Throughout 2018, the Wasco County Planning Department and Citizen Advisory Group have initiated a variety of outreach efforts to engage property owners, residents, stakeholders and other interested parties in Wasco County 2040.
Staff will be presenting results to date to the Citizen Advisory Group at the August 7th work session. You can view the full report, that is part of the packet, by clicking on this link.
Since 2017, Wasco County 2040 efforts have engaged over 1,900 individuals through various mediums, including meetings, surveys, over the phone, and online.
51 community members took the Spring 2018 survey that connected with 2018 Roadshow event topics. There was a general consensus in the survey and events that the Comprehensive Plan (Wasco County 2040) should emphasize education and direct citizens to best available data sources to help them make inform decisions about development. Specifically, participants wanted to see water concerns identified by participants in previous outreach efforts addressed through education rather than more regulation. Helping to direct citizens to water experts like the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and Oregon Water Resources Department was one critical way citizens felt Wasco County 2040 could help support balanced stewardship of water resources.
Broad consensus also supported the adoption of agri-tourism provisions within the Land Use and Development Ordinance (LUDO) to allow for all agri-tourism uses and activities within the Exclusive Farm Use zone allowed by state law.
Participants at the event series used many personal examples to help staff understand challenges and opportunities they saw in the past, currently, and into the future with land use in Wasco County. The events provided an opportunity for staff and Citizen Advisory Group members to ask specific questions to better understand issues and how that might apply to Comprehensive Plan amendments.
The project website also saw a lot of activity, bolstered by improved social media connections, as readers interacted with a variety of topic specific posts that give some data and background to issues that intersect with land use planning.
In addition to these efforts, staff was also able to secure placement in local media with an article in The Dalles Chronicle as well as several PSAs on local radio.
As we head into hearings for Work Task 3, and start to work on tasks 5-8, staff is also looking to offer additional opportunities for engagement and input. Our current survey hopes to understand how better to engage the public. You can submit comments at any time about any of the myriad of topics connected to Wasco County 2040. You can request a meeting for yourself or your group to discuss the Comprehensive Plan update. We also encourage you to follow the program/progress on social media as we continue to post updated content.