BEND, OR -- Deschutes County Commissioners decided Wednesday to approve development of a bed and breakfast near Smith Rock, but they will deny the adjacent campground proposed by the Mazamas Foundation. The proposal drew significant opposition from neighbors, in recent months, who said it would increase traffic and noise. Many believed that if the site was approved, it would encourage other, larger resorts.
During Wednesdays's deliberations, Commissioner Tammy Baney said she believes the foundation would be "a good neighbor," but she's concerned about the impact a B&B with a campground would have on the already popular area. "What we've heard is a lot of community concern about honoring this part of our community. And, it is a residential area with incredible impact from a national monument, but I'd like to allow the Bed and Breakfast and move from there, because I think we have a responsibility to the community to do this in that type of a thoughtful manner."
The B & B would only allow up to eight people per night, whereas a campground would've required amenities for an additional 20 guests. Commissioner Phil Henderson thought the Mazamas tried to show how the two features would be separate, but he worries lines would get get blurred, "I just can't really separate the campsite from the building. I just don't see people not going back and forth. I feel like people would want to use the facilities inside - I would - especially if I was camping there over night and it's part of the socializing, I just see it as one thing, and I don't think you can divide and conquer on this issue in terms of it."
Commissioner Tony DeBone said, "A campground would have amenities for the campers separate from a bed and breakfast. So, if there's six, eight, 10 campsites, there's facilities for those campsites; and there's the bed and Breakfast, so that was kind of the vision, if we were going to go there, but I'm not even advocating for that at this time." Commissioners weighed parking, noise, compatibility, and water use in making their decision to split the conditional use permit.