By Dora Totoian • Of The News-Register • 

Mac council OKs first reading of UGB expansion

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Concerns that continue to be brought up include confusion about all the comp plan and ordinance updates. Planning has stressed that the remand only included HOW the land was selected yet updates include deleting buffer zones and including R-5 zones on local collector streets. When questioned multiple times by councilors, the planning director maintained that EVERYTHING in the packet had to be passed, yet in the same conversation, she said that the plan and ordinance changes were recommended. Which statement is true?

It has been discouraging to watch the councilors wade through volumes of material and receive conflicting answers about what has to be included versus what planning would like included. It gets worse when councilors are told by the mayor to limit the number of their questions to 3 or be told by planning that a question isn't relative. These meetings are supposed to provide councilors with the information they need to make informed decisions about the future of our city. The topic isn't what size sign should be allowed. The topic is the UGB and how McMinnville will manage projected growth. And yes, I did support both the mayor and the council president in their reelection bids so I believe I have an obligation to hold them accountable in their job performance.

I also don't understand the time frame. In response to citizen testimony, the legal consultant said that the remand was well within the allowed time frame. If that is the case, why is there no time for councilors to ask questions but there's ample time to congratulate planning for providing a confusing report? There are some times when there is a hard legal deadline, such as the Baker Creek development. That does not appear to be the case now for the UGB remand. Yet councilors were pushed to a first reading last Thursday even there were enough questions left unanswered that written citizen testimony was left open until noon the following day. What's the rush?