Planning officials wind up resort comments

The Hood River County Planning Commission wound up more than 10 hours of public testimony on Wednesday over a draft destination resort map.

Chair Bill Lyons gave 64 audience members the final opportunity to register remarks at the third hearing before closing the oral comment period. However, he said written statements will still be accepted into the formal record until Feb. 19.

The seven-member appointed body will then take a week to review hundreds of pages of submitted documents before meeting for a work session at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 26. At that time, Lyons said it is doubtful a decision on the map will be made since it is likely there will be many questions that need to be answered. Once any outstanding issues are addressed, Lyons said a recommendation will then be made and forwarded to the Hood River County Commission for review and further public comment.

He said that even if a final map meeting Goal 8 state land-use rules is approved, it does not mean that a destination resort can automatically be sited on one of the eligible properties. Under the county’s comprehensive land-use plan for forest zones, Lyons said a resort is listed as a conditional use and not permitted outright.

“If an application is ever submitted to anyone then the ultimate decision process is one where the county has more discretion,” he said.

In addition, he said the land-use plan also requires resort applicants to pay into a special fund that can be used to hire independent consultants. For example, he said the county could chose to bring in wildlife or hydrogeologist experts if necessary to address any outstanding concerns.

“Those two things put the county in a very good position — if there is ever an application — to say either ‘no’ or ‘yes,’” said Lyons.

The draft map was developed by the consulting team of Cogan, Owens, Cogan after Mt. Hood Meadows, Ltd., made a formal request last July and paid the $8,300 fee for the work. Controversy arose when about 70 acres of Meadows’ Cooper Spur Mountain Resort property near Parkdale was listed in the inventory along with three other private forest tracts. An opposition group has formed to fight against commercial development because of damage to resources and wildlife. In turn, a proponent group has stepped forward to advocate for development that would bring needed jobs to the economically-depressed county.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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