurer’s Report-There was income in March in the amount of $355.54; as of 3-31-05 there is a balance of $1,630.22 in the Treasury.

 

Roger told of the refusal of the State to allow an extension of the option for Calpine to develop a power plant in Turner.  The issue is now closed.

 

Richard Van Pelt gave an update on Measure 37 claims. 

 

Senator Ringo has introduced a bill, No. 10-37, which would amend Measure 37 and would tie development to the quality of the soil.  There was general agreement that this is a bad idea.  1000 Friends of Oregon has offered some new language to this proposal.

 

About 600 claims have now been filed throughout the State. It seems that the Marion County Hearing Officer is doing a good job of processing the claims in this county.

 

Sid Friedman discussed current issues regarding 37.

 

Rich Van Pelt and Roger Kaye are attending the Oregon Conservation Network meetings; the Network is continuing to protest various bad land use decisions.

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Nancy Kuehn-Secretary   

 

March Minutes                                                                                                                              

 

Friends of Marion County- March 9, 2005

 

The meeting was called to order by President Roger Kaye at 7:07.p.m.   There were 25 people in attendance.

 

Laurel Hines introduced Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano as our guest speaker.  Mr. Brentano gave some brief biographical information, including his introduction into politics as the Mayor of Sublimity.  He has been a member of the County Commission for approximately one year.

 

He expressed concern about land use laws as they affect small cities, he does not agree with the requirement that small cities are expected to adhere to land use laws that apply to, and make sense for, larger cities.  He generally wants to protect farm lands.

 

He does not support the concept of “social engineering” that is, the efforts to increase population density, mass transportation use, or other laws which attempt to influence how people live their lives.

 

In response to a question regarding medical waste, Mr. Brentano said that the amount of medical waste being burned has increased, and he thinks this is preferable to using the land fill to dispose of it. He is waiting for a Solid Waste Committee to render an opinion about this.  A questioner expressed concern about the fairness of Measure 37, asking what remedy would be available to a land owner who suffers a decrease in property values because of decisions made by neighboring land owners.  Mr. Brentano agreed that this could be a problem, but did not offer any possible solutions.

 

When asked what the goals of the County Commissioners are, he mentioned protection of farm land, construction of new roads, and the construction of another bridge over the Willamette.  There were several other questions regarding waste disposal, Measure 37, ground water issues etc.  Brentano said that water issues will be decided as problems occur. There was a general feeling among FMC members that an emergency plan should be developed now to deal with potential problems in the future. 

 

The burner contract was discussed, there will be a study in 2009 to decide what to do regarding ash residue, and Mr. Brentano said that DEQ will not talk to the County about moving the ash.  A general discussion followed, Commissioner Brentano spoke until 8:20 p.m., Roger thanked him for his willingness to come and spend the time with us.

 

Turner Mayor Jim Thompson spoke about the Calpine issue, there will be a public hearing April 4th.  The Turner City Council voted in 2003 to oppose the building of a power plant in Turner.  Jim urged people to appear to testify, non-residents of Turner are eligible to speak.

 

The reading of the minutes was waived.

 

Richard Van Pelt spoke about Measure 37.  At this time 27 claims have been presented to the County. The Hearing Officer seems to think the law as it is based on Senate Bill 100 is the law which prevails.  A recent opinion of Hardy Myers will likely slow down potential development, in that the right to develop is issued to the current owner, and does not pass on to any future owners of the land.  The County is planning another hearing on March 30th, and also one on April 27th.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

Nancy Kuehn-Secretary

 

February Minutes                                                                                                                         

 

Friends of Marion County- Feb. 9th, 2005

 

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m.

 

Treasurer’s report: The end of 2004 report showed a balance of $1,140.32

Income of $776.00, expenses of $757.06, with a net income for 2004 of $18.94

 

January cash on hand-$1145.73.  Motion by Joe Kuehn, seconded by Joann Seibert, to approve Treasurer’s report, passed unanimously.

 

Guest: Judy Upright- Her concern is that she lives in a secluded area in S. Salem, having problems with recent sale of neighbor’s property-the new owner wants to subdivide. There are water issues with regard to existing wells.

 

Speaker: Cece Urbani-City of Salem Planning Dept. Current supervisor of long range planning.  The current council sub-committee is Mayor Taylor, and Councilors Nanke, Rogers and Stucky.  There is a 3 point plan to finish periodic review-

 

   1) City adopts a transportation-land use strategy.

   2) Review and update ordinance to promote “smart development”

3)      Establish criteria and benchmarks to determine progress over next 20 years.

 

At present the staff is doing additional research on intensity of uses and population densities.  The type and nature of citizen involvement in the remainder of the process is still to be decided.

Laurel Hines announced that County Commissioner Sam Brentano will speak at the March meeting of FMC.  Janet Carlson is generally supportive of land use planning, Patty Milne generally not, and Sam Bretano tends to be in the middle.

 

Woodburn UGB hearing will be held in March, FMC is opposed to the proposed UGB expansion

 

Measure 37 update:  Richard Van Pelt reported that 13 claims have been filed in the county.  He is maintaining a spreadsheet on these.  Richard has responded on twelve of these in order to obtain information from the county. The last request involved only the addition of a second house on EFU.  Richard did not respond to this one.

 

Senate Bill 406- has been introduced by Sen. Schrader.  It attempts to fix problems with Measure 37.  Senators Byer and Atkinson immediately claimed SB406 was unconstitutional as a “money measure”.  It is possible that this bill will pass in Senate and fail in the House. The bill established a 20% decrease in land value before a claim is triggered, it also provides various mechanisms for paying claims, including a type of “credit bank” idea.

 

Other organizations now involved include 1000 Friends, Realtors and Mortgage bankers.  Richard Van Pelt has been attending hearings on this.

 

Oregon Conversation Net Work Lobby Day is scheduled for Feb, 28th.

 

Respectfully submitted by

 

Kasia Quillinan

 

(Typed by Nancy Kuehn-Secretary)

 

January Minutes                                                                                                                           

 

Friends of Marion County  January 12th, 2005  Membership meeting

 

The meeting was called to order by Roger, with 6 people attending, Joe and Nancy Kuehn, Melinda Woodward, Richard Van Pelt, Laura Hines and Roger Kaye.

 

Richard Schmidt, who is the Director, Transportation and Natural Resources with the Council of Governments, spoke to the group about the area transportation. Money for transportation planning in the Mid-Willamette Valley is provided by the Federal Government, with the requirement that there are 25 year regional plans, as well as 2 to 3 year immediate plans projecting transportation requirements and projects to meet those needs.

 

Goals and plans must include air quality considerations, and the impact that roads have on air quality and the ozone layer.  There are 8 separate jurisdictions included within the Council of Governments, and funding for transportation projects is complicated, much of the available money is “ear marked” for specific purposes. 

 

A general discussion of transportation issues in the Salem-Keizer area followed Richard’s talk, including mass transit, crowded roads, and feeder systems. Roger thanked Richard for his informative presentation.

 

Other business- Laura suggested that someone write an article for the Salem Monthly, encouraging more membership in FMC.  Richard Van Pelt agreed to do that.

 

Measure 37 update- The expected hearing of the Marion County Commissioners did not happen.  There was a general discussion of the likely impact of Measure 37. Laura reported that she called the Statesman Journal asking that the paper print notification when claims are filed under Measure 37.

 

Roger explained his concerns regarding the annexation hearing with the Salem City Council.  He filed a complaint with the Salem Board of Ethics, and will present his case on Friday, Jan 13th.  He has cited conflict of interest with 2 councilors and the Mayor.

 

Meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted-

Nancy Kuehn, Secretary