Prime farmland will stay prime farmland in Millersburg, because the Linn County leaders denied the town’s request to swap out land inside metropolis boundaries with a hazelnut farm exterior it following a 2-1 vote Tuesday morning, March 14.
Chair Roger Nyquist and Commissioner Sherrie Sprenger denied the applying, whereas Commissioner Will Tucker mentioned he had deliberate to approve it.
Town was searching for to swap 167 acres of what some name “swamp land” alongside the Willamette River inside metropolis boundaries for 163 acres of high-quality farmland exterior metropolis limits with hopes of constructing it out as an industrial heart.
A European tissue paper firm referred to as Sofidel was eyeing constructing a plant on the farm property, which inside Millersburg’s city development boundaries, or the place the town is predicted to develop within the subsequent 20 years. Firm officers mentioned they stood able to create a whole bunch of stories jobs and selected Millersburg as a result of its inland cargo-transfer station.
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Nyquist and Sprenger denied the applying as a result of they felt that it fell in need of one requirement within the resolution standards: that the standard and amount of water across the property not have a big antagonistic impact on land use.
“I can’t give anyone the peace of mind of that, and that’s why I’m making a movement to disclaim it,” Nyquist mentioned.
The property the town hoped to eject was used for many years as a website to seize handled water from the previous Worldwide Paper Mill. Close by farmers declare that the land is stuffed with ravines and flooded for many of the yr.
To fulfill the factors, the presence of any improvement limitation, together with geologic hazards, flood hazards or water high quality/amount can’t negatively impression land use. Nyquist and Sprenger shared issues round what’s within the floor, and the place the water will go.
“It got here right down to as soon as we make this resolution, that farmland is gone,” Sprenger mentioned, “and that could be a endlessly factor.”
The commissioners additionally took into consideration the various feedback submitted by Millersburg and Linn County residents. The opposition to the swap was “overwhelming,” Sprenger mentioned.
The county’s Planning Fee carried out a public listening to to evaluate the applying Jan. 10, throughout which it unanimously voted in opposition to the plan and really useful commissioners additionally deny the plan map and zoning map modification functions.
“I consider that is the primary time I’ve seen a unanimous opposition, and in order that causes me to pause and return and have a look at sure issues once more,” Sprenger mentioned. “I, too, am very involved about what we don’t know on that property.”
Upon listening to the vote, the some 150 group members who packed the Linn County Truthful & Expo Middle for Tuesday’s public listening to, gave a fantastic cheer.
Wayne and Joann Chambers had been two of them.
“We’re elated,” Joann Chambers mentioned. “We’re farmers, and as soon as the farmland is gone, it’s gone.”
Wayne Chambers mentioned his household has been farming within the space for six generations, properly over 100 years.
“It’s the appropriate resolution,” he mentioned. “It simply didn’t make sense.”
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Joanna Mann (she/her) covers training for Mid-Valley Media. She will be contacted at 541-812-6076 or [email protected]. Comply with her on Twitter by way of @joanna_mann_.