New B&B

Wallowa County’s newest B&B is at the end of a long driveway off Hurricane Creek Road.

ENTERPRISE — A home-based, bed-and-breakfast was approved unanimously Tuesday, June 30, by the Wallowa County Planning Commission based on Ida Pacheco’s application for the business at 62524 Hurricane Creek Road in Joseph.

The commission also learned about an update to the county’s natural-hazard plan and a new economic analyses that could set aside 50 acres of natural resource lands for commercial or industrial development.

For Pacheco’s B&B, the commission agreed to allow a maximum of four occupants per visit. The proposed use was deemed in compliance with the Timber/Grazing residential zoning of the property, and that operations of a B&B at that address would not generate traffic in excess of what a single-family dwelling might.

The conditions of approval included that roadside/entryway signage be no larger than 4 square feet, that guests be advised that the surrounding land is private property and that the conditional use permit will not transfer with the sale of the property. The permit also will expire if the permitted use is discontinued for one full year.

Other business discussed but not acted upon included work by county planner Franz Goebel on the Rainbow Farm (solar panel) appeal, the need to define the sizes of business signs allowed in each zones, the possibility of raising fees for filing an appeal to cover the county’s legal and administrative costs and approving future conditional-use permits so that they would expire upon sale of the property to a new owner.

Goebel also briefly reported on the start of work on three projects being headed up by the planning office.

One, he said is the update to the county’s Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. The work is funded through a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The new plan will include input by schools, the sheriff, county emergency management and consider the county’s natural hazards (fires, floods, earthquakes, etc.) and the potential ways of responding to them.

“The plan would be developed in about six meetings that will occur over the course of 12 to 18 months,” Goebel said. “It’s being facilitated by Oregon’s Division of Land Conservation and Development.”

The second is a new economic opportunity analysis for the county. The last one was completed in 2009.

“If we can make a justification, it would allow us to rezone a small amount of resource land into commercial/industrial if it could help get some economic movement happening,” Goebel said.

The limit, he said, is about 50 acres. Wallowa Resources, ranchers represented by Kelly Birkmeier, Rob DeSpain representing business interests, Katy Nesbitt with the Wallowa County Natural Resources Advisory Committee (NRAC) and others comprise a committee provided input. Parc Resources of Bend, a consultant hired by the Wallowa County Planning Department, is writing the report. It will include analyses of trends in jobs and the economy, population and other things.

“The goal is to generate scenarios and ideas that might help stimulate some economic activity. And then figure out how to make that happen. We’ll be having opportunities for input by the planning commission and the public.” Goebel said.

He anticipated completion in about a year.

Joseph State Airport’s new plan is the last project involving the planning department. The updated plan will include how many flights take off and land and what improvements the airport needs. It should be completed any day.

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