Could This Be the FINAL DeCision on the Mazama Ranch Development at Smith Rock? 


March 15, 2018

Yesterday the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners split the difference on the appeal of the formerly approved Mazama Ranch B&B and Campground development. Yes to the B&B, no to the campground application.

As they sat down to go through a dozen separate issues related to the appeal, (142 page Deliberation Packet with Decision Matrix) it became apparent early on that it was hard for some of the commissioners to see how the campground could work.

 The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners deliberates the final appeal of the Mazama Ranch B&B and Campground

The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners deliberates the final appeal of the Mazama Ranch B&B and Campground

Commissioner Henderson was "uncomfortable with the campground, seeing too many activities on too small a property. (1.97 acres)," and went on to say "it would have a noticeable impact on the community." Commissioner Baney agreed, saying "given the size of the property and level of use in a residential area other area rentals such as AirBnbs would not have the impact scale of what's being proposed." 

As they worked through each of the issues the question of setbacks that were needed for the campground to work in the small footprint with the B&B, along with berms and fences to mitigate noise and provide screening, did not appear to meet the overarching condition of compatibility and harmony with the area. 

We asked the Mazamas Foundation team where they stood with the decision and whether they planned to appeal to LUBA, (Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals) and they did not have an immediate position. They planned to regroup with the rest of the team in Portland. Here's what they did have to say.

Mazamas Foundation Project Manager Teresa Bright gives SmithRock.com a brief statement after they are told by the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners that they may have their B&B but not campground.
 The Mazamas Foundation Team

The Mazamas Foundation Team

The Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance (TNA), which includes the appellant, Marla Gibson, did issue a statement:

As a united alliance of Terrebonne neighbors, we are pleased to see reasonable judgment prevail with Deschutes County Commissioners unanimously denying a commercial campground in our residential neighborhood. The majority of concerns with the combined plan of a Bed & Breakfast Inn and a campground centered around the required elements and the unharmonious nature of this dual-use development. Although we are pleased to see a commercial campground denied - it is unclear at this time what a modified site plan including only a traditional Bed & Breakfast would be. We would need to evaluate a modified site plan with the single use of a Bed & Breakfast to understand if the harmonious and compatibility requirements are met. We appreciate the efforts from Deschutes County Planning and commissioners Debone, Baney and Henderson.
— Luis Elenes, Volunteer, Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance

So from the sounds of it, we're not quite done. The Board needs to officially sign off on the decision once it is drafted, the Mazamas Foundation will need to modify their sitemap to show just the B&B if they decide to accept the decision, and TNA will review the new sitemap. 

Of course, the Mazamas could still appeal.