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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Commission regulates east moraine homes

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Commission regulates east moraine homes

ENTERPRISE — Three homesites proposed for Wallowa Lake’s east moraine will have some constraints placed on them by the county. 

County Planning Director Harold Black reminded the planning commissioners that they are allowed to regulate the three proposed dwellings, but, in compliance with state law, cannot prohibit them from being built.

At the June meeting, Millie Frasier objected to the development and said they should not be built because the crest of the moraine is a national historic site and is sacred to the Nez Perce Tribe, a 1978 wildlife map adopted into the county’s comprehensive plan deems it deer habitat and the county is charged with protecting the moraines.

“All of her points deal with material in place through Goal 5 from as early as 1978, but have been superseded by the current comprehensive plan,” Black said.

Goal 5 is part of the state’s land use laws, adopted by the county, that protects natural resources.

Black said Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sent a letter to the county requesting the homes be clustered to mitigate loss of open space, but clustering them would make them more visible. His report recommends that the homes not be clustered and use the sites as presented by the landowners, the Yanke Family Trust.

“If it weren’t for Measure 49, we wouldn’t be looking at dwellings up there at all,” Black said.

The planning department and the commission ran into another unusual problem when determining regulations on the three dwellings. Since there is not supposed to be any development on the crest of the moraine, according to Goal 5, there is no law that restricts square footage.

“We heard in testimony that since there wasn’t a square-footage requirement in Article 18 of Goal 5 you couldn’t impose one,” Black said. “If you look at the protection area, you will see there is no criteria for dwellings because you are not supposed to have dwellings there.”

For the complete story, see Monday's edition of The Observer. 

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