EUGENE, Ore. — LandWatch Lane County, a local environmental group, and some neighbors are battling it out with the Lane County government. They’re upset because the county wants to up its number of summer events. LandWatch Lane County said the county isn’t going about putting these events on in the right way, arguing that it’s lacking public input and proper permits. County representatives said that’s just not the case.
“Yeah, we’ve been out here since ’69 and it’s changed a lot since Seavey sold that park out to Pisgah,” said resident Lee Dillon.
That’s what a lot of neighbors we spoke to said and they also said they don’t feel like it’s been a change for the better. The county said it continually reaches out to residents to mitigate any impacts. And though some neighbors admit things have improved here and there, it’s not enough to change their mind.
Dillon said, “We didn’t use to have hardly any travel on Seavy Loop. Now it’s pretty bad and it sounds like it’s gonna get worse with all these events in here that they’re talking about.”
LandWatch Lane County is arguing that the county’s plan to have events over a period of eight weekends from May to October each year is lacking important paperwork, such as a mass gathering permit. County officials said that doesn’t apply here.
“The property is already zoned and planned as a public space and we want the public to come and enjoy this beautiful parkland,” said Matt Laird, Lane County Land Management Division Manager.
And they said arguments for a greenway development permit don’t work either since no permanent structures are being built for the events. The county said its plans are made in the best interest of the county as revenue made comes back to maintaining not just this park but all county areas. And it hopes everyone can work together to make the best of the situation.
Laird said, “It’s always a balancing act when you have multiple users of a park space and you’re trying to address everyone’s interests.”
Lane County officials said they’re doing their best to accommodate everyone and they hope that people will see that, as well as, the positive impacts that all of these events have on the county as a whole.