PARKS COMMISSION MEETING
October 20, 2005BLM Office, Salem
ROUTINE BUSINESS: John Brandt, Chair, called the meeting to order at 9:00 am. John noted that with four in attendance today we have a quorum. Emily was introduced as the new Environmental Specialist for Marion County Public Works that recently replaced Matt Thorburn.
MEMBERS PRESENT: Laura Dowlan, Michael Higgs, John Brandt, Robert Garrett
MEMBERS ABSENT: Wynn Cudmore, Jyll Smith
GUEST: Emily AcklandAry, Environmental Specialist for Marion County.
STAFF PRESENT: Jeff Bickford, Tanya Beard, Diana Shamberger
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:Motion: John moved to approve the minutes from the two previous meetings, July 7, 2005 and August 1, 2005. The motion was seconded.
Vote: The vote was unanimous in favor.
Comments: Robert suggested, for any similar future projects, i.e. the recent BMX proposal, that may be presented to the Parks Commission (here after known as PC), their group should create a checklist to give to citizens so they can research the feasibility of their ideas before they are brought to the PC for consideration. This checklist could streamline the process for citizens. Jeff noted that this suggestion, although a good idea, was not related to comments from the previous minutes and suggested to add an opportunity on the agenda for “commission input” on our regular agenda items. The PC group agreed it was a great idea.
Motion: Mike made a motion to include a comment time for commission input as a regular agenda item. The motion was seconded.Vote: The vote was unanimous in favor.
Motion: Laura motioned to add this item to today’s agenda. The motion was seconded. Vote: The vote was unanimous in favor.
PUBLIC COMMENTS: None
PARK COMMISSION COMMENTS
Rogers Wayside Park:
Tanya’s increased ORPA NRS involvement - (Oregon Recreation Parks Association) Tanya was recently elected the secretary for this group and new position will certainly increase her activities. She will be involved with restorations and community projects and also spend more time working on the Keizer Rapids Project by providing technical support for City of Salem and Keizer to do an impact analysis.
Bonesteele Park: The prescribed burn at the park to control noxious vegetation was successful. Tanya recently worked with a group of student volunteers to clean up blackberries and plant wildflowers at the park. Next week’s volunteer project includes 79 students from Livingston Adventist Academy to work on more weed cleanup. Some of these volunteers were gained in a cooperative project with Mike Ryan who was formerly a commissioner for Marion County.
Other Business: Jeff reminded the PC that most of our parks would be closed for the winter season on November 1, and he has already posted the media release and the information will be updated on our web site. Filming of a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie has been proposed in Scotts Mills and North Fork Parks. They have asked permission to dig a 2 ft hole in the river. Considering the impact on fish activity this time of year, it is not advisable and will most likely not be approved. ODF will give them that answer. Jeff will probably be the staff person to monitor the activity.
Tanya wanted to let PC members know about the possibility of reinstating Marion County as a weed district. This implementation could potentially provide opportunities for county staff to address working on public lands to abate weeds. The goal would be to provide educational opportunities and outreach program on noxious weeds for citizens.
BLM and PW are working towards signing a parks host agreement. This agreement will provide a benefit to both agencies by providing a presence at our parks.
10:00 AM Field trip to Cain Property – returned at 11:20 AM
Further discussion of Cain Property and how to proceed: Tanya wanted the PC to consider future costs for maintenance at the property to control noxious weeds and vegetation. Although it is not a concern at this time, it may be in the near future. A current survey of the property is needed to best assess how to resolve a right-of-way issue with a neighboring property placing a gate on the ROW. A quick assessment of the property showed a few native plants on site; Oregon asters, fir, noble fir and madrone trees along with the remnants of an old prune orchard. The goal of this trip was to provide some background information in order to determine the future use of this MC parks property.
Q. Should the PC recommend we retain the property for future development or consider selling it to use the funds for parks land acquisitions or park projects? The biggest concern could be the cost of maintenance. Other things to consider when determining its value would be zoning and what kinds of development would be allowed on this parcel. The answers to these questions will help to determine the value of the property.
Q. Could the PC recommend to surplus the property in conjunction with a purchase of a different piece of property to later be developed as a future park?
Q. If the land is determined eligible for development, could we consider implementing a conservation easement?
Q. What is access like from the north?
A. Tanya said none! It was also asked how it came to be county property. Jeff replied that most likely it was acquired from a foreclosure.
In conclusion, we need to find out zoning regulations, and look into conditional use or rezoning possibilities if it were determined that the best use of the land was to develop it as a park. Once surveyed, we could determine the easement issues and property lines. Tanya said we don’t currently have a survey on any of our parks properties. To make an informed recommendation, we need a rough property value, as we are not far enough along in the process for a professional evaluation of property value. Robert inquired that if the property was sold, could the new landowner clear-cut the trees. The answer was if we sell the property, we no longer have any say in its development. John asked if Jeff could provide a topographic map to further review the parcel. Jeff said that county staff would get the additional information needed and give the group an update at our next PC meeting. The BOC or our county administrator would make the final decision on the future of the property. The question that started this process came from the planning department by asking parks what the current status was of this park property. There is no rush to make a decision on what to do with the land. John asked if we have other properties in the county. Tanya said yes, there are quite a few. We also need an estimate on a cost for a survey and a current tax value.
Parkdale Park: Tanya provided an update on wetland mitigation issues. It was necessary to widen the work area where trees had been planted so the water and trees will stay put. Parks staff is working with Adam Stephens Middle School for the school kids to adopt the project. Emily also did a parks survey at this school from the kids point of view, with what kids asked for in our county parks. John asked to be kept updated on the project.
Next Meeting: Thursday, January 19, 2006. Agenda items will include: review our bylaws requirements for the year, approval of previous minutes, Commission Member Input, Cain property updates, BMX-Rogers Wayside, Auburn, Parkdale, and other park updates and the application process for upcoming projects. Tanya will work on creating a rough draft.