Terrebonne residents will have another chance to weigh in on a proposed bed-and-breakfast with adjacent campsites near Smith Rock State Park, following a Monday decision by the Deschutes County Commission to hold another public hearing on the contentious project.
Multihour hearings on the project, which could lodge 28 people overnight just across Crooked River Drive from the state park, were held in August and December.
Since then, the developer has redesigned the proposal to move its campground away from neighboring properties.
“Based on the tenor of the hearing as well as concerns from the board, the applicant applied to modify the proposal,” Deschutes County Senior Planner Anthony Raguine said.
The Mazamas Foundation, which supports the Mazamas, a Portland-based nonprofit mountaineering organization, bought the approximately 2-acre triangular lot across Crooked River Drive from Smith Rock State Park last year. The lot is directly north of Sizzlin’ J Ranch and west of a mobile home park.
Adam Baylor, stewardship and advocacy manager for the Mazamas, said the project will meet a demand from the general public and particularly from recreation groups.
Smith Rock is one of Oregon’s fastest-growing state parks, with more than 767,000 total visitors in 2016, and park officials are working on a master plan update that could add more parking. The Mazamas project would provide parking for 15 campers or bed-and-breakfast guests across the street.
“It’s a good thing to be able to walk into the park,” Baylor said.
The Mazamas have modified the plan four or five times over the past several months based on feedback from the community and the county, Baylor said. The newest change moves the campground closer to the bed-and-breakfast and farther from Sizzlin’ J Ranch, removes one campsite and reduces the total campground size from 8,520 square feet to 7,100 square feet.
It also moves an outdoor gathering area north of the bed-and-breakfast building to provide an additional buffer for noise. New 6-foot-high fences along the south and southeast sides of the campground are meant to reduce noise and views of the campground, and a shorter fence along the southern property line is intended to screen noise while keeping a clear line of sight to Smith Rock.
The changes also would reduce the number of setback waivers needed for the property from three to two. The campground is still 75 feet from the northern property line and will be 105 feet from Crooked River Drive, while county code requires a 100-foot setback from the northern property line and a 300-foot setback from the road.
Allowing any waivers sets a dangerous precedent, said Luis Elenes of the Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance, a group of residents who organized in part to oppose the proposal. If the county allows this project, other commercial developers could come in to the rural area, buy residential lots and develop them without needing to follow stringent guidelines, neighbors fear.
Elenes said he was also frustrated by how many times the plan was revised. Each technical revision creates more work for him and other volunteers, he said.
“The Mazamas have gone to huge lengths to change their plans, but fundamentally nothing has changed,” he said. “They’re just trying to create more work for us and for the county.”
But Baylor said the changes are meant to mitigate concerns neighbors had. The project, which could start construction this summer depending on future appeals, won’t dramatically change the area, he said.
“It doesn’t mean that because our project was approved that Trump Hotels can come in next,” Baylor said.
The county has not yet set a date for the new public hearing.
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