Thursday, September 28, 2006

Oak Lodge Community Council notes 2 of 3

John Borge, Principal Planner, Clackamas Co. Transportation and Development Dept., then spoke on Trees, Wetlands and Wildlife Protection.

Years ago, Happy Valley complained that county didn't have tree cutting ordinance; we speak of trees in development and can address them through design review, conditional use or other method. However, the absence of such an ordinance allows developers to cut before application as we have little way to enforce, (except for resource areas adjacent to wetlands, streams, corridors; they're an upper tier issue then).

A new ordinance for this would be expensive, time consuming and costly to adminster, especially given the present property rights movement. I would be very frightened if we started to propose one.

Section 1000 applies to commercial, industrial and multi-family uses, which requires us to take a land use application & notify the CPO. Other activities, such as single family residential and duplexes, are not included in requirement.

We have fixed some loopholes regarding withdrawing a application, cutting trees, refiling revised application. We worked closely with wildlife agencies who had inventories of things like breeding grounds, and then zoned sensitive bird habitat for known rookeries and other sensitive areas.

We have found those inventories were not complete. Location, Quality and Size are all required to address these issues under Oregon's Goal Five requirements, and sites not so described are very easy for developers to alter even if, say, a rookery is found.

If we find them before development, we amend the plan after evaluation against (our three known) rookeries & wetlands ,and assess the significance before legislating protection following local law and the OAR.

Developer's rights are based on what we known at the time of application, so contact Fish and Wildlife with details if you find wildlife needing protection. Note that property owners are often not pleased to have their property rights overlaid with restrictions, and such matters can be contentious.

See the county website development department, the natural resources chapter under comprehensive plan for maps of known wetland areas and rookeries, but not all wetlands may have been scanned yet. The state has equivalent maps for areas outside of the UGB.

Margaret Pritcherd noted peregrine falcons have recently been seen outside Rose Villa, even in the breezeway, and bald eagles with fledgelings nest near Oak Park.

Catherine Blosser: Who can lobby to protect urban wildlife?
John Borges: Need to do as overlay zone, preserving existing restrictions plus adding those required for preservation. Not easy to do, would be very contentious. Lake Oswego adopted a tree ordinance; six months later had to change it because the community could not live with the contention, and revision followed another six months later, with issues still not yet resolved.

John then showed the M37 map, with almost 18 thousand acres involved in filed appeals, all over the county. Over 500 have been filed, all outside the UGB, with 4 turned down; 3 died, one could not demonstate ownership. Averson Lumber, 900 acres outside Sandy is one large property, another large one outside Bull Run reservoir. One other case, within UGB, rejected on other grounds.

Two year statute of limitation not firm, and property owners who are rejected for land use applications can reopen the issue outside the two year window (December? March? Legal is still unsure of deadline.) Two full time staffers are dedicated to M37 issues plus support from other staffers.


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