Draft Minutes of Feb. 1, 2017 Meeting
Vice Chair Lois Read called the meeting to order at 7:15 p.m. at the Redland Grange.
Board members present: Vice Chair Lois Read, Secretary Marie Naughton, Kitty Dunn, Margueritte Kosovich, Nancy Read, and Nancy Semmens. Absent: Jacqueline Tommas.
Voting community members present: Dan Dunn and Neal Philpott.
Other community members present: Martin Meyers and Lance Ward.
County Representative: Amy Kyle, Strategic Communication Manager, Public and Government Affairs.
Marie read the minutes of the Nov. 2, 2016 meeting. Nancy Read moved to approve; Margueritte seconded. Motion carried 7/0/0.
- ZO545-16-SS: Notice of preliminary approval of a four-lot minor subdivision for four new rural single-family home sites to be served by a shared driveway. Date to appeal was 1/23/17. Notice of application sent 11/14/2016.
Owner/applicant: Malcom Stacee, 2135 Fircrest Dr, West Linn, OR 97068.
Location: No address: site is easterly side of S. Matoon Rd., at the intersection with S. Horseshoe Ln. (Fishers Mill area); 23.09 acres zoned Rural Residential Farm Forest (RRFF)-5.
Final subdivision plat approval is subject to compliance with General and Advisory Conditions, Planning and Zoning Conditions, County Survey Dept. Conditions, and Engineering Division Conditions. Findings show all other criteria can be met or are not applicable.
- ZO522-16-FTT: Notice of preliminary approval for a Forest Template Test (density review) to establish a residence on an existing legal lot, subject to the Conditions of Approval (General Conditions, Engineering, and Clackamas Rural Fire). A prior approval (Z0374-02-FFT) had expired.
Owner/applicant: Leonid Zaytsev, 17496 SE Hemrich Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045.
Location: No address; site adjacent and south of 22029 S. Bristlin Rd (accessing from S Eaden Rd), Oregon City, OR 97045. Approx. 30 acres zoned Timber (TBR)-80.
- ZO533-16-FTT: Application for a Forest Template Test (density review) to establish a residence on an existing legal lot.
Owner/applicant: Mary Calhoun, Co-Trustee, 22900 S Eaden Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045.
Location: No address; site is adjacent and south of 22780 S Eaden Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045; 39.55 acres zoned TBR (Timber).
Nancy Read moved to approve; Kitty seconded. Motion carried 7-0-0.
- ZO551-16: Partition application to divide property into 3 parcels: 2, 2-acre parcels for new home sites and one 24.62-acre parcel with existing home. Application is pursuant to State-approved Ballot Measure 49 claim providing a modification of the minimum parcel size standard and dwelling establishment criteria of the EFU (Exclusive Farm Use) zoning district.
Owner: Helen Wagner, Trustee, 17103 S Hattan Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045.
Applicant: Colleen Spurgeon, Township Surveys, 1415 Washington St, Oregon City, OR 97045.
Location: 18681 S Redland Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045.
Kitty moved to approve; Nancy Semmens seconded. Motion carried 7-0-2.
- Amy Kyle, Strategic Communication Manager with Clackamas County Public and Government Affairs, attended the meeting to encourage the CPO to remain active and to answer questions. The CPO's main issues are low citizen involvement, short comment periods, and fear of SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suits.
Comment Periods & Notifications
Nancy asked if the CPO could ask the county to extend the comment periods on certain applications if they fall in between meetings. Having only 15 days to respond is not a reasonable expectation for most CPOs, especially those that only meet once a month, at best. Amy said that's been a topic of discussion, and they were working with the planning department on asking for some flexibility.
Marie asked if the county could provide the CPO with notifications by email or post them online. We understand that official notification must go to homeowners by regular mail, but giving CPOs some advance notice would make it easier to respond in a more timely manner. CPOs need time to schedule a meeting and notify the community.
Amy said other CPOs have asked about email notifications, but it is a resource issue with managing it. It's difficult to determine who should get what notification, email addresses are not always closely tied to physical addresses, and there's no guarantee people will get the email.
Amy said lack of citizen involvement is an issue for most CPOs and even for the county. The challenge is to make the meetings more relevant and interesting to the community, and then being creative in getting the information out. Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get people to attend. They have found that, unless they have a topic that is relevant to people, there's no real incentive for people to attend.
CPOs do not have to limit themselves to just reviewing land use applications. CPOs can be a forum to discuss other community issues and invite speakers. Amy suggests asking someone from road safety to come talk, which usually draws community interest. Other speaker ideas include public health and dog services. The CPO can also request that a commissioner come speak at a meeting.
Amy's department can help get the word out. They can post meeting notices in Citizen News, the county's quarterly publication that goes out to all residents. They also have a small budget that can help with mailers if we want to let the community know we're in a crisis and that we need to come together as a community to decide if we want to move forward with a CPO or not.
Kitty pointed out that the issue is not just getting people to attend meetings; it's also difficult to find people willing to serve on the board, especially for officer positions that require more work and put people at greater risk of a SLAPP suit. The CPO's chair and vice chair resigned over the issue, and its secretary has notified the board that she will not serve another term when hers ends in May. Even the vice chair, who was pressed into service just to keep the CPO going, is unwilling to continue in that capacity. You can't run a CPO without officers, and no one currently active in the CPO is willing to step up.
Per the county's rules, a CPO only has to hold two meetings a year to be considered active, but it must have officers and a quorum. It's a long process to become active again once it goes inactive. Other options include merging with another CPO or changing boundaries in the hopes that a broader area generates more attendance or more people willing to participate and volunteer in the management of the board.
Amy has asked county council why it provides legal support for villages and hamlets but not CPOs, and it is her understanding that it's because CPOs have the ability to sue the county, whereas villages and hamlets do not because they are considered agents of the county. Providing legal support for CPOs would be, in effect, paying to potentially allow CPOs to sue the county directly. This generated a great deal of discussion:
- Under what conditions would a CPO sue the county? Are there any actual cases in which a CPO did sue the county?
- How would providing some sort of legal protection against SLAPP suits automatically mean that the county would have to pay legal costs if the CPO did, in fact, decide to sue?
- Martin does not understand why being able to sue the County would prevent it from indemnifying the CPOs for reasons other than funding a suit against it, such as SLAPP lawsuits. The reason Clackamas County gives for not providing indemnity doesn't make sense, as indemnification can be done by contract. He hopes to meet with its attorney before the next CPO meeting to better understand why the County is refusing indemnification.
- Amy said that number of CPOs have been doing their own research on what options they have to cover themselves if the county is not able to do so. One CPO board member looked into his homeowners insurance and said his policy covers him for a portion of the risk. Others are looking into other policies and sharing cost information with the county. The county is looking at budgeting and how they could figure out resources out to support these groups, and if that's something they can do.
Amy said the county understands that the fear of a SLAPP suit can prevent participation, especially if people aren't sure about how to be covered against one. The new Board of County Commissioners will be discussing the issue again.
Amy informed them that Karen Bjorklund of the Jennings Lodge CPO has been organizing CPO board members to discuss these and other issues facing CPOs. The county has not been involved in those discussions, but they are supportive and look forward to seeing the list of issues once it's complete.
The CPO has not heard from Karen, but is interested in being involved. Amy will let Karen know. Marie and Martin would like to attend their next meeting.
Committee for Citizen Involvement
- The Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI) assists the county with its Public Involvement Programs, including CPOs and Hamlets and Villages. Karen Bjorklund will be presenting the next meeting on February 21. Margueritte and Nancy said they would attend. Marie will also attend if available.
- Marie said the bylaws require the CPO to hold a meeting to nominate board members. She believes that meeting is supposed to be in May, but she will need to check the bylaws. Marie made a motion to meet again in May or whatever month is required by the bylaws to nominate board members; Lois seconded. Motion carried 6/0/0.
- Lois moved that Martin be made a special designate to talk to Karen Bjorklund, the county and other CPOs about the SLAPP issue; Marie seconded. Motion carried 6/0/0.
- Martin suggested we nominate a person to be a sub-representative of the board in order to initially review applications under a clear set of parameters and to call a special meeting if anything fits within those parameters. The number one way to avoid a SLAPP suit is to stay within clear parameters. No motion was made.
Meeting adjourned at 8:35 p.m.
Minutes submitted by Marie Naughton
Share this page