The Mazama Ranch Record is Now Officially Closed. What's Next.

March 6, 2018

The record is now officially closed on the appeal of the formerly approved Mazama Ranch B&B and Campground proposal on the non-easement portion of a 2.2-acre parcel (net 1.97 acres). The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners has all the materials to consider and deliberate on.

On March 14, each will weigh in on whether they believe the approval of the project should be upheld or overturned, and since it's a majority ruling, at least 2 of the 3 commissioners will decide the outcome. While the meeting is public, no one will be allowed to participate in the discussion.

At issue is whether or not the Board affirms approval of setback waivers by the Hearings Officer for the campground. The usual setback requirement  for a campground is 300 ft from a Landscape Management (LM) feature. The requirement for a waiver is that it be adequately screened and buffered from the LM feature or the property lines. 

The Mazamas Foundation, representing the Mazama Ranch, believes the waivers are justified because the campground and gathering area will not visible from Crooked River Drive, the LM road, or from any property line. They have filed their final statement with the county.

The Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance appealing the earlier decision is extremely concerned with the future interpretation of setback waivers that allow for dense commercial use to expand in the area. 

Setbacks are in place to have developments mitigate noise and have them be screened from view as a conditional use of the development. The property in question is zoned Multi-Use Agricultural-10 and as such is subject to a host of conditions, including setbacks. Throughout the public process that began in August 2017, many of the conditions have been challenged and defended.

Here's where each of the sides stands as we go into this final decision on March 14.

The Mazamas’s final legal argument submitted on Feb. 28, 2018 covers no new ground with respect to the compatibility, setback requirements, and general lack of thoughtfulness regarding establishing a commercial Bed and Breakfast Inn and Campground on 1.97 acres of rural land. We look forward to the critical and thoughtful review of this irresponsible project from the Commissioners DeBone, Baney, and Henderson. We are confident our elected Deschutes County leadership will prevent such a shortsighted, self-serving and incompatible development project. If deliberation on this issue yields an outcome that is not in compliance with Oregon State guidelines with the allowed development of Oregon’s rural lands, we are prepared to appeal to LUBA (Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals). As advocates for natural and rural landscapes, Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance, will not cease from scrutinizing irresponsible and unnecessary development on rural lands that make this region of Deschutes County a treasure for visitors from all over the world.
— Luis Elenes, Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance Volunteer
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 Board has a lot of information to consider before their deliberation and decision on Mar 14. We’ve appreciated the opportunity to speak directly with the Commissioners about our intentions and the purpose of the project, and also to hear the community’s thoughts and opinions about having a bed & breakfast inn and walk-in campground across from the Park. Of course, we’re hoping the project’s approval is upheld by the Board, but whichever way the decision goes, the Mazamas plans to contribute to the community, the Park and the Smith Rock Master Plan will stay the same.
— Teresa Bright, Project Manager for the Mazama Ranch
Teresa Bright of the Mazamas Foundation before the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners.

Teresa Bright of the Mazamas Foundation before the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners.

Which way the court will decide on March 14 is a mystery. We'll be there to hear and share.