The Wasco County Planning Department staff and Citizen Advisory Group recently visited four locations in the county to talk to the community about the following topics:

Water Conservation and Management

During our 2017 Roadshow event series, we heard from a large amount of people concerns about water resources 20 years into the future.  Specifically, there was an expressed interest in looking at possible ways to better plan for development and water use in a way that preserves the resource for existing or future use.  Planning staff and the Citizen Advisory Group would like to hear more about your ideas for how we can incorporate water resource protections or regulations into Wasco County 2040.

Some possible implementation strategies:

  • Restrict development near watershed properties and/or waterways
  • Minimize residential development by maintaining current minimum lot sizes
  • Promote or incentivize use of reclaimed water in certain applications
  • Landscaping requirements for residential properties
  • Adding water conservation measures to conditional use permits
  • Better educational resources

Economic Policies

During Periodic Review for the Comprehensive Plan Update process, the Department of Land Conservation and develop asks all jurisdictions to specifically consider amendments to economic development policies and strategies.  Staff and Citizen Advisory Group members are looking for possible strategies including (but not limited to):

  • Maintain agriculture as foundation of Wasco County’s economy
  • Reinvigorate forestry and logging
  • Focus on added value agriculture in agricultural, commercial and industrial zones
  • Incentives for preferred development (like expedited permits or reduced fees)
  • Support Mid Columbia Economic Development District ‘s Strategic Plan

Land Use Planning Incentives

To encourage better land use and development practices, one potential method is to make incentives available.  These would be incorporated into development permit application processes to achieve certain types of goals (like protection of resources, development near existing infrastructure, etc) and be a way to encourage voluntary compliance.  Staff has generated a basic list, but would like to learn about additional ideas for incentives.  Here are some of the incentives staff has suggested:

  • Expedited permitting process for priority projects
  • Transfer Development Rights to shift development to rural service areas or incorporated places
  • Reduced permitting fees for upgrades or voluntary compliance
  • Free pre-application meetings for complex permits

 Agri-tourism

Agri-tourism encompasses activities, in conjunction with farm use, that brings visitors to a farm or ranch.  It includes activities like harvest days, farm tours, farm to table dinners, and craft classes.  Wasco County currently has some restrictions on agri-tourism and is interested in hearing how residents would like to incorporate it in the future.  Specifically, we are wanted to understand whether people would like to see agri-tourism to be:

  • allowed everywhere
  • be limited to areas near cities and rural service areas (Tygh Valley, Wamic, etc)
  • not be allowed in Wasco County

 

A report reviewing all the input from events will be released in July.  A discussion about the results will be happening at the August Planning Commission workshop on the 7th at 3pm at the Discovery Center.

 

 

2 thoughts on “Roadshow Event Topics and Agendas

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