Zone change denied for Brian Booth State Park

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners executed an order denying a zone change for Brian Booth State Park at its regular meeting on Jan. 15. (Photo by Cheri Brubaker)

LINCOLN COUNTY — At its regular meeting on Jan. 15, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners executed an order denying the application by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to rezone Brian Booth State Park from its current agricultural conservation (A-C) and timber conservation (T-C) zoning to public parks master plan (PMP).

OPRD sought to develop the state park located in Seal Rock, which is made up of 1,261 acres, including the former Ona Beach State Park (303 acres), former Beaver Creek Natural Area (374 acres) and 583 acres of recently acquired commercial timberland property. The Brian Booth State Park Comprehensive Plan proposed 10 campgrounds with a total number of 164 proposed campsites and a maximum peak overnight capacity of 485.

The park is currently day-use only. The current zoning standards for parks and campgrounds allow for only 40 developed campsites (as a conditional use), and the area devoted to such development shall not exceed 10 acres per development.

OPRD wrote in support of the zone change: “Lands within the park will no longer be used for farming or commercial timber harvests, as these uses are not compatible with existing and proposed recreation and conservation uses."

The order, available in its entirety on the county’s website (www.co.lincoln.or.us), states: “In summary, the board finds that there is not substantial evidence that there has been a substantial change in the character of the area since zoning was adopted and which warrants the change, and that there is not substantial evidence that there is a public need for the change being sought.”

Oregon’s land use planning system discourages development outside of cities, explained Lincoln County Planning and Development Director Onno Husing. This is especially true in zones for timber and agriculture conservation, he added, citing the 1973 Oregon Senate Bill 100.

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development explains the history of Oregon land use on its website, which states, “SB 100 tied local planning to a set of guiding statewide principles. The new law created the Land Conservation and Development Commission to craft the rules that guide the system,”

While the zone change has been denied, OPRD can appeal the decision with the State of Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, where the decision can be affirmed, remanded with instructions or reversed.

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