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Oregon Campground Plan Faces Stiff Opposition

January 26, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Several farm families and the Linn County (Ore.) Farm Bureau have appealed Linn County’s plan to build an RV park on 175 acres near Highway 34 and Seven Mile Lane.

The appeal was filed with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, according to the Albany Democrat Herald.

The Linn County Board of Commissioners approved the plan in January along with 11 conditions covering the number of camping sites, lighting considerations for neighbors and storm water control, among others.

The farmers who appealed are Cory and Kim Koos, the John Swatzka estate, Betty Smith, Steve Rohner, Larry and Lonnie Parker, Pete and Jan Boucot, Michael and Priscilla Greig, Telly Wirth, Carolyn Olsen, Cindy Clark, Art and Joyce Martinak and Dean and Kathy Schrock.

James Monroe is vice president of the Linn County Farm Bureau and owns a pasture and tree farm on Peterson Butte.

“Our Farm Bureau policy is that we don’t want nonfarm uses and dwellings in the farm zone for a number of obvious reasons,” Monroe said. “We don’t want to see an RV park on land that’s currently being farmed. It’s against Farm Bureau policy and it also threatens the nearby full-time farmers.”

Monroe said that during a public hearing in October, “not one person in agriculture spoke in favor of the proposal. Those who testified were entirely urban or suburbanites with no connection to agriculture.”

Even though the Linn County commissioners approved conditions stipulating that farmers would be allowed to do their work as usual, Monroe said, “You know that just won’t happen.

“People at the park won’t want farmers spraying on weekends, someone will complain. Of course, it makes it harder to move equipment down the road if it’s more congested. It’s a nuisance at best and it is dangerous.”

Linn County purchased the property for $1.25 million in 2007 with plans to lease it to a company that organizes Renaissance fairs. When that fell through, the county parks department prepared plans to develop a park on the site.

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