SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER AND LAND USE

 

March 24, 2003                                                                                                       Hearing Room D

3:00 PM                                                                                                                          Tapes 32-34

 

MEMBERS PRESENT:         Sen. Ted Ferrioli, Chair

Sen. Charlie Ringo, Vice-Chair

Sen. Jason Atkinson

Sen. Rick Metsger

 

STAFF PRESENT:                 Judith Callens, Committee Administrator

Megan Jensen, Committee Assistant

 

MEASURE/ISSUES HEARD:           SB 82 Public Hearing

                                                SB 836 Public Hearing

                                                SB 837 Public Hearing

                                                SB 838 Public Hearing

 

These minutes are in compliance with Senate and House Rules.  Only text enclosed in quotation marks reports a speaker’s exact words.  For complete contents, please refer to the tapes.

 

TAPE/#

Speaker

Comments

TAPE 32, A

005

Vice-Chair Ringo

Calls meeting to order at 3:09 p.m. and opens public hearings on SB 82 and SB 836.

SB 82 – PUBLIC HEARING

010

Sen. Messerle

District 5 State Senator. Provides testimony in support of SB 82 and explains that SB 82 allows an exemption to a water right holder for both residential or agricultural purposes to obtain an the easement that would be valid as long as the water right is valid.

SB 836 – PUBLIC HEARING

040

Sen. Messerle

Provides testimony in support of SB 836. Gives historical background and discusses the fiscal impact of SB 836.

104

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks why DSL is having difficulty clearing up title issues.

107

Sen. Messerle

Responds that DSL does not have the resources to deal with the issues effectively and explains.

133

Vice-Chair Ringo

Closes public hearings on SB 82 and 836. Opens public hearings on SB 837 and SB 838.

SB 837 and SB 838 – PUBLIC HEARING

140

M.D. Van Valkenbergh

Wasco County. Provides testimony in support of SB 837 and SB 838. Believes the bill is necessary to streamline agency processes and to protect the rights of property owners.

193

Lloyd Ogbin

Provides testimony against SB 837 and SB 838. Believes the bills require more analysis.

230

Robert Kerivan

Josephine County. Provides testimony against SB 837 and SB 838. Discusses non-navigable waterways.

250

Vice-Chair Ringo

Closes public hearings on SB 837 and SB 838. Opens public hearing on SB 836.

SB 836 – PUBLIC HEARING

254

Chuck Bennett

Confederation of Oregon School Administrators. Provides testimony against SB 836. States opposition to SB 836 only as it relates to the impact it might have on the Common School Fund. Discusses the financial impact on the Common School Fund if SB 836 passes.

324

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks if the financial information mentioned is available in a fiscal statement.

326

Bennett

Responds that his information is from DSL.

333

Judith Callens

Committee Administrator. Remarks that no fiscal statement has been issued from the Legislative Fiscal office.

336

Vice-Chair Ringo

Wonders where the figures originated from. 

340

Bennett

Offers to withdraw specific financial information and submits instead his belief that there will be a substantial impact from a decrease in income from leases and from sales.

352

John Marshall

Oregon School Board Association. Provides testimony against SB 836. Talks about the impact on the Common School Fund.

393

Laurie Wimmer-Whelan

Oregon Education Association. Provides testimony against SB 836 and supports the statements of Marshall and Bennett.

399

Sen. Metsger

Asks if submersible lands are Common School Fund lands.

408

Bennett

Responds that submersible lands statutorily benefit the Common School Fund.

419

Sen. Metsger

Comments that if lands were quitclaimed to landowners, there would be a potential increase in the state tax base.

437

Bennett

Addresses the question of navigability and discusses Common School Fund lands.

TAPE 33, A

005

Jay McCaulley

The Salmon Restoration and Enhancement Coalition. Provides testimony in support of SB 836 (EXHIBIT E). Believes SB 836 resolves uncertainty regarding title to currently fee simple upland properties subject to historically filled lands and which affects property owned primarily by the private sector, municipalities, counties, and port authorities.

100

McCaulley

Continues testimony in support of SB 836. State that SB 836 provides a resolution consistent with previous legislative actions.

204

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks for clarification on lands that are not trust properties but have a statutory designation to benefit the Common School Fund.

207

McCaulley

Explains the statutory requirements.

217

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks for more information on the fiscal impact to the Common School Fund.

219

McCaulley

Believes there is no fiscal impact and elaborates.

296

Vice-Chair Ringo

Comments on the complex nature of the issue.

330

Glen Stonebrink

Oregon Cattlemen Association. States support for SB 836, 837 and 838.

362

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the fiscal impact of SB 836.

366

Stonebrink

Replies that he is unsure of the fiscal impact of SB 836. Discusses SB 82.

TAPE 32, B

006

Phil Donovan

Association of Northwest Steelheaders. States opposition to SB 836 and SB 837.

015

Larry Beaver

River Access Committee, Association of Northwest Steelheaders. Provides testimony against SB 836, SB 837 and SB 838 (EXHIBIT H). Believes that the bills will adversely affect the public trust.  

037

Vice Chair Ringo

Inquires if Coos Bay has quitclaim issues different from other areas.

040

Beaver

Responds that he does not believe Coos Bay has special circumstances relating to the issues at hand.

045

Donovan

Comments that SB 836 is difficult to support in the current format but he is open to an amendment which allows for quitclaim consideration on a case-by-case basis.

052

Beaver

States total opposition to SB 838 and believes the bill is unnecessary.

081

Sen. Atkinson

Inquires if there are any rivers listed as non-navigable that should be listed as navigable.

083

Beaver

Responds that there is no list of non-navigable rivers.

090

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks for his opinion on the motivation of proponents of the bill.

092

Beaver

Believes it is a stall on a long-standing issue.

110

Donovan

Agrees with Beaver’s assessment.

126

Gerald Workman

States opposition to SB 82, SB 836, SB 837 and SB 838. Discusses issues of navigability.

165

Vice-Chair Ringo

Opens public hearing on SB 82.

SB 82 – PUBLIC HEARING

170

Jeanette Holman

DSL. Provides testimony in support of SB 82 (EXHIBIT I). Explains the background of SB 82 and expresses concerns. Believes SB 82 establishes a precedent for using state owned lands without permission of the state and without allowing the state to recover any costs for administering that land.

226

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks if proponents of SB 82 want to avoid permit fees.

228

Holman

Explains that Sen. Messerle does not want an application fee. Discusses liability issues.

255

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks if the only definite objection to the bill is the application fee.

257

Holman

Explains that the biggest concern is the liability issue but the application fee is a secondary concern.

265

Vice-Chair Ringo

Confirms that DSL supports SB 82 and the -1 amendments.

273

Holman

Affirms.

277

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks if DSL will continue to work with Sen. Messerle.

278

Holman

Affirms.

280

Vice-Chair Ringo

Requests DSL continue to work on SB 82 with Sen. Messerle.

282

Holman

Agrees. Provides testimony in support of SB 836 (EXHIBIT J).

348

Vice-Chair Ringo/Holman

Discussion about the number of pending cases.

389

Chair Ferrioli

States that land underneath the fill are owned by the state.

392

Holman

Believes the question should address what the negotiated settlement should be to clear the title.

395

Chair Ferrioli

Comments that the title companies are less than forthcoming with reasonable notification when there is a question on the title.

TAPE 33, B

002

Sen. Ringo

Asks if citizens seek DSL’s assistance.

007

Holman

Responds that there are few people waiting for assistance with pending issues.

011

Chair Ferrioli

Wonders if the issue is a lack of awareness.

012

Holman

Believes quite a few people are unaware of DSL’s resources.

013

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on the lack of awareness on question of state title ownership.

025

Holman

States that access to resources has been a problem with DSL.

036

Chair Ferrioli

Asks how much of the Port of Portland belongs to the state.

038

Holman

Offers to provide that information.

040

Chair Ferrioli

Asks about resolutions on filled land issues.

044

Holman

Explains that filled lands have a public right and a private right.

050

Chair Ferrioli

States that the state cannot extinguish the right to public access to waterways.

055

Holman

Affirms. Expresses concern with how public rights are taken into consideration and how the fiduciary interests of the Common School Fund are considered.

092

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if DSL could collect rent on the properties.

094

Holman

Affirms.

095

Chair Ferrioli

Asks why a fair market rent is not assessed on a regular basis.

100

Holman

Explains that DSL staffing issues make it difficult to assess rents.

107

Chair Ferrioli

Wonders about the public reaction if adequate staffing allowed DSL to assess rents.

108

Holman

Responds and discusses land value.

117

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks for more fiscal information.

120

Holman

Offers to provide the information. Talks about the Land Board’s concern with the filled lands questions.

130

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if DSL maintains a website with the legal description of the properties that are on filled land.

136

Holman

Explains that there is no website that lists those properties.

141

Chair Ferrioli

Believes a website would be a good way to educate the public about the issue.

146

Holman

States that 30 years ago the landowners were most likely notified.

153

Chair Ferrioli

Requests DSL look into posting information on the internet.

159

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the issue of public access.

163

Holman

Offers to research the policies in other states.

167

Vice-Chair Ringo

Inquires if DSL will address the issue parcel by parcel.

169

Holman

Affirms and offers to research the issue.

176

Chair Ferrioli

Wonders about ways to overcome the right of public access.

187

Holman

Believes some case law addresses the issue and offers to obtain the information.

208

David Bartz

Multnomah County. Provides testimony in support of SB 837 and states that SB 837 will require DSL to follow federal law.

293

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the real motivation behind the bill.

295

Bartz

Believes it requires DSL to follow the law

307

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about the practical side of SB 837.

311

Bartz

States it is appropriate to follow federal law.

317

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asserts that the bill allows property owners to exclude others from their property.

326

Bartz

Agrees.

358

Vice-Chair Ringo

States his interest in the practical impact of the bill.

380

Chair Ferrioli

Comments on the issue of property ownership.

383

Greg Leo

Sandy River Property Owners. Provides testimony in support of SB 836 and SB 837. Discusses issues surrounding navigable waters on the Sandy River.

TAPE 34, A

017

Vice-Chair Ringo

Wonders about how property taken by the state.

018

Beverly Jones

Explains that the river was declared navigable so the state has claimed some of the land that she owns.

021

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks for clarification of the actual land taken.

022

Jones

States that she owns two parcels to the center of the river and a parcel that goes across the river.

024

Vice-Chair Ringo

Clarifies that the state has taken the land from the middle of the stream to the edge of the water.

026

Jones

Affirms.

028

Vice-Chair Ringo

Clarifies that before the water was declared navigable she owned the land and now the state owns the land.

025

Leo

Explains that the Joneses have spent their own money to pursue the issue through the federal courts.

032

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks how the property will be managed differently by the state.

034

Jones

States that she has lost property rights but is still paying for the property and has not been refunded any property taxes.

041

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about a management plan for the land.

044

Jones

Explains that she requested a management plan for public access and that the land remain in her name but the request was denied.

060

Chair Ferrioli

Asks if the property appraisal puts a value on the land that is in the river.

065

Jones

Replies that the appraisal hasn’t been affected.

071

Vice-Chair Ringo

Believes a property owner should not have to pay taxes on land owned by the state. Talks about the issue of excluding public access.

075

Jones

Responds that she does not want to exclude public access to the waterways on her land.

085

Vice-Chair Ringo

Asks about people standing on the banks of her property to fish.

087

Jones

Responds that is acceptable on her own property but cannot speak for other Sandy River property owners.

091

Leo

Discusses reasonable public uses issues and talks about management plans.

100

Jones

Comments that the work group has asked for a ten foot easement with restrictions.

108

Leo

Mentions three pressing issues:

  • Give the Land Board the ability to reverse decisions declaring waterways navigable
  • All rivers should be allowed to have a management plan in lieu to having property taken
  • The State of Oregon should pay for all legal costs because currently landowners must use personal funds to pursue issues of a state policy

137

Chair Ferrioli

Requests testimony in writing for the work group.

143

Leo

Believes SB 836 will solve one problem but leaves the management plan issue unsolved.

152

McCaulley

Provides testimony in support of SB 837 and SB 838. Talks about the navigability issue and states that SB 837 and SB 838 will end the contention between fishermen and landowners.

213

Chair Ferrioli

Closes public hearings on SB 82, SB 836, SB 837 and SB 838 at 5:18 p.m.

 

EXHIBIT SUMMARY

 

A – SB 82, SB 82-1 amendments dated 3/14/03, staff, 1 p.

B – SB 836, SB 836-1 amendments dated 3/14/03, staff, 2 p.

C – SB 837, SB 837-1 amendments dated 3/14/03, staff, 2 p.        

D – SB 838, SB 838-2 amendments dated 3/14/03, staff, 1 p.

E – SB 836, written testimony, J. McCaulley, 5 pp.

F – SB 837, written testimony, J. McCaulley, 6 pp.

G – SB 838, written testimony, J. McCaulley, 5 pp.

H – SB 836, SB 837, SB 838, written testimony, Larry Beaver, 5 pp.

I – SB 82, written testimony, Jeanette Holman, 2 pp.

J – SB 836, written testimony, Jeanette Holman, 27 pp.

K – SB 837, written testimony, Jeanette Holman, 2 pp.

L – SB 838, written testimony, Jeanette Holman, 2 pp.