April 04, 2005 Hearing Room 50

1:30 P.M. Tapes  54 - 55


MEMBERS PRESENT:            Rep. Bill Garrard, Chair

Rep. Gordon Anderson, Vice-Chair

Rep. Mitch Greenlick, Vice-Chair

Rep. Robert Ackerman

Rep. Mary Nolan

Rep. Patti Smith

Rep. Mac Sumner


STAFF PRESENT:                  Sam Litke, Committee Administrator

Lindsay Luckey, Committee Assistant




HB 2931– Public Hearing

                                                HB 3312 – Public Hearing

                                                HB 3286– 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 54, A


Chair Garrard

Calls the meeting to order at 1: 35 p.m. and opens a public hearing on HB 2931.



Sam Litke

Committee Administrator.  Introduces HB 2931.


Rep. Donna Nelson

HD 24.  Notes her sponsorship of HB 2931 at the request of her constituents, James and Susan Ruggles.  Reads testimony on behalf of James and Susan Ruggles advocating public notice and public hearings on Measure 37 (2004) claims (EXHIBIT A).  Reads additional testimony on behalf of Frances and Michael O’Brien (EXHIBIT B).  Reviews provisions of HB 2931.  Reports her vote for Measure 37 and her intention to make sure it is applied appropriately. 


Rep. Ackerman

Comments that he does not argue with the concept of the proposal but reports that in HB 2931 a claim may not proceed without a public hearing.  Reports that in SB 1037 they would determine the viability of the claim before they do public hearings.  Asks if she would disagree with that concept.


Rep. Nelson

Agrees with the concept and elaborates on her local planning division.


Rep. Nolan

Asks if Rep. Nelson thinks there should be a minimum threshold for claims before a  public body should hold a public hearing.


Rep. Nelson

Responds that she does not know and offers to research that issue.


Rep. Nolan

Asks if Rep. Nelson would advocate for a public hearing in any case regardless of the amount of the claim. 


Rep. Nelson

Responds that she has not looked at the issue in that light.  Discusses the varying amounts for claims and asserts that public notices and hearings would probably not be very costly and is the democratic thing to do. 


Rep. Nolan

Responds that she is not quarreling with the notion of notice, but wants to know if Rep. Nelson thinks there should be two weeks notice in advance of public hearings given when a public body wants to spend any amount of money.


Rep. Nelson

Responds that it is an excellent thing to do and discusses the publications in her area.


Rep. Anderson

Notes that there is not the wording to indicate hearings in the initiative itself.  Asks if Rep. Nelson thinks her constituents were considering that this may be a mandate on cities and counties without funding.


Rep. Nelson

Replies that this was a shared concern and that she would like to see this concept as part of an omnibus bill related to Measure 37.


Rep. Nelson

Extends birthday greetings to committee administrator and initiates singing of Happy Birthday.


Lane Shetterly

Director, Department of Land Conservation and Development.  Notes intention to give general comments with regard to public hearings.  Reports that the state process, as following the Department of Justice’s advice, does not provide for public hearing but does provide notice to adjoining property owners with the possibility to respond with written comments.  Discusses logistical issues that would prohibit holding hearings on every claim. 


Art Schlack

Association of Oregon Counties.  Seconds most of the comments made by Director Shetterly.  Discusses variety of ordinances adopted by counties to deal with Measure 37 claims, including public hearings and public notice.  Frames issue as part of the larger Measure 37 issue.  Raises the issue of cost.  Reiterates that the question of public hearings should be a local decision. 

The following material is submitted for the record without public testimony:



Merilyn Reeves

Friends of Yamhill County.  Submits written testimony is support of notification of neighbor and public hearings in regards to Measure 37 claims (EXHIBIT C).


Chair Garrard

Closes the public hearing on HB 2931 and open a public hearing on HB 3312.



Sam Litke

Committee Administrator.  Introduces provisions of HB 3312.


Chair Garrard

Closes the public hearing on HB 3312 and opens a public hearing on HB 3286.




Sam Litke

Committee Administrator.  Introduces the provisions of HB 3286. 


Joe Willis

Oregon Uniform Law Commissioner, National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law.  Commends Litke’s statements and further explains that the bill would take away problems with common law.  Describes origin of the bill and purpose of the conference. 

TAPE 55, A



Discusses possible concerns from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) including some technical omissions which he intends to correct.  Outlines time constraints and parties involved.  Urges the committee to look favorably on HB 3286 with the specified conditions.


Rep. Greenlick

Gives an example of voluntarily adding environmental easements onto one’s property and asks if the bill includes this type of thing.



Respond negatively but that it is akin to what Rep. Greenlick has described.  


Chair Garrard

Asks if one could buy a piece of property that was in a brown field situation, at any stage develop under this bill, develop an environmental covenant and then sell the land.



Responds that currently that situation would probably not happen because by law the liability for the clean up transfers to the new owner.  With the covenant in place, the transfer could be made but the transferee would be limited to using the property pursuant to the covenant.


Chair Garrard

Gives the hypothetical example of a prime piece of real estate which is contaminated, put on the market with a distressed price and asks if under this there would be nothing stopping the owner and the seller agreeing to a covenant and then selling the property.



Thinks you would also have to have the regulatory community involved in approving the covenant.


Chair Garrard

Adds that was his assumption and confirms that with previous mentioned specifications nothing would stop that sale.



Believes the concept is correct and adds one other possibility.


Bob Danko

Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).  Introduces Charlie Landman.  Reports that DEQ is neutral on this bill and already do much of what the bill is suggesting they do.  Notes their decision not to bring this issue forward as a legislative concept.  Outlines technical concerns with the bill if the committee decides to move forward.  Discusses having more time to confer with interested parties.  As an alternative, recommends an interim work group to look at existing clean-up laws. 


Charlie Landman

Mentions it is Danko’s birthday as well. 


Chair Garrard

Asks if Joe Willis would be agreeable to assisting DEQ in their interim work group and having HB 3286 amended.



Responds that from the National conference point of view that it not disagreeable but that their preference is to move forward.  Raises concerns in waiting until the next session.


Chair Garrard

Asks Danko if 30 days would be enough time to contact interested parties.



Responds affirmatively but that it would be difficult.


Chair Garrard

Asks if it is agreeable to Willis to come back on May 2nd .



Responds affirmatively and notes intention to immediately remove technical errors.


Chair Garrard

Schedules for the two parties to return on May 2nd and closes the public hearing on HB 3286.  Adjourns the meeting at 2:21 p.m. 





  1. HB 2931, written testimony, Rep. Donna Nelson on behalf of James and Susan Ruggles, 1 p
  2. HB 2931, written testimony, Rep. Donna Nelson on behalf of Frances and Michael O’Brien, 1 p
  3. HB 2931, written testimony, Merilyn Reeves, 1 p