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Multi County Code Update Project

Project Update - November 2015

The Department of Land Conservation and Development has notified seven counties that they will be receiving ordinance update assistance for the 2015-2017 biennium. They are: Clatsop, Curry, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Morrow and Sherman counties. These counties were selected based on the age of their EFU and forest zones. Non-participating counties may also receive assistance with specific ordinance-update questions or zoning ordinance audits, as funds permit. Angelo Planning Group will once more provide planning consultant services for this project.

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Project Background

As statutes and rules affecting exclusive farm use (EFU) and forest zones are periodically amended, counties typically update their land use regulations for consistency with those amendments. When counties do not update their regulations, they are required instead to directly apply statutory and rule requirements. A number of counties have been unable to keep current with these changes, often lacking sufficient staff resources to do so. Yet, because of the complexity of state laws involving EFU and forest zones, the direct application of these changes can be a challenge for county planning staffs to administer.

To help address this problem, DLCD reserved a portion of its grant funds for the 2013-2015 and 2015-2017 bienniums to help counties update their farm and forest land zones to be consistent with state regulations. Many of the statutory and rule provisions that apply to EFU and forest zones are specific and prescriptive and, as a result, county land use regulations are very similar in many respects, with some variation reflecting different parts of the state. Counties do have some discretion, however, in certain definitions and review criteria, whether to permit certain uses, how to handle notice and review procedures, and in a few other areas.

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2013-2015 Multi County Results

Statutory and rule requirements for EFU and forest zones apply uniformly to the state or to large regions of the state, yet county land use regulations must also reflect local needs and choices. Accordingly, a partnership approach between DLCD and counties was used, together with the assistance of a planning consultant, to 1) create model EFU and forest zones that can be used by any county, and 2) update these zones for four specific counties: Coos, Hood River, Lake and Union. Three of the four counties have since adopted fully up-to-date EFU and forest zones.

In the 2013-2015 biennium, three project teams with 13 county planners were assembled – for eastern Oregon, western Oregon and the Willamette Valley – to provide input into the creation of the model EFU and forest zones. The project teams provided examples of and comments on discretionary elements of the model zones, and feedback on the format and other zone content. Using the input from the project teams, DLCD and the project consultant developed model EFU and forest zones for the different regions of the state.

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Model Zones and User's Guide

The model zones will be archived and updated annually to include the latest statutory and rule changes, so that counties will have a one-stop-shop for their resource zone amendments. The model zones and a User’s Guide are located below. The User’s Guide provides information on the model zones as well as guidance for counties intended to update their resource zones. DLCD is currently working on model mixed farm-forest zones for western and eastern Oregon and staff report templates, which are planned to be posted to this site in the winter of 2016.

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For More Information

Contact Tim Murphy, DLCD Farm/Forest Lands Specialist, at 503-934-0048 or timothy.murphy@state.or.us
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