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Message - Re: City's LUCU Remand Response
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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on March 30, 2002 at 12:10:30:

Dear Citizens, Friends, and Neighbors,

First, thanks to David and Rob for starting to share around information on the LUCU lawsuit and remand situation, which has suddenly burst into urgent local significance, after its long sojourn in Salem. This does seem like a big deal! I'd also like to clarify a bit, in a preliminary way.

PENDING FURTHER REVIEW, my impression is that the City is taking a really, really terrible shortcut in their response to the LUBA opinion, which also, in whole or at least in part, is legally unnecessary.

Based on my readings so far, "turning back the clock" is far too nice a description for what the City's LUCU remand changes would do. It appears that the proposed changes would leave everything covered by Natural Resources Inventory, which isn't already covered by an established plan (like the West Eugene Wetlands plan), with FAR LESS protection than they had under the old code.

In other words, the net effect appears to be roughly that wherever LUCU increased protections for natural resources areas, under the City's draft remand response, natural resource protections would be ELIMINATED.

In section after section, the proposed draft changes simply insert text like 'except for areas in the natural resources inventory' before provisions for protecting natural resources. Since, thanks to years of work and citizen input, most of our natural resources areas are in the natural resources inventory, the result would be a mockery of public policy -- protect the natural resources except for the natural resources.

The effects of the draft proposed city remand response with regard to "needed housing" (which the Chamber and Home Builders maintain is effectively ALL HOUSING) are also as sweeping, with several aspects of development control and even life safety provisions eliminated for needed housing.

These draft proposed changes defy both logic and legislative intent.

It is possible that some obscure legal detail puts the City's draft proposed text in a different light. My highlighting here is entirely preliminary. But time is short, and the draft text appears to have plain meanings which are clear, even though bizarre.

For those who want to help with the analysis of this crucial material, which needs to be completed within the next week (to be able to be ready for the one-shot Monday, April 8, 8 pm, hearing!), the starting point is a careful reading of the LUBA opinion:


Like David and Rob, we're also just in the midst of reading, cross-referencing, and trying to understand. More to follow.

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
President, Southeast Neighbors
Co-coordinator, Citizens Nature Project

On 3/30/02 at 10:22 AM, Rob Zako wrote:

] P.S. Following is the text of the letter from the City Attorney to the
] appellants and interveners in the LUCU appeal. It is difficult to
] understand the significance of the LUBA ruling and the City's proposed
] response, but my first impression is that it is bad. Over the phone,
] Emily Jerome, the city attorney working on the case, told me the proposed
] changes to LUCU would "leave the City without certain environmental
] protections that were originally in LUCU." To some extent, it appears
] that the HOme Builders and Chamber of Commerce have been successful in
] "turing back the clock." I think this is a big deal and encouarge people
] to learn as much as you can and turn out to the public hearing.
] Monday, April 8, 2002, 8:00 p.m.
] City Hall Council Chamber
] 777 Pearl Street
] Thanks,
] Rob Z.
] ---------------- Forwarded Letter from City Attorney ----------------
] Bill Kloos [representing Home Builders]
] Allen L. Johnson [representing Chamber of Commerce]
] David G. Hinkley [intervener on behalf of City]
] John Kline [intervener on behalf of City]
] Donna Meredith Matthews [intervener on behalf of City]
] Robert Zako [intervener on behalf of City]
] As you know, on February 28, 2002, the [Oregon] Land Use Board of
] Appeals {"LUBA") issued a decision remanding the City's adoption of its
] new land use code ("LUCU"). Because LUBA's decision was not appealed by
] any party, LUCU is back before the City Council for further action in
] response to the LUBA decision.
] At 8:00 p.m. on Monday, April 8, 2002, the Eugene City Council will
] hold a public hearing in the City Hall Council Chamber, located at 777
] Pearl Street, to consider the adoption of a series of ordinances which
] address issues raised by the LUBA remand of LUCU. Together, the
] ordinances will result in the readoption of LUCU with deletions and
] changes necessary to comply with LUBA's ruling and the reinstatement of
] some provisions from the old (acknowledged) land use code to fill in
] regulatory gaps caused by such such deletions. The ordinances to be
] considered at the April 8 public hearing are the City's initial response
] to the LUBA decision. Additional ordinances will be considered by the
] City after necessary staff work has been completed.
] Testimony will be accepted from anyone present at the public hearing.
] Testimony will be limited to the issues remanded by LUBA and currently
] pending before the City Council.
] Copies of the ordinances will be available on April 2, 2002, at the
] Eugene Permit and Information Center, 99 West 10th Avenue. Please address
] any questions or comments regarding this proposal to me or Glenn Klein at
] the City Attorney's Office.
] Sincerely,
] Emily N. Jerome
] Harrang, Long, Gary, Rudnick, P.C.
] City Attorneys
] On 3/30/02 3:03 AM, David Hinkley wrote:
] >As some of you may be aware the Eugene Chamber of Commerce and the Home
] >Builders Association appealed Eugene's Land Use Code Update (LUCU) to the
] >Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). A couple of weeks ago LUBA issued its
] >ruling on LUCU. The findings were mixed. They held with the Appellants on
] >some things and with the City on other and remanded LUCU back to the City.
] >The City had two choices, appeal the ruling or fix LUCU. The city chose to
] >fix it. Pending the adoption of a fixed LUCU the old pre-LUCU Chapter Nine
] >became the regulations in effect.
] >
] >I have been informed by the City Attorney that they had developed a set of
] >revisions that will be considered for adoption by the City Council at
] >their April 8th meeting. They also told me that the final version of these
] >revisions would be out on April 2nd. Because I was an
] >Intervenor-Respondent in the LUBA Appeal I have been provided a Draft copy
] >of these revision, all 30 pages of them.
] >
] >The bulk of the changes relate to Goal 5 (Natural) Resources and Needed
] >Housing. They all have a major impact on what the code will not do in
] >those areas. I have been informed by a Council member that the Council as
] >been told that the purpose of these revisions is to make the quick fixes
] >needed to get LUCU adopted and that more permanent fixes would follow when
] >time permits. While this may be the case, it is important to remember that
] >these revisions are being adopted by the Council and will be permanent.
] >
] >As of yet I have not gotten a response from City Planning Staff to several
] >question regard the process that will be followed in this fast track
] >adoption. It is not even clear if the Planning Commission will get a
] >chance to review and comment on these revisions. I was able to determine
] >that Teresa Bishow is Planner in charge of the LUCU project.
] >
] >When I have more information I will post it. Given the impact the Land Use
] >Code has on our community, I felt it was too important to wait for further
] >information. Hence this posting. Please remember while this is all the
] >information I have been able to gather, it is not yet a complete picture.
] >
] >
] >David G. Hinkley

Citizens Nature Project! http://www.NatureProject.org/nature.html
Neighbors Forum! http://www.SoutheastNeighbors.org/sen_forum.html
Kevin Matthews, matthews@artifice.com
541-345-7421 vox, 541-345-7438 fax, P.O. Box 1588, Eugene, OR 97440


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