Update on SC Waterworks part of McBee hearing

The second planning commission hearing Jan. 8 on the request by the McBee family to annex just over 67 acres into Shady Cove once again attracted a crowd. However, far fewer community members presented testimony.

A recommendation to just consider the annexation at the meeting was made by Herb Farber, a planning consultant from Central Point, who represented the McBee family. He said the water supply could be solved, that there is a solution to concerns over Highway 62/Rogue River Drive traffic and there is adequate sewer capacity to serve the city and a new development.

Andy McBee said they do not plan to start the development project until White Oak is sold.

Tim Short, of Eugene, the trustee appointed for Ron and Charlotte Boehm, presented an update on the Shady Cove Waterworks, which has been transferred to the trustee. Short said his investigation indicates the best thing to do for now is to put in a mini water system. It will cost $300,000 and will be installed within 90 days. It will supply White Oak and the balance of the Boehm holdings. He estimated it would serve 70-78 households.

Boehm worked with McBee when the White Oak project began and put pipelines through that property, which will entitle the McBee project to water.

Short said from the viewpoint of the trust, he believes the annexation of the McBee property has value. It would provide an additional access to Sawyer Road and obviously be of value to Shady Cove Waterworks. The trustee said his goal is to put in a large system within a year. That would take $1.5 million, according to Short.

John Renz, Dept. Land Conservation, said when former mayor Tom Anderson wanted a 100 acre expansion for a water system, the agency opposed it. But later decided they could legally support it, with some conditions. One of the goals was to see the city tightened its density as many homes are on very large lots. He urged Shady Cove to continue with their commitment. He also said ODOT would require a traffic study before a zone change can be considered.

Only five residents presented testimony against the development. The hearing was only to provide new testimony. Olin Shanrock presented pictures and a map of a proposed road that would connect with Hwy 62 and cause additional impact.

Bud Rees said he wanted an economic study to determine what it would cost residents. He reiterated some of the concerns regarding sewer that he had presented at the first hearing.

Jane Hagan took exception to an opening statement made by Andy McBee wherein he said a lot of misinformation and rumors had been spread and that he and his team were there only to present the truth and facts. Hagan said she takes great pride in her facts. She referenced a bank loan with PremierWest and Ron Boehm, among other items.

At the beginning of the evening Planning Commission Chair Shirley Williams said the city was in receipt of a petition with 187 names. It was not entered into the record because no reasons were given for the opposition and a number of people who signed the petition did not live within the city limits. Resident Lynn Horn was one of those who gathered signatures and she said people outside the city limits had concerns regarding the potential impact of a development.

Following the formal close of the public hearing, the session was allowed to get verbally out of control as there was bantering back and forth between some commission members and those representing the development.

Finally, after considerable confusion, a motion was made to recommend annexation. The vote was 3-2 in favor with Jack Stout and Leith Hayes voting no. Then a motion was made to continue the meeting to consider zoning on Mar. 12. Hayes voted no, the rest supported the motion. That date will be dependent on a traffic study being completed.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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