Plan Commission identifies three `big box' issues

The Hood River County Planning Commission has recommended adoption of "big box" size limitations.

The legislative body also voiced three areas of concern with the "footprint" code that was forwarded by the Hood River City Council, which passed the ordinance in October. These included:

Whether the ordinance should be revised to specifically address retail outlets only, since including all commercial structures could preclude other large scale businesses such as hotels and tech centers.

A further definition of the term "building" since the uniform building code currently divides structures by interior fire walls.

If there should be an allowance for variances in the building size prohibition so that some exceptions could be made.

Bill Lyons, planning commission chair, said if the Hood River County Commission decided these issues have merit it can initiate dialogue with city officials to work out changes.

"When we're done we want to make sure the city and county have common ordinances that are administered uniformly," said Lyons.

The county board will be reviewing the proposed 50,000 square foot commercial building size restriction at 7 p.m. on Jan. 22. Under a formal agreement in 1997, the county is slated to adopt land-use ordinances for the urban growth boundary that are similar to those drafted by the city.

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