Mazama Ranch B&B + Campground Proposal Got Another Day in Court

February 10, 2018

This week the Mazamas Foundation presented their modified proposed conditional use permit in a new public hearing to the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners. As further detailed in the link above, the layout of the campground in relation to the adjoining property, including the outdoor gathering area and the parking lot, was shifted to eliminate the need for one setback waiver out of 4, as well as provide additional noise buffering.

Revised Mazama Ranch proposal. Click to enlarge.

Due to the confined size of the 1.93-acre property in question, 3 additional setback waivers were previously approved by the hearings officer and are being challenged by the neighbors. The Mazamas Foundation feels the waivers are fully justified based on the intent of the code, (to be sufficiently screened and buffered) since they are not asking for a variance. 

Luis Elenes of the Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance ponders the future of development around Smith Rock.  Image courtesy of Ethan Vella.

Luis Elenes of the Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance ponders the future of development around Smith Rock. Image courtesy of Ethan Vella.

The appellant and the public also got a chance to weigh in. While the concerns from the Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance have not changed, Luis Elenes, TNA spokesperson, had this to say:  "The modifications present more difficulty in accepting this as an acceptable, responsible and harmonious proposal."

When questioned by several neighbors whether or not removing the campground and leaving just the B&B would be acceptable, Luis responded, "I would have to evaluate a new Mazama Plan that completely removes Commercial Camping from the proposal prior to an opinion. Because the current site plan is highly affected by the Commercial Camping requirements, my guess is the development plan would look very different. It would only be prudent to analyze any new plan completely prior to any comment(s) of acceptability or unacceptability."

On February 8 News Channel 21, took a poll on whether more campsites should be allowed near Smith Rock State Park. Out of a total of 613 respondents, 386 (63%) voted "no" vs 227 (37%) voting "yes." 

What happens next? The Commissioners have issued a 7-day window for additional concerns or arguments to the record, with the Mazamas Foundation having an additional 7 days for additional rebuttals. The Commissioners then have a 7-day window to deliberate, with a hearing scheduled for March 14. They then will present a judgment as to what they will allow.

Of course, at any point before the final decision, the Mazamas Foundation can modify their proposal again and the clock starts over. We'll keep you posted.