What’s a Comprehensive Plan?

A Comprehensive Plan is a state required, big picture policy and implementation document designed to help guide decisions about land use planning in Wasco County. Using the framework of State Land Use Planning Goals, Wasco County 2040 will be a twenty year vision of what we want Wasco County to look like…and policies and strategies to help us achieve those goals.

Check out our brief video explaining Comprehensive Plans here: https://youtu.be/Hom9Smw4IlQ

Why Wasco County 2040?

Comprehensive plans are designed to be twenty year vision documents for their jurisdictions. Because we are slated to finish the update by 2020, the Citizen Advisory Group decided that the name Wasco County 2040 would give a clearer picture of what the document is intended to be…a long range plan that will last us until 2040.

Why Are We Updating Our Plan Now?

Although we have had some revisions to our 1983 Comprehensive Plan over the last 30+ years, the community and leadership have identified the need for a full revision. Community members have been vocal in expressing the need for updated policy direction that meets the needs of Wasco County into the future.

We are also using this opportunity to hear feedback about our land use planning processes and in turn, share the story about the impact land use planning has had on Wasco County over the last 30+ years. The Citizen Advisory Group and Wasco County staff want to ensure we are using plans and information that best represent our community and property owners and that can be utilized to achieve community goals for success.

What’s the Process?

Wasco County was approved by the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) in January 2017 to enter Voluntary Periodic Review.  This is a statutorily defined process that can last up to a maximum of three years and includes oversight from state staff. The final work plan was approved by the State in February 2018, officially starting the Periodic Review update process.

Over the next two and a half years, staff will be following the approved work plan to adopt pieces of the new Comprehensive Plan (Wasco County 2040). Each work task involves significant public involvement; from work sessions to public hearings, there are multiple opportunities to participate. Staff will be updating the process on this project website so that you can stay informed of where we are at. We encourage you to sign up for notifications via email.

Are There Rules and/or a Plan I Can Read and React To?

We recommend starting with the current Comprehensive Plan.

This April through May, staff will be presenting the first Chapters (1 and 2) to the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioners. These will be the first set of amendments to go through the update process. You can review the proposed changes and staff report here.

The next set of amendments will start through the hearings process in August or September. To view all the proposed work tasks and the timeline, see the approved work plan: WascoCo_PR_WorkProg_Approval_Order001893_20180220

How Can I Participate?

We have developed a variety of in person participation opportunities.  Check out upcoming events here.  You can also participate online by submitting comments online, signing up for updates on news and events, or sharing with your friends and neighbors through social media.

Over the next several years, there will be multiple opportunities to participate and give feedback, including at work sessions, events and public hearings. Staff encourages you to submit comment at any time during the process.

What is the Outcome?

We hope to develop a readable, easy to understand document that will help guide planning staff, partners, and the community towards our shared vision of Wasco County.  We anticipate many of the new policies will inform an update to the Land Use and Development Ordinance and other implementation tools and strategies.

The process to update the Land Use and Development Ordinance, based on recommendations during the Wasco County 2040 update, is expected to kick off in 2020. That process will involve several work sessions and public hearings with the Planning Commission, and drafts of proposed new language will be available at that time on the Wasco County website and at the Planning Department.

Many of the land use planning rules we administer through our Land Use and Development Ordinance are state legislated rules that we are required to follow.  However, there are some aspects of our criteria or regulations that are unique to Wasco County.  Once we identify some policy directions based on the visioning process, we will be able to generate some suggested solutions and modifications to our existing implementations (like the LUDO rules) to help us achieve community goals.  That’s why its really important to participate throughout the process and help us develop the clearest picture of your hopes and visions for the future of Wasco County!

We hope that future impacts will be positive, and ensure a healthy and successful future for our amazing County!