In December and January, Planning Department staff will be presenting proposed amendments to Chapters 2, 3, 6 and 9 to the Board of County Commissioners for approval. These correlate to work tasks 5-8, or land use planning incentives, agri-tourism, water resources and economic development. Continue reading “What’s Next for Wasco County 2040”
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/
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.
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:
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 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!