TERREBONNE, OR -- The fight over a proposed Bed and Breakfast and campground near Smith Rock State Park continues. The Mazamas Foundation wants to develop a nearly two-acre rural property for up to 28 guests. The group is expected to give rebuttal at next week’s Deschutes County Commissioner meeting, after a number of neighbors testified against the proposal, two weeks ago.
Luis Elenes, with the Terrebonne Neighborhood Alliance
, says there is broad opposition in the area because of the size of the proposed development on such a small lot. "The concern there is setting precedent for how the code is interpreted to allow waiving those setback requirements; because, if that happens, more development – more commercial development, more campground development – will come to this area. There are other issues and there are other concerns. But, it’s not just that this is potentially what some people perceive as a benign project on a small lot. It really is about precedence and how it can affect MUA-10 [Multi-Use Agricultural] rural land." He tells KBND News, "If you begin to waive those setback requirements, in this example, from 300’ to 40’, then you open the door to other people wanting to do the same thing on a much larger scale."
The Foundation has argued it has a long history of education and preservation efforts for climbers and hikers. Elenes, a climber himself, says there’s a much bigger picture to consider. "They may come with good intentions and they may be good stewards of the environment – that is to be debated separately. But, the biggest point is, when large changes occur in rural lands or in development, it doesn’t happen because a large giant corporation comes in and wants to build a 10-story hotel. It at first happens in what seems to be a very benign, reasonable manner; it does open the door for future development, assuming the same waivers can be granted." He believes the Mazamas are underestimating the long-term impact hopes County Commissioners will focus on the future, "We’ve seen what the long-term implications, for example, for the park have been and the park service underestimating usage. Now, I’m not talking about the park, I’m talking about MUA-10 lands and how those lands are affected."
Neighbors filed an appeal after the proposal received preliminary approval; click HERE
to learn more about their effort. Deschutes County Commissioners are expected to continue discussing the proposal and the appeal at Wednesday's meeting, January third. Written public comment will be accepted until that meeting.