The Wasco County Planning Department talks to hundreds of people every month about a variety of land use planning issues. Most calls, emails, and visits are related to the administrative process (questions about applications, fees, etc) and general zoning and development questions (what a property’s zone is and what the zone means for development, for instance), but we also get a fair amount of calls about other, less common types of development.
For the past seven months staff has tracked every customer interaction to identify some key trends and help us to provide better customer service. The infographic provides a snapshot of some of the trending development topics. Also included is the breakdown of time planners spend per customer and permit approvals by development type in the County (non National Scenic Area) in 2016.
As you can see from the chart, marijuana was the most popular specific topic of inquiry over the last 7 months. This is, in part, because the regulations are still relatively new to Wasco County and Oregon. As you can see from the bottom chart, marijuana related development in 2016 totaled approximately 12 permits.
Questions about residential development and accessory or agriculture structures are, month to month, also some of the most popular topics for inquiry.
During our roadshow and visioning process, you may hear us ask your thoughts on things like alternative dwelling types, solar power facilities, and vacation rentals. In part, this is due to the volume of inquiries we get about these topics; we want to be sure to explore the community vision for the expansion or revision of rules related to development types that already have a high level of interest, particularly when there is the benefit of economic development or added housing.