Linn County Commissioners John Lindsey and Will Tucker on Tuesday morning approved a resolution and order for the partition of a 16.7-acre parcel of property at 37323 Scravel Hill Road into 5-acre and 11.7-acre tax lots.

Board chairman Roger Nyquist abstained from voting because he owns property in the area.

The board approved the original request on Jan. 22, with Nyquist abstaining.

The property, owned by Monty and Linda Ellison, is within Albany’s urban growth boundary and zoned at a minimum 20 acres.

This marks the second time in the past year that a property owner within the urban growth boundary, but outside the city limits, has asked for a property split and variance. The previous case involved dividing a 1.98-acre parcel that also is in a 20-acre minimum zone. County Planning and Building Director Robert Wheeldon denied the variance and conditional use applications. His decisions were appealed to the Board of Commissioners. The commissioners ultimately approved the partition, but their decision was appealed by the city of Albany and ultimately upheld by the Land Use Board of Appeals.

Nyquist attended the City Council work session Monday evening and Councilman Rich Kellum attended Tuesday’s meeting in an official capacity. (Kellum often attends board meetings, but as a member of the public, not as a city representative.)

Kellum suggested the commissioners hold off on their decision and hold additional meetings with city officials. He said the city and county need to work together to determine “how to treat the urban fringe.”

“The more we can work together," he said, "the better the system works."

As an example, he pointed to how the Linn County Parks Department works with state and federal agencies.

Nyquist pointed out that in 1988, the city and county approved an Urban Growth Management Agreement.

It outlined a joint management approach for the city’s urban growth boundary and the “Albany fringe,” which are part of the Albany Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

The agreement states in part that the “county shall have authority to interpret city comments and city standards in a manner which the county deems consistent with the city’s Comprehensive Plan, city and county development regulations and apply such in a manner which the county deems appropriate to the scale of the development proposed. Where the city has commented on county actions, the county shall inform the city of the county’s final action.”

The commissioners approved allowing the division of the property as requested, providing a variance to the 20-acre minimum zoning, allowing the siting of single-family dwellings on each parcel, and a 30-foot wide easement to provide access to each parcel. The property owners must comply with Albany Rural Fire District requirements.

The conditional use permits must be initiated within two years of Tuesday’s meeting.

The city of Albany may appeal the commissioners’ actions.

In other action Tuesday, the commissioners:

• Approved the 2019-20 Special Transportation Fund allocations to 11 programs: Lebanon Dial-A-Bus, $43,082; Sweet Home Dial-A-Bus, $23,500; Linn Shuttle, $98,000; Council of Governments Senior and Disabled Services, $16,000; Volunteer Caregivers, $21,329; Oregon Mennonite Residential Services, $5,000; Sunshine Industries, $5,000; Chamberlin House, $5,000; Linn-Benton Loop, $24,000; Albany Call-A-Ride, $25,000; Benton County Dial-A-Bus, $3,000.

• Approved a contract amendment for $6,164 with Santiam Paving for the Foster Dam Road public access improvement project. The change is due to an energy surcharge and a modification to a guard rail installation.

• Approved the sale of a sliver of property in Crawfordsville to Steve Schilling for $1,500. The property had a real market value of $550.

• Approved moving $803,874 within the general fund into the Alcohol and Drug Health Fund as a cash flow measure until property taxes are allocated.

Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.


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