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forest defense

Save Cooper Spur!

the hood river county planning commission needs your comments about
zoning for a destination resort! keep cooper spur wild and free!
THE HOOD RIVER COUNTY PLANNING COMMISSION NEEDS YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT
ZONING
FOR A DESTINATION RESORT! KEEP COOPER SPUR WILD AND FREE!

Background:
Hood River County is proposing a destination resort zoning ordinance.
The ordinance will include a map showing where a new destination resort
zone could potentially allow a destination resort. The ordinance provides
direction to the County Planning Commission, Staff and Board of County
Commissioners on how the new zoning category will protect and enhance
economic, natural, historic, scenic, farm and forest and other
resources.
The County Planning Commission is asking citizens and groups for input
to make improvements to the proposal. While there are some good aspects
to the proposal, the ordinance and map as proposed are woefully
inadequate. Due to major omissions, the ordinance in its current form will not
protect significant County resources we all hold dear. The map also contains
inaccuracies and omissions. Resorts approved under the current
ordinance could harm the ailing economy and agricultural economic base. The
following major points should be made.

Talking Points:

* Mt. Hood National Forest lands should not be considered in
the County zoning analysis. Too much of Mt. Hood NF is already used for
private development. County zoning cannot apply to federal lands.
Showing zoning on National Forest lands would be used later as a rationale to
exchange federal lands to a private developer.

* The proposed ordinance does not protect farm and forest
lands. The ordinance and mapping need to be strengthened to conserve and
enhance agriculture, the County's number one industry, and forestlands.

* The map showing eligible areas for the proposed destination
resort zone contains major errors that need correction, particularly
with delineation of farms. This is critical, as the map currently drawn does
not protect all significant farmland.

* The 3-mile buffer between a concentration of high value farm
land and destination resorts is too small to protect farms and farming
areas from the negative impacts of destination resorts. These negative
impacts include traffic, incompatible uses, increased land values due
to speculation, increased farming costs and increased cost of services.
The Planning Commission should make every effort to include all farms in
the "concentration of farms" to make the 3 mile buffer reach as far away as
possible from farming areas.

* The map is particularly inaccurate in the south, where a
different process was used to create it than for any other part, and
where Mt. Hood Meadows is proposing to apply for a destination resort.
Mapping should be done consistently across the County.

* Mapping inaccuracies should be closely studied and explained
before any proposal to adopt the map is considered.

* The ordinance needs revision to protect domestic watersheds
such as the Crystal Springs District.

* Destination resorts must be compatible with adjacent land
uses, especially farm and forest lands. The ordinance does not now provide
for this.

* Historic resource settings, such as the Tilly Jane and Cloud
Cap Historic District must be protected.

* Lands on adjacent tracts must not be used for facilities
connected to or supporting the destination resort. That violates the
Oregon planning statutes and would promote sprawl on lands not intended
for destination resorts, such as farm or forest areas.

* Economic costs to the County, State agencies and farming and
forestry operations must be analyzed, disclosed and covered by the
destination resort developers. Currently the ordinance only provides
for analyzing the economic impacts with no requirement to cover the costs.

COMMENTS TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION MUST BE RECEIVED BY WEDNESDAY,
FEBRUARY 19

Mail comments to:

By US mail:
Hood River County Planning Commission
Hood River County Courthouse
309 State Street
Hood River, OR 97031

Or by Email to the Hood River County Planning Commission at
Hood River County Planning Department  plan.dept@co.hood-river.or.us

homepage: homepage: http://www.cooperspur.org

beautiful! 17.Feb.2003 19:53

pdx grrrl

beautiful!
beautiful!

Sample Comment 18.Feb.2003 07:46

quill

February 18, 2003

Hood River County Planning Commission
Hood River County Courthouse
309 State Street
Hood River, OR 97031
 plan.dept@co.hood-river.or.us


To The Hood River Planning Commission,

Please consider this/my comment on the proposed zoning ordinance that would rezone an area in Hood River County as an area that could in the future be used as a destination resort. This rezoning proposal comment is being mailed and emailed to ensure receipt in time for the Feb 19th deadline. Please disregard the duplicate.

The map that is given as a resource to use when determining the effects and the location of this proposed rezoning area seems to be lacking in specificity. There seem to be many accuracies and omissions in this map, and for this reason it needs to be resubmitted in a clarified form. Surely the planners are using a different and more specific site map. If not, the outcome of plans to design a resort are questionable at best. At worst, residents can only expect more of the same poor land use decisions to be made by Meadows and other destination-resort corporations as were made on the north face of Mt. Hood. Mapping inaccuracies should be closely studied and explained before any proposal to adopt the map is considered.

The proposal to allow further resort construction on Mt. Hood is flawed for other reasons. The most obvious harm that would be done to residents of Mt. Hood is that the valuable tourism and recreation dollars that local townships benefit from would be redirected toward resort operators. The agricultural economic base would obviously suffer when land used for agriculture is removed from the agricultural base and when siltation and runoff (issues that have never been remediated from the last resort construction errors on Mt. Hood) interfere with drainage, farming, watersheds, and the beauty of the existing natural ecosytems in the area.

The map is particularly inaccurate in the south, where a different process was used to create it than for any other part. Since this is the area where Mt. Hood Meadows proposes to apply for a destination resort, mapping should be done consistently across the County.

One of the major ommissions in the map showing areas eligible for proposed destination resort zones is that the map does not adequately delineate, and so would not protect, existing farms. This is further reflected in the woefully inadequate 3-mile buffer zone planned between one concentration of high value farmlands and destination resorts. Could it be that the planners have already decided these farms are of no consequence and have already planned them out of the picture? Or does this omission actually reflect the lack of knowledge of planners (or those developers presenting this proposal) about the area they intend to impact? Either way, this omission is unacceptable whether it reflects a lack of knowledge or lack of desire to consider impacts to the local farming community.

Negative impacts of the miniscule buffer zones reflected by disregarding locations of existing farms in the planning map include: traffic, incompatible uses, increased farming costs, increased land values due to speculation, and increased cost of services. The Planning Commission should make every effort to include all farms in the "concentration of farms" to make the 3 mile buffer reach as far away as possible from farming areas.

Hood River County has as it's main source of revenue, farming and tourism. This proposed ordinance does not protect farm and forest lands. Nor does it protect domestic watersheds such as the Crystal Springs District. Nor does it provide for existing Historic resource settings, such as the Tilly Jane and Cloud Cap Historic District, a current tourist attraction where I myself have brought visitors to enjoy.

The ordinance and mapping need to be strengthened to conserve and enhance watersheds, agriculture and forestlands, or this proposal should be dropped completely from consideration by the Hood River Planning Department. Destination resorts must be compatible with adjacent land uses, especially farm and forest lands. The ordinance does not now provide for this.

Another impact that hasn't been adequately considered in this proposal are the economic costs to the County, State agencies and farming and forestry operations. These economic impacts must be analyzed, disclosed and covered by the destination resort developers. Currently the ordinance only provides for analyzing the economic impacts with no requirement to cover the costs.

In conclusion I want to emphasize that under no circumstances should Mt. Hood National Forest lands should not be considered in the County zoning analysis. County zoning cannot apply to federal lands. These lands are held in trust for the future generations. This forest especially has already too much private development on what were intended to be public lands. This problem should not be a justification for further degradation and use of public lands for private profit. Instead, the problem of overutilization of public lands for private use should be addressed and reversed.

Thank you for considering my comment on the Hood River destination resort rezoning proposal. I hope this agency intends to act in the interest of the residents of Hood River County, and of Oregonians who benefit from the agricultural base and recreational value of the Hood River Ecosystem, and that your agency acts now, as it failed to do earlier in the century to protect land held in trust for future generations.

Sincerely,