Agri-tourism Resources

Over the last several months, we have spoken to lots of community members about agri-tourism and how we may incorporate available land use provisions for events and activities into Wasco County 2040. We will be working to adopt some new language to Wasco County 2040 and make some recommendations for the Land Use and Development Ordinance early next year.

In the meantime, we wanted to provide some additional information and resources for farmers or others interested in agri-tourism in Oregon.

Oregon Policy Handout on “Growing Your Business with Agritourism”: http://industry.traveloregon.com/content/uploads/2017/07/Agritourism-Webinar_7-20171.pdf

Oregon Agritourism Handbook: http://industry.traveloregon.com/industry-resources/toolkits/welcome-oregon-agritourism-handbook/

If you have some thoughts about agri-tourism in Wasco County, please take our 7 minute survey before June 19th!  You can also submit comments at any time during the next several years.

Progress Update and Next Steps

Staff and the Citizen Advisory Group are tackling the first work tasks on our work plan, making updates to Goal 1 and 2 while simultaneously changing the look of the Comprehensive Plan.

The first hearing will be on April 3rd with the Wasco County Planning Commission.

WorkTasks 1 & 2

These first changes are updates, rather than adding new policy, to the existing plan as well as changing the format of the Comprehensive Plan to make it more readable.  The new format of Wasco County 2040 will be focused around each land use planning goal.  Within each goal, there are specific policies and implementation points that help us to achieve our vision.

The updates will be available for review, along with a staff report, mid-March.

The process for adopting the amendments, or changes, looks like this:

Work Task Process

The next work task deadline is in November, and focuses on amendments to Goals 3 and 4.  Specifically, the current Comprehensive Plan references old minimum parcel sizes, which we will be amending.  The process for that adoption will be similar to the above, with hearings likely starting in September.

At the March 6th work session, we will also be discussing with the Citizen Advisory Group our next roadshow tentatively planned for this Spring/Summer.  This work will be looking at policy and implementation strategies that were specifically called out in the visioning process, and include things like agri-tourism, more flexible minimum parcel sizes, and incentive based approaches to land use planning/development.

In conjunction with these activities, we will be rolling out a few new topic or subject focused surveys, as well as informational videos and other materials to help you feel informed and ready to provide feedback.

 

Oregon Statewide Housing Plan

Oregon Housing and Community Services has released County Housing Profiles as part of their development of a statewide Housing Plan.  You can see Wasco County’s data here: http://www.oregon.gov/ohcs/DO/shp/profiles/Wasco-County-Housing-Profile.pdf

The data sheet gives information on  wages related to housing affordability, home ownership rates, and some other indicators of economic and housing health.  Data shows that there is a deficit in lower income housing availability in Wasco County, and that lower income households are paying more of their income towards housing than higher incomes.  While our median house sales prices in 2015 were still significantly lower than other regions of the state, we see that trends towards increasing housing costs will continue to create gaps of affordability in Wasco County.

During our visioning phase, we did hear from community members that housing affordability was an issue.  We are exploring ways to add capacity in certain areas, or increase education about the opportunities currently available in the County, to meet that demand.

We hope that you will continue to share your thoughts and ideas related to housing issues in Wasco County!

Abatement and Recycling Program

The Wasco County Planning Department has a Code Compliance Officer that ensures our land use codes are followed.  The officer also enforces a separate Code Compliance and Nuisance Abatement Ordinance to help keep Wasco County healthy and beautiful!

This year, staff were awarded funding from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to help low income and aged/infirmed residents resolve or prevent nuisance violations.  This is a low or no cost service that sends a team of qualified people to the property to clean up accumulation of materials and ensure they are disposed of properly.

We are still accepting applications, so encourage you to share with your friends or neighbors who may be in need of some extra help!

Below is a flyer with more information:

Wasco county code compliance (2)

You can download an application or get more information by following this link.