Sunday, March 19, 2006

Special Events on Ag and Forest Land in the county

County Ordinance 207 is up for review. Drysiders, for years, have allowed special events on ag/forest land, and a winery in Stafford has requested the county allow them to do what's been legal and permissible in residential and business areas of the county for years.

The ORS allows counties to permit such in ag/forest areas, within limits; what should those limits be? The state's maximum allows up to 3,000 people, per event, with up to five events a year, on ag/forest land, if there's enabling legislation by the county. Should the rules be tighter? Should there be additional requirements? Should the county allow this at all?

I think so; after all, first, and foremost, the land belongs to its owners to use as they see fit, provided they don't limit the ability of their neighbors to use their adjacent land, and provided there's no risk to life or limb.

Back home, I was a Civil War (whoops, sorry, granny, a "War of Northern Agression") re-enactor. It just isn't something you can practically do in the confines of a residential area, and ag or forest land for this is perfect.

Mrs Clackablog is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, who keep crafts and traditions alive, while playing at jousting and other forms of mock combat. Again, this is something best done in a rural area, as half-ton oatburners do not fit well in suburban parkland.

Surely, the county's staff can evolve guidelines; specific limits on noise at property lines, a requirement for private state-licensed security and or first aid/AED/CPR-trained marshals on site, perhaps a mandate for other safety-oriented requirements as well as a performance bond to forfeit if the event causes problems. A waiver for groups which have a track record of not causing problems is also equitable.

If you concur, then an e-mail, by close of business Monday, to Ms Erlien Kittleson, The Adm. Ass't. to the Planning Director, and to Gary Hewitt, Variances and Forest District Applications. On a weekend, I'm flyin' blind not knowing the exact person to write to, but if neither of those folks are ight, they will know who is, and a list of all the possible county planning contacts may be found here.

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