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Council to soon look at hazardous materials, ban on overnight camping proposals

The council will take up both proposals next month


The Sherwood City Council will soon look at two proposed ordinances – one that would require mandatory reporting of a hazardous substance release and another that would ban overnight camping in commercial areas.

On Tuesday evening, Tom Pessemier, assistant city manager, said he recently talked with the city of Eugene’s code enforcement manager about that city’s hazardous substance ordinance adopted in 1992.

Pessemier said he was told the ordinance was the result of concerns about how the Department of Environmental Quality, the Eugene Fire Department and the Environmental Protection Agency would work together in case of a hazardous waste spill. However, positive changes gradually took place in all those agencies and Eugene has never used the ordinance, Pessemier was told.

Mayor Bill Middleton said he would like to have representatives from Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue and the Sherwood Police Department come to an upcoming council meeting to discuss their protocol in case of a hazardous material spill to determine what might be needed if such an ordinance was created.

In July, business ordinance committee members said that because state and federal agencies don’t “always have the ability to respond immediately to the release of hazardous substances that threaten public health, safety and welfare,” an ordinance was needed.

Meanwhile, Pessemier said city staff would come back to the council at its Oct. 1 with an ordinance banning overnight camping in commercial parking lots. It would not pertain to those camping on private property.

The business ordinance committee spent much of July looking at potential requirements for new businesses planning to locate in Sherwood, the result of an outcry over a proposed Walmart superstore planned for 2014.

They forwarded three – one regarding a hazardous materials response, another that would ban camping and a third that would limit business hours (mandating that retail establishments be closed form 1 to 5 a.m.) – to the Sherwood City Council in early August.

The council had the option of forwarding the committee’s proposals to a special November election. On Aug. 6, the council declined to forward the proposed ordinances to the ballot, instead asking city staff to come back with draft ordinances that would look at both the hazardous materials issue and a ban on overnight camping. The limit on retail hours did not move forward.



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