Based on feedback from Dufur’s roadshow meeting, Planning staff worked with County GIS staff to prepare a new map to show the proposed eligible sites in relation to current rural fire protection districts.
Many residents at the Dufur roadshow meeting expressed concern that some of the proposed eligible sites, based on the destination resort basic analysis, were in areas outside a rural fire protection district or underserved by emergency services.
To help illustrate the relationship between proposed eligible sites and current rural fire protection districts, the Wasco County GIS team developed this map:
There are two ways Wasco County can consider addressing fire and emergency service concerns. In addition to the state required analysis criteria, including soil types and sensitive wildlife, Wasco County Planning could add the requirement that eligible sites be located in a rural fire protection district. This would immediately eliminate the site east of Dufur.
This could potentially be problematic, because fire protection districts do change and state law prohibits updates to the eligibility map within a 30 month period. Map updates can also be time consuming and costly. The result may be that some eligibility areas approved with the added rural fire protection district would still be eligible for at least 30 months if a rural fire protection district was to dissolve.
Alternatively, Wasco County will be required, in conjunction with the eligibility site map, to adopt criteria for permitting destination resorts in the Wasco County Land Use and Development Ordinance (LUDO). This criteria would define the things an application/project must have in order to be approved. The bulk of this criteria is defined by state law (OAR 660-015-0000(8)). However, Wasco County could add additional criteria requiring contracts with a nearby rural fire protection district or the establishment of a resort fire protection district. Crook County, for instance, requires an application details how a destination resort will provide emergency medical and public safety services, including fire and police.
The second method makes the issue more discretionary, and allows Wasco County the flexibility to do analysis on a project basis. This is similar to the analysis we do for conditional use permits like non-farm dwellings or commercial energy facilities.
We are interested in hearing your feedback about these two possible methods for addressing fire concerns. Which method do you think works best for Wasco County?
You can also comment at any time using our submit comment function.