Expand Pacific Gales? DLCD Hearing Comments in January

House Bill 2730, passed in the 2017 legislative session, allows a golf course to be sited on certain high-value farmland if the golf course is west of Highway 101 and is surrounded on all sides by an approved golf course. Does this description sound familiar? It should. Sponsored by local Rep. David Brock Smith,  the special-interest law was written specifically for the proposed Pacific Gales course, and it amends agricultural land rules to permit this exception.

Given that the permit allowing a course on the Knapp Ranch in the first place has apparently expired, the new rule may be moot. Nevertheless, the Department of Land Conservation and Development needs to hear what citizens think of eroding protections on this category of farmland — especially for a golf course.

Here is the text to be added to OAR 660-033-0130 as Section 18(d):

(d) Subject to the requirements of sections (5) and (20) of this rule, a golf course may be established on land determined to be high-value farmland as defined in ORS 195.300(10)(c) if the land:
(i) Is not otherwise high-value farmland as defined in ORS 195.300(10);
(ii) Is surrounded on all sides by an approved golf course; and
(iii) Is west of U.S. Highway 101.

Send written comments on the proposed rule by January 26 to:

Rules Coordinator, Department of Land Conservation and Development
635 Capitol St., Ste. 150
Salem, Oregon 97301
Or via email to: casaria.taylor@state.or.us

Pipeline Appeal Hearing Set for January 17

On December 14, the Curry County Planning Commission reviewed and adopted an extensive Final Order resulting from its denial of Elk River Property Development’s application to construct a recycled water pipeline over unincorporated county land to serve its proposed Pacific Gales Golf Course.

To review, the commission considered the application at its regular meetings in September, October, and November. On the 14th, we learned the full reasoning behind the decision to deny. Here is a link to all of the relevant documents on the county Web site:


The Decision Notice, Final Order, Appeal, and Notice of Hearing before the Board of Commissioners are new information. The attachments and supplement recapitulate information provided at the earlier meetings.


Appeal AD-1705 to BOC

Notice of Appeal Hearing

The staff report to the Board of Commissioners will be available on the county Web site on Friday, January 5. Comments may be supplied in writing before the hearing or presented during the hearing. See the Notice of Appeal Hearing for directions on how to present testimony. This is a de novo hearing, meaning that the relevant issues will be considered anew, and a decision will be based on evidence and arguments as presented to the BOC on January 17.

The special de novo public hearing will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, 2018, in the BOC chambers, on the upper level of the County Courthouse Annex, at 94235 Moore Street in Gold Beach.

Pipeline Appeal Canceled; Revised Final Order Issued *UPDATE*

Shortly after last month’s denial of the pipeline application by Planning, the applicant appealed to the Curry County  Board of Commissioners. A de novo hearing was then scheduled for December 6. View the appeal letter and public notice here:

A-1701 / AD-1705 Appeal

Then, on November 29, just a week ahead of the hearing, it was canceled without explanation. No later date was given. On December 7, notice was published of a meeting of the Planning Commission on December 14 to consider a revised Final Order, with new findings. The  revised order states the following:

NOW LET IT THEREFORE BE ORDERED that AD-1705 is DENIED with the following findings:
Applicant has not met the burden of proof to support approval of application AD-1705 because:
1. Applicant’s permit to develop a golf course approved by AD-1411 expired in January 2016.
2. No permitted use has been established under ORS 215.283(1)(v), since the statute requires the irrigation to be for a specific approved use under section ORS 215.283(1). The applicant has no valid conditional use permit for a golf course or any other use subject to the provisions of this chapter.
3. An approved use under 215.283(1)(v), is “subject to” an approval of Department of Environmental Quality under various provisions including ORS 215.246. The use is not approved until DEQ has made its determination under ORS 215.246(1)(a), which the DEQ has not yet completed.

2017-12-14 Planning Commission Packet

The pages relevant to the December 14 meeting are 1 through 9. The remaining pages are duplicated from packets provided for earlier meetings.

ERPD gave the county an extension to February 2, meaning that the 150-day deadline for the county to complete action on the application is extended to accommodate the changes in the Final Order. The new appeal hearing with the Board of Commissioners is tentatively scheduled for January 17.