County planners review resort zoning concerns

Planning officials ponder resort map, but no new testimony accepted

After hearing more than 10 yours of public testimony, the Hood River Planning Commission is ready to pinpoint concerns about the draft destination resort map on Wednesday.

Since the appointed body will meet in a work session, Planning Director Mike Benedict said no public testimony will be taken. For that reason, he said the Commission will convene at 7:30 p.m. in its regular meeting place on the third floor of the county courthouse and not in a facility that will accommodate a large audience.

“This should be a short meeting since it is strictly an opportunity for the planning commission to ask staff for more data about how things were put together,” said Benedict.

He said since the third public hearing on Feb. 5, the commission has been reviewing hundreds of pages of submitted documents to compile a list of questions. Once these outstanding issues have been addressed, the seven-member panel will make a recommendation on the map and its accompanying ordinance that will be forwarded to the Hood River County Commission for review and further public comment.

A controversy has arisen over the inclusion on the map of about 70 acres of property in the southern sector of the county that is owned by Mt. Hood Meadows, Ltd. The Cooper Spur Wild and Free Coalition has formed to fight against the company’s stated intent to build a destination resort that it claims would harm natural resources and encourage over-use by recreationists. In turn, the Friends of Cooper Spur Mountain Resort has formed to answer that challenge by advocating for a development that would bring needed jobs to the economically-depressed county.

Although a minimum of 160 acres is necessary to build a resort under Goal 8 of state land-use laws, Meadows contends that about 200 acres of its property should actually be included on the draft map. The company argues that consultants Cogans, Owens, Cogan drew a three-mile buffer zone around nearby farms that did not meet state income guidelines for that protection. If Meadows is not successful in its bid to change those boundaries, the firm could still seek to build a resort under the more arduous Goal 2 exception process to convert a forest zone for commercial use.

Planning Commission Chair Bill Lyons 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.

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 issues.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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