City of Westfir Planning Commission Public Hearing

Tuesday, November 22, 2021

Audio Recording Index

Click the links below to jump to locations within the audio recording. The times and descriptions are approximate. The descriptions are not an official record of the hearing.

0:00 Chair Melody Cornelius opened the hearing at 5:30 p.m.
Crow’s Feet Site Review Permit, proposer David Marchi, Tax lot 124
2:25 Regulations
3:30 Impartiality statements
6:00 Staff Report by Gary Darnielle
9:10 Food carts not part of this site review; would require a separate temporary use permit
10:10 Findings/condition of approval
12:57 No landscape and maintenance plan submitted yet
15:10 Traffic impact study not required by Lane County
16:30 Facility permit required from Lane County Transportation
16:50 Secondary access
20:00 Parking plan regulations
23:05 Lighting standards
24:30 Cut and fill slope standards only with drainage swales
25:15 Must meet city standards for water; may require 2 additional meters
26:10 New subsurface septic tank installed in 2015
26:55 Storm drainage
29:20 Request for questions; review of comments received (17 received)
29:50 Questions from commissioners for staff. Subsection H – Figure 3. Where would the swale be located? (Melody Cornelius). When will we know which site plan will be submitted? Applicant needs to discuss the parking situation with Lane County Public Works.
32:45 Chuck Arnold, Bend experience
33:01 Tim Bailey summary (stage); septic system capacity; general support
33:25 Bob and Kathe Bishop (stage)
33:38 Walker (supports recreation/tourism)
33:40 Broadman (Bend experience)
33:42 Evans (supports store)
33:45 Mikkola (outdoor stage; store and bike shop good; reduce speed limit)
34:15 Newland (property owner)
34:30 Rowell (tourism)
34:50 Sachdeva (tourism)
35:00 Travel Oregon (tourism)
35:18 Moritz (stage)
35:30 Truthstone (tap bar (increase drinking and driving); law enforcement)
35:58 Hueys (stage)
36:03 Danek/Young (support)
36:10 Alcantara (support)
36:15 petition (combined petition) – 42 signers; stage
36:45 Planning Commission options: approve, continue, deny
38:00 Conclusion of staff report
38:05 Review of comments
Applicant and Others in Favor May Speak
39:10 Applicant David Marchi.
49:00 Ben Smith (architect) discussed swale location
51:00 Parking determination by Lane County; applicant’s responsibility
52:30 Three swales required if Figure 3 option is chosen
54:00 David Marchi’s summary – taproom / restaurant
55:30 Commissioner questions of applicant: Kelly – bioswale function
58:15 Wendy Dennis – community building
1:01:03 Eugene Cathcart – bicycle tour guide; restaurant / tap bar
1:03:30 Michelle Emmons McPharland & Matt McPharland – patronized Crow’s Nest in Bend; trails support.
1:07:30 Moritz – traffic increase addressed by David Marchi (applicant)
1:12:10 Noah Sunflower of Westfir Lodge. Generally, in support.
Neutral Testimony
1:13:40 Do applicants live in Oakridge or Westfir? (Not yet)
1:14:00 K. Bishop: year-round operation? (Yes, if financially feasible. Grocery store year-round. April-November at least.) Post office delivery truck access.
Those Opposed May Speak
1:17:30 D. Huey (traffic, policing)
1:22:00 Zak (traffic; drinking)
1:23:50 Truthstone (property values, tap bar [noise])
1:29:40 Friedman’s (apartment size; community benefit questioned)
1:34:00 Applicant Rebuttal
1:35:00 K. Bishop: Live entertainment on patio? (No plans right now.)
1:37:20 Commissioner questions – None
1:37:40 Hearing closed
  Lots of unanswered questions: Parking, bioswales, landscaping, noise management, traffic, post office delivery truck access. Proposal needs more work.
1:50:00 Extension/waiver of 60 more days for continuance.
1:51:00 Steve McGuire, Building Official for Lane County.
1:54:00 ITE: average daily trips per business type (trip generation report).
1:59:30 120-day turnaround after the date application is complete. Waiver granted 60-day extension by applicant.
2:07:40 Darnielle: Need to reopen the record to address only the new information.
2:15:00 List of additional needs to be addressed in the final plan.
2:24:00 Continuance motion and vote; hearing date set for January 18, 2022, at 5pm.
2:29:40 Hearing adjourned for Crow’s Feet
Break (reconvened at 8:10 p.m.)
Trans Cascadia application for Tax Lot 119 & 129, Conditional Use Permit
2:34:15 Staff Report by Gary Darnielle
2:34:30 Impartiality statements
2:35:50 Continuation of staff report for Trans Cascadia Excursions – Blair Banker (named spokesperson)
2:37:00 Second phase description.
2:38:00 Revised site plan (dog run area moved close to railroad tracks & event area has been removed).
2:39:20 Zoning discussion. Both tax lots are zoned mixed use.
2:40:00 Campground not specifically listed as an outright use in the Land Development Plan. Hotel/motel are listed. Section 9.2.0 other uses similar in nature. Conditional uses listed aren’t more helpful: “of the same general type, intensity and character as those uses listed in the code”.
2:50:30 Findings required: “retain the local character”; size accommodated by location-site plan meets standards; mitigation of any negative impacts.
Request for questions
2:59:40 Question from the audience: Tourist Accommodation (Lane County code) under Commercial Zoning, not Mixed-Use Zoning 10.166-05.
3:03:37 Commissioner Packard: Have other cities used similar use provision of hotel/motel? Commissioner Cornelius responds: Other cities have used the language “hotels, motels, campgrounds and other temporary lodging”. Gary Darnielle – most cities list campgrounds. Gary Danielle – we could amend the code through an ordinance prior to approving the application.
Conclusion of staff report
3:08:00 Gary Darnielle: Summary of comments received won’t be read because they’re on the website. Common concerns: Negative impact on residential character of the community (water table, traffic impacts, noise.) Positive impacts to the economy of the community.
3:11:00 Commissioner Williams, question about the petition that was submitted. It was signed by 42 residents and addressed improvements, especially the stage as “not being compatible to residential neighborhood”.
Applicant and Others in Favor May Speak
3:13:30 Applicants Blair Banker and Nick Gibson. Developed a non-profit in 2015 called Trans Cascadia; trail work all summer. Nick moved to Westfir in 2019 and started the shuttle service and hosting bike tours throughout the Northwest. This project will provide 23 van and tent camping spots; 5 trailer spots in Phase 1. Phase 2 includes 9 geodesic domes.
3:17:00 Referenced economic studies.
3:21:00 Traffic is primary concern; Lane County Public Works contacts has proposed speed bumps as a pilot project.
3:21:50 Fire Safety
3:23:00 Noise and Privacy
3:24:00 Lighting
3:24:35 Dog Run
Comments from Planning Commission
  Commissioner Cornelius: Fencing of 8-foot allowed height for a commercial use.
3:27:00 Commissioner Cornelius: Dog run design
3:28:00 Commissioner Packard: Propane fireplaces instead of wood-burning campfires.
3:32:00 Commissioner Johnstone: Fewer but centrally located firepits. Safety issue.
3:33:00 Commissioner Cornelius: Septic and drain field document provided to LCOG but not depicted on the site plan.
3:35:30 Commissioner Williams: Bathhouse graywater reuse as irrigation.
3:36:00 Commissioner Johnstone: Fencing Audience response in favor of proposal
3:38:40 Matt McPharland: Campground pressure close to town.
3:39:00 Melody Cornelius: Dispersed campsite needs.
3:40:16 Eugene Cathcart: Area improvement by Trans Cascadia.
Those Opposed May Speak
3:45:00 Deretta Huey: Number of campsites; graywater use. Loudspeaker use.
3:48:00 Les Zak: Fence won’t stop smoke; drunk driving and partying.
3:52:00 Helaine Truthstone: Bias. Lower property values, view from her home.
3:59:00 Katherine Bishop: Petition presentation.
4:01:00 Bob Bishop: Zoning—most of living is outside in a campground versus hotel/motel. No building permits for Log Scale House conversion. Lack of weed abatement summer 2021.
4:08:00 Sally Freidman: Covered Bridge transportation congestion; increased police protection; standing water; quiet.
4:09:50 Neil Freidman: Traffic study done? Project is too aggressive. Cost/benefit analysis needed.
4:11:00 Noah Sunflower: Non-vehicular traffic needs to be addressed. Wastewater disposal (potential for 200-300 visitors).
4:15:00 Applicant Rebuttal
  No noise complaints received this year per Nick Gibson. No hidden investors per Blair Banker.
4:20:50 Commissioner questions – None
4:21:00 Hearing closed, and record closed.
4:21:55 Three options for the commission: approve, deny, or allow more time.
  Commissioner Cornelius: lack of drainage field/septic system shown on site plan. Traffic study could be done combining both applications. Is definition of campsite compatible with Mixed Use Zone? Other areas - “hotels, motels, campground and other temporary lodgings”. Commissioner Packard agrees with considering a campground as a similar use.
4:27:00 Commissioner Johnstone: Fire (smoke and embers).
4:28:00 Commissioner Packard: Drainage, more test holes. Henry from LCOG—Preliminary Septic System Analysis plan is on file; posted in September 2021.
4:34:00 No RV dump sites.
4:35:00 Commissioner Cornelius: Summary of needs for the next plan. 1) designation of fire pits. Nick Gibson proposed only propane within the campground with a wood fire in the pavilion during Phase 2. 2) traffic analysis. 3) Commissioner Packard: Drainage. Is size of project scalable?
4:41:00 Commissioner Williams: Access from Forest Service road.
4:42:00 Commissioner Cornelius: Agreed that campground fits use.
4:43:00 Commissioner Williams: Has reservations. 8’-fence will help mitigate noise; traffic at intersection. Likes the idea of the campground.
4:44:00 Commissioner Johnstone: In favor of pursuing the project but has concerns.
4:45:00 Commissioner Cornelius: Proposes to allow more time, adding requirements to be added to the record. Seven conditions that would need to be met in order for the application to be approved.
4:46:30 Commissioner Cornelius: Asked commission for comments. 120 days to decide.
4:47:00 Gary Darnielle: Seven conditions; do we need to put a timeline on these? Staff would like to make some more findings if we reopen the record.
4:49:00 Gary Darnielle: All conditions need to be satisfied prior to the campground being opened.
4:49:40 Commissioner Johnstone: Would like to postpone a decision.
4:50:00 Commissioner Cornelius moved to reopen the record and get a more detailed staff report, including the seven conditions on page 12; more explanation of campground; and an updated site plan including the campfire locations. Also requested a trip generation report.
4:52:00 Gary Darnielle: Drain field map may need to be revised.
4:53:00 Commissioner Williams seconded motion. Vote: Passed by a vote of 4:0:0. Chair Cornelius, Commissioners, Johnstone, Packard, and Williams voted in favor.
4:53:00 Chair Cornelius: Set a date. Granted a waiver extending 60 days. Schedule both meetings on the same date as the Crow’s Feet hearing on January 18, 2022, at 5:00 pm.
4:56:00 Chair Cornelius called for a vote to postpone the decision. Vote: Passed by a vote of 4:0:0. Chair Cornelius, Commissioners, Johnstone, Packard, and Williams voted in favor.
4:58:00 Chair Cornelius: Hearing adjourned.