We have prepared some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and answers to help Wasco County residents and property owners understand the Land Use and Development Ordinance Update project and process. Do you have a question? You can submit one using our Ask a Planner form.
Select a question to see the answer.
What is the Land Use and Development Ordinance?
The Land Use and Development Ordinance (LUDO) are the criteria and regulations which, in conjunction with state and federal law, govern land use planning and development in Wasco County. When property owners require a permit for new development or uses on their property the LUDO are the rules which a permit application will be evaluated by.
It also consists of procedures for application review.
Why does the LUDO need updating?
There are three main reasons driving the LUDO Update: changes to state and federal laws (required), process or other criteria improvements based on analysis, and policies and implementation strategies that were adopted as a result of Wasco County 2040, the Comprehensive Plan update. Many of these updates have been needed for a decade or more, and the ultimate goal is to produce a better plan that is efficient and meets community needs.
What’s the Process?
The Wasco County Planning Department has scoped a two year process to update the plan. The first year (2021) will focus on many of the required updates and process improvements. The second year (2022) will tackle updates that were generated from the Comprehensive Plan update. Both years are structured to allow the first few months of the year to staff research and technical advisory work to prepare recommended text changes and create easy to read and understand documents for the public process. The public process will then include work sessions where the public will be asked to provide specific feedback on any proposed changes that are optional or have different possible results. These will be done through a variety of methods including public meetings, surveys, and public comment. Once the public has helped to shape the draft documents, they will then be taken through the legislative (rule making) process which begins with the Planning Commission. Once the Planning Commission has a recommendation, the work goes to the Board of County Commissioners who has the ability to adopt proposed changes before the last step, which is to send to the State Department of Land Conservation and Development for approval
Over the next two years, staff will be following an approved work plan. Each work task involves significant public involvement; from work sessions to public hearings, there are multiple opportunities to participate. Staff will be updating the process on this project website so that you can stay informed of where we are at. We encourage you to sign up for notifications via email.
Are There Rules and/or a Plan I Can Read and React To?
Proposed LUDO revisions and other supporting documents will begin to be available starting in April 2021. They will be shared via the project website, newsletter, and the Wasco County website. Residents can also request a copy be emailed, free of charge. To have items printed and mailed, there is a Wasco County fee of $.25 per page plus postage.
How Can I Participate?
We have developed a variety participation opportunities. Check out upcoming events here. You can also participate online by submitting comments online, signing up for updates on news and events, or sharing with your friends and neighbors through social media.
Over the next several years, there will be multiple opportunities to participate and give feedback, including at work sessions, events and public hearings. Staff encourages you to submit comment at any time during the process.
What is the Outcome?
We hope to develop a readable, easy to understand and up to date LUDO that will be consistent with community vision, state and federal law, and include efficiencies for the permitting process moving forward.
We hope that future impacts will be positive, and ensure a healthy and successful future for our amazing County!
What are the wildfire protections with agritourism events and activities?
Agritourism activities and events will be permitted in our farm zones through a subject to standards review. They will be subject to our Fire Safety Standards when constructing new buildings.
Events and activities generally are required to comply with certain health/safety conditions including safe access/transportation, sanitation and solid waste, and specific hours of operation. Single events must meet fire safety requirements. We could, potentially, add fire safety requirements or the requirement applicants submit a wildfire mitigation plan with their application. These might include plans for onsite water storage when outside a rural fire protection district, contracting with a rural fire protection district for the duration of the event, or other measures.
If this is something you would like to see added to the agritourism provisions, we strongly recommend you to submit comments to this effect.
We will be launching our agritourism revision outreach campaign in May. At this time the drafts will be available for review. The plan is to take it through hearings beginning in September, so there are several months for us to receive feedback. It may also be of interest that we are currently in the process of updating our Community Wildfire Protection Plan and will be making updates to Chapter 10 (Fire Safety Standards) next year. We are happy to take feedback at any time about possible additions or revisions to that Chapter and those standards.