Golf course subdivision under review
August 10, 2014
DEERHORN: A proposal to create a 27-home subdivision is currently under review by the Lane County Planning Division. Under the plan, the existing nine-hole McKenzie River Golf Course would be converted into two-acre residential parcels.
Earlier this year area residents had an opportunity to comment on the proposed conversion of the 58-acre property. Some two dozen opinions were submitted. Most, according to Larry Reed, who represents the property owner, dealt with issues like changes to the character of the community or loss of views that are not part of the county’s approval process. In a July 1st response, Reed also argued that traffic volumes generated by the 27 homes would be insignificant and that the area’s water quality would not be impacted.
Other points were brought up by Karl Morgenstern, Environ-mental Management Supervisor for the Eugene Water & Electric board. Key issues, according to Morgenstern, included devel-opment within the 100-year floodplain and potential impacts to sewage facilities and water supplies. Besides possible im-pacts to the community based Deerhorn Water District, he also questioned a subdivision being built above the drinking water intake for EWEB’s metro area customers.
In response, Reed noted that, “The county regulations allows development within floodplains when in compliance with adopted regulations. The proposed Omlid subdivision intends to meet all applicable federal state and county regulations (just like EWEB’s redevelopment project in Eugene intends to meet these regulations).”
Also outside of the land use approval process is commun-icating with officials who could be part of an appeal. That happened, Reed asserts, when East Lane County Commissioner responded to an email about the subdivision from Conrad Brown. Based on Stewart’s reply that “You have raised very valid concerns that I will pay close attention,” Reed said the Omlids would reserve the right to request Stewart recuse himself from any future proceedings involving the application.
One possible roadblock could come about on the federal level, related to potential floodplain development constraints resulting from a 2010 lawsuit settlement concerning the Endangered Species Act. Language in that settlement includes prohibitions against development within 170 feet of the top of the bank of a mapped habitat waterway. The draft National Flood Insurance Program changes are now undergoing federal review and are expected to be finalized this year. The McKenzie River has already been federally classified as critical salmonid habitat.
McKenzie River Reflections