City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes

Mon., Apr. 24, 2017

Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:04pm. Present were Councilors Hardin, Beas-Fitzgerald, Primmer, Gutierrez, and Smith. Councilors Kirwan, Myers, and Davis were excused. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Byron Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Chief Edmiston, Ron Sivey, Judge Creasing, Larry Fetter, Clint Spencer, Heather LaBeau, Emma Porricolo, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present were Jade McDowell from the Hermiston Herald and Michael Kane from NE Oregon Now. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Presentation National Law Enforcement Appreciation Week

Lead Chaplain Terry Cummings announced National Law Enforcement Appreciation week is

May 14th-20th. Chaplain Cummings distributed blue C.O.P.S. ribbons that can be tied to vehicle antennas or displayed in or around vehicles to show appreciation for law enforcement.

Presentation Cinco de Mayo Señoritas.

Cinco de Mayo President Clara Beas-Fitzgerald introduced the three winners of the Cinco de Mayo Señorita Contest: in first place, Natali Armenta; in second place, Daisy Cardenas; and in third place, Jaleslie Torres.

All three winners expressed their gratitude towards all who voted for them, their excitement to be part of the Cinco de Mayo Señoritas, and invited the Council and community to attend the two-day event on May 6th and 7th at Butte Park.

Consent Items

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, to include:

  1. Minutes of the April 10th, regular City Council meeting.
  2. Minutes of the April 18th, special City Council meeting.
  3. Minutes of the February 16th and March 9th, Parks and Recreation meeting.
  4. Minutes of the March 8th, Planning Commission meeting.
  5. Minutes of the March 21st, Hispanic Advisory Committee meeting.
  6. Liquor License Application- “Off-Premises Sales, New Outlet” at Hermiston Liquor Store located at 1565 N. 1st St., Suite 6.
  7. Replat- William & Mary Cole, S Hwy 395, 4N 28 24BA Tax Lots 303 & 304.
  8. Replat-, LLC, 1855, 1865, 1875 & 1985 NE North St, 4N 28 08CB Tax Lots 2100, 2101, 2200, and 2300.
  9. Recommendation of standing committee appointment for the unexpired portion of the remaining:
  1. 3-year term beginning May 9th, 2017 and ending March 31st, 2020
    Planning Commission- position #4- Moses Frederic
  2. 3-year term beginning May 9th, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019
    Budget Committee- position #1- John Douglass

Councilor Gutierrez abstained from voting as he was not at the April 10th meeting. Motion carried 4-1.

Public Hearing-Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Zone

Hearing no potential conflicts of interest, Mayor Drotzmann opened the hearing at 7:23pm.

City Planner Clint Spencer read the hearing guideline and stated the Ordinance that will be presented later in the meeting is to consider an application from Eastern Oregon Development, LLC for the creation and application of a Neighborhood Commercial Overlay Zone.

The location of the proposed zone is on the north side of W. Highland Ave and west of S.W. 11th St. The proposed new zone will retain its existing (C-2) outright and conditional uses per Hermiston Code of Ordinances 157.041 and include Mini Storage and Multi-family dwellings as conditional uses.

Councilor Primmer announced that he may have a potential conflict of interest as his sister-in-law lives near the site that is being discussed. He did not realize the property was so close to her home until now, and is recusing himself from further discussion.

Proponent- Steve Richards gave the Council handouts and presented a PowerPoint presentation regarding proposed mini storage units at this site that would be completely fenced, gated, have LED lighting, security cameras, etc; Demand Study from Barak & Associates; Petition to allow mini storages on that site; Code Enforcement information; Letters in support for mini-storage sites within City-Limits from City Planners in Richland and Kennewick Washington. Mr. Richards stated if approved, and he moves forward with the mini storages, the site could hold 300-370 storage units and have parking for campers, vehicles, and boats.

There were no Opponents who wished to address the Council, and the hearing was closed at 7:50pm.

City Planner Clint Spencer outlined the Findings of Fact to the Council as prepared in the agenda packet.

Councilor Hardin moved and Councilor Smith seconded to approve the Findings of Fact as written. Motion carried 4-1, with Councilor Primmer abstaining.

Ordinance No. 2245- Amending the Hermiston Zoning Ordinance

City Planner Clint Spencer stated information regarding Ordinance No. 2245 to consider an ordinance amending the Hermiston Zoning Ordinance to create a new neighborhood Commercial Overlay Zone and designating properties within the overlay zone was presented earlier during the public hearing.

City Attorney Gary Luisi stated after reviewing Councilor Primmer’s potential conflict of interest, he has determined that this is not a conflict of interest for Councilor Primmer as the plans presented are only in the planning stages and may not move forward with the building phase.

Mayor Drotzmann requested that the first reading be by title only. Hearing no opposition, City Attorney Gary Luisi read the ordinance by title only. Mayor Drotzmann requested that the ordinance be put on for final adoption at this meeting and that the second reading be by title only. After City Attorney Luisi read the ordinance by title only for the second reading, Councilor Smith moved and Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald seconded that Ordinance 2245 be adopted tonight and be effective 30 days after its passage by City Council. 5 votes for; none against. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2057- Approve a bid from General Pacific, Inc. to supply new water meters

- was read and discussed. Assistant City Manager Morgan gave a brief presentation regarding purchasing new water meters through a sole-source purchase from General Pacific, Inc. Councilor Smith moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to approve Resolution No. 2057 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Approval to Research Possible Residential Code Amendments

City Manager Smith stated the City met with local development companies to discuss what limitations there are developing residential housing in Hermiston. Based on their feedback, the Planning Commission is requesting that the City research ways to alleviate the housing shortage in Hermiston.

City Planner Clint Spencer stated there were three issues that were identified in the joint meeting, that include:

  1. The asking cost of bare land is higher than what the property is worth.
  2. Infrastructure costs, especially water, are expensive and limit development.
  3. The available construction labor force does not charge competitive wages.

Mr. Spencer stated the City can address the first two of these three items. One idea is to promote infill at existing residential areas as this is more cost efficient due to infrastructure costs being closer to those areas. Also discussed was modifying lot size, lot coverage, and set back requirements to be able to increase the amount of lots that can be placed in an acre.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked Mr. Spencer and the Planning Commission for their leadership in trying to solve some of the challenges that a growing community has, such as housing availability and development. And believes these are excellent ways in helping to address these issues.

Troy White 785 E Opal Court- Mr. White stated he owns property across from the movie theater. He is in support of these changes as it would allow about 20 homes to be developed in this area.

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve city staff to begin researching residential code amendments to possibly change the zoning ordinance. Motion carried unanimously.

Approval of the Festival Street Final Design

City Planner Clint Spencer stated Greenworks has developed an overall conceptual design that was presented earlier in the work session. The Festival Street Committee approved the design for phase one. The Committee is requesting that the Council approve this design in order to move forward. The Committee also encouraged private fundraising efforts so that more options, such as a water fountain feature, can be included in the design.

After some discussion Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve the Festival Street final design as presented. Motion carried unanimously.

Possible Expansion of the Hermiston Enterprise Zone

City Manager Smith stated VA Data is purchasing property just off of Westland Road. They recently approached the City to ask that we consider extending our enterprise zone to include that property as we did with Shearers Food as this would create more employment opportunities. Incentives have been discussed as this property would be serviced by the regional water system as well. This issue had to be brought to the Council tonight in order to meet the notification deadlines, but is asking that the Council table this discussion as more conversation needs to take place with the County.

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Smith seconded to table the discussion of the possible expansion of the Hermiston Enterprise Zone until the May 8th City Council Meeting. Motion carried unanimously.

Lease Approval for the Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center (EOTEC) and the Umatilla County Fair

City Manager Smith stated although this lease had already been approved, County Council found two items that needed to be addressed, the changes must be reviewed and approved by the City, and include:

  1. Adding a non-appropriation clause. If the County Fair has not appropriated any money, then they would be allowed out of the lease.
  2. Changes in indemnification language that are applicable to a public entity vs a private one.

Councilor Hardin moved and Councilor Gutierrez seconded to approve the amended lease for EOTEC and the Umatilla County Fair. Motion carried unanimously.

EOTEC Report

City Manager Smith presented the Council with updated photos, taken today, of EOTEC, specifically the fair and rodeo grounds. City Manager Smith gave an update regarding progress of the: rodeo, barns, bathroom, fair offices, paving, fencing and possible video board for advertising in the rodeo arena. City Manager Smith also thanked Art Prior for sharing an aerial photo of the progress that is being made at EOTEC.

March Financial Report

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve the March Financial Report as prepared and presented by Finance Director Amy Palmer. Motion carried unanimously.

Committee Report’s

Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated although, the Cinco de Mayo Committee is not a part of the City, she still encourages all to attend the two-day event.

Hispanic Advisory Committee: Councilor Gutierrez stated the Committee met last week and had presenters from Catholic Charities, Sheriff Rowan, and Chief Edmiston who all spoke in regards to immigration.

Rose Parade Float Committee: Councilor Beas-Fitzgerald stated the Committee will hold off meeting until they are ready to put all of the organic material onto the float. Ross Brandt Electric is currently assembling the float that will not only be used in the Portland Rose Festival Parade but the Umatilla County Fair Parade as well.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Drotzmann stated the Hazardous Waste Pickup took place Saturday, April 22 at EOTEC, and is looking forward to hearing totals for the recycling day event and hazardous waste pickup.

Hermiston graduate, Lorissa Bounds, oldest child of Rodger and Karen Bounds, is the new Chief of Staff for Representative Walden. Ms. Bounds will be a great resource to Hermiston. Mayor Drotzmann stated he and Senator Wyden met in Hermiston last weekend and had a great conversation regarding the needs of the community. Senator Merkley will also be in Pendleton on Sunday for a town hall meeting.

UEC had their Annual Board Meeting on Saturday. It was a great turn out with about 500 people in attendance. UEC is a good community partner and is glad their event was successful.

This year’s last Breakfast of Champions certificates were given this month. Mayor Drotzmann stated this event is one of his favorites as these recipients are kind children and good students, who are very deserving of this award, and will hopefully become future leaders.

Council Report

Councilor Hardin stated he received notification that 1,800 troops will be in Hermiston from April 28th to May 9th for training at the Army Depot.

Councilor Primmer stated his son is riding his bicycle, cross-county, for a total of 6,800 miles. Today, he is on day 15 and is getting ready to cross into Florida. Councilor Primmer will continue to give the Council updates throughout his 6 to 7 month journey as he represents Hermiston by wearing a Hermiston “Where Life is Sweet” tank top. If you’re interested in daily updates, you can go to his blog at . Please remember, he was a sailor, so his content can be “coarse”.

Councilor Gutierrez asked if improvements can be made on Highway 395 and Elm to prevent accidents like what just happened to the bicyclist the other day.

Chief Edmiston stated he is in talks with ODOT, as this is a State Highway, to address this intersection as it is the busiest and more dangerous intersection in Eastern Oregon.

City Manager Smith stated recent improvements have been made to expand those corners as well.

City Manager’s Report

City Manager Smith stated the Harkenrider Center Groundbreaking is this Wednesday, at 12:30pm.

Construction crews are out on 11th and Elm and 11th and Orchard to get ready to install traffic lights. These should be completed in the late fall.


There was no other business and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the meeting at 9:05pm.

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