BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners heard more testimony from the Mazamas Foundation Wednesday, in the group’s effort to get approval for a bed and breakfast and campground just north of Smith Rock State Park.
Neighbors testified during a December public hearing
that the proposed development could increase traffic and noise in an already popular area, and approval would set a dangerous precedent for future, larger resorts
. Project Manager Theresa Bright told Commissioners the foundation held several meetings with neighbors last year, and made changes to the plan to address concerns. "Most of these, with the exception of I think four, were a part of our original plan but now are conditions of approval, so are now code enforceable; or, they were things we proposed along the way to mitigate the concerns as they came up. For example, those that the hearings officer imposed were the 24-hour hotline, the entrance gate being closed from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., elimination of the compost toilet and no harassing livestock."
Bright testified during the rebuttal period that the facility could actually reduce the number of cars in the area because visitors can stay so close to the state park, "They’re not coming to our property to visit our property; they’re coming there to visit the park and we’re giving them a place to stay. And, in fact, they can actually park their car there and walk across the street; as opposed to driving back and forth to their accommodations every day." She added, "All of these operational policies are code enforceable. And, in addition to the code enforcement situation, there’s also a second layer of remediation that both the counties and the residents have with the 24-hour hotline. So, we’re asking you to let us prove ourselves."
Commissioners must make a final decision next month; they’ll accept written public comment until January tenth.