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Board of Commissioners Tabled Hearing on Rural Land Development Code Amendment

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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday tabled a public hearing on the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the Rural Land Development Code for accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

The Board opened the hearing but decided to continue it due to lingering questions about fire protection on rural and forested lands. Is the Oregon Department of Forestry a fire service provider? That's the question the Board wants answered before resuming the process.

Assistant Community Development Director James Black testified the ordinance amends the development code to allow accessory dwelling units on properties that are more than two acres in size. He said it also allows the conversion of historic homes on such properties into ADUs, adding that all the provisions contained in the amendment are based on state statutes.

However, when the Commissioners questioned the state-mandated rule to provide proof of fire protection for these developments, neither Black nor County Legal Counsel Wally Hicks would provide an answer. The Board has already passed an ordinance that states ODF is a fire service provider for forest land developments.

The Public Comment period was lengthy with several people addressing the Board on a new offer for the proposed Pipe Fork Timber Sale near Williams. The new offer is reportedly $2,320,000 for the 320-acre property, which is $300,000 higher than the original offer funded by a conservancy organization. The Commissioners are scheduled to consider the new offer today during an executive session.

Other comments came from Southern Oregon Regional Economic Development Director Colleen Padilla who encouraged the Board to remember the good work SOREDI has done in Josephine County, a Master Gardener who urged the Board not to defund the OSU Extension Service and three Colonial Valley residents who made complaints about a dangerous dog on Palomino Drive.
Posted on 4/11/24 5:58AM by Sam Marsh