Monday, November 2, 2009

Deschutes County Land Use Plan


If you love Deschutes country, you will not want to miss this. A new Comprehensive Plan for land management in Deschutes county is up for review. Currently wreckless development, realestate speculation and suburban sprawl threaten to destroy the social and environmental legacy of the Deschutes region. Land use has important implications for ground water, surface water quality and ecosystem integrity. So here's what you can do. First, skim through the Comprehensive Plan. It might seem daunting but a quick scan shouldn't take too much time. Here's the plan

http://lava5.deschutes.org/cdd/compplan/assets/files/draftplan/C_Goals_Policies_Actions.pdf

Here's a recent email from Tom Davis, Native Fish Society Deschutes Country River steward who outlines actions we as the public can take to make sure the plan which is adopted will protect the natural bounty of the region and give Deschutes county a sustainable land use plan for the 21st century

Background
We have a tremendous opportunity to gain much needed protection for fish, wildlife, water quality and other natural resources in Deschutes County. This is through the Comprehensive Plan Update now winding its way painfully through the 7 appointed member Planning Commission on its way to the three-member elected County Commission, which will send it out for public review and eventually adopt it.
Simply stated, the Planning Commission wants to benefit land speculation. Growth and home building will be driven by other factors - not a Comp Plan that protects fish, wildlife and water quality. A good Comprehensive Plan will benefit the building industry and our economy. But it could constrain land speculation.

Your Help Needed
So what can you do now?
In summary the County Comp Plan is being updated and the draft plan prepared by staff is very good. Not yet excellent, but close. Some improvement for more protection would make it an outstanding example of a 21st Century land use plan. And land use determines aquatic health, particularly for salmonids.
But it has to go through a review and recommendation process by the Planning Commission before it is sent out by the three (3) elected County Commissioners for public review and comment. It's important to note that the County Commissioners can adopt and solicit public comments on what they want. The Planning Commission is nothing more than an advisory group and they have stated that they want to trash it (in so many words).
A good summary by Merry Ann Moore is at the end of this email for more detail.
Here's what I recommend
In your own words tell the three elected County Commissioners that the staff draft plan is very good and merits public review and comment.
The complete public review and comment, and County adoption, process will take at least another 6 to 8 months, but if we don't act now we'll have a disastrous draft to review and our momentum will be lost.
So immediately get short letters in the US Mail - handwritten is good. Try to get them in the mail today or Tuesday. Or if you prefer - email the three County Commissioners with your message. A phone call would be an especially valuable addition.
And please try to get family and friends to take action too. Visits, calls, letters and emails from young people in grade, middle or high school would be especially good, and it's their future that will be most benefited or sacrificed!
Thanks,
Tom Davis, PE

contact info for the three county commissioners

Commissioner Alan Unger

Deschutes County

1300 NW Wall Street

Bend, Oregon

97701

Alan Unger - E-mail Address
alanu@co.deschutes.or.us

388 6569


Commissioner Dennis Luke

Deschutes County

1300 NW Wall Street

Bend, Oregon

97701

Dennis Luke - E-mail Address
Dennis_Luke@co.deschutes.or.us

388 6568


Commissioner Tammy Baney

Deschutes County

1300 NW Wall Street

Bend, Oregon

97701

Tammy Baney - E-mail Address
Tammy_Baney@co.deschutes.or.us

388 6567


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