Agritourism in Washington County

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Washington County has a diverse mix of land uses - from agricultural and forestry to commercial and residential. Just around the corner you'll find wineries, parks, trails, campgrounds, international and domestic corporations, main street merchants, nurseries, educational institutions and more! That's part of the reason why Washington County is a desirable area to live, work and play.

In 2011 the state passed Senate Bill 960 which allows for additional "Agritourism" uses on exclusive farm use and agricultural forestry districts. Jurisdictions in Oregon have the option to adopt all, some or none of the legislation. As a result, Washington County is leading an effort to understand the perspectives from a variety of community interests and will determine whether to recommend preparing an Ordinance for adoption by its Board of Commissioners and to identify potential parameters for regulations.

Over the next several months staff will gather public comment from an Agritourism Technical Advisory Group, stakeholder groups and other interested parties. We will gather public input through interviews and group meetings, as well as on this website in the public comment box. Public comment will be considered as part of the staff recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.

Agritourism Updates

Board of Commissioners Postpones Agritourism Ordinance

On July 2, 2014 the Board of Commissioners directed Planning staff to postpone the development of an Agri-tourism Ordinance during the 2014-2015 Ordinance season. Instead the Board decided to take advantage of potential funding for a study that could help to clarify and facilitate opportunities for agritourism in the county, investigating tools beyond those afforded by Senate Bill 960 alone. The study would take a bigger picture look at agritourism and would likely assess the current and projected state of Washington County's agricultural sector, activities and uses that could be helpful to support local agriculture, current and potential agritourism activities, infrastructure impacts, and ways to build on the county's agritourism potential within the parameters of state law. Such a study should provide the opportunity to better address a broad range of citizens' concerns and goals.  Potential ordinance(s) could be brought before the Board in 2015.  

Agritourism Issue Paper Released for Comment

Board of Commissioners authorized the release of the Long Range Planning Issue Paper No. 2014-02 - Agri-tourism in Washington County for public review and comment. This issue paper captures the feedback gathered during the public engagement process. Comments submitted by February 14, 2014 will be included in the 2014-15 Work Program report to the Board of Commissioners to be released on February 18. Subsequent comments will be included in the final Work Program report in April 2014.

To submit comments, please use one of the following options:

  • Submit comments using the form at the bottom of this page
  • Submit comments by e-mail to lutplan@co.washington.or.us
  • Submit comments by faxing your submission to (503) 846-4412
  • Submit comments by mail to: Land Use & Transportation - LRP
                                                  155 N 1st Avenue, MS 14
                                                  Hillsboro, OR 97124

 

Agritourism Scoping Report to the Board of Commissioners

January 28, 2014 Agri-tourism Scoping Presentation to the Washington County Board of Commissioners at their Work Session. format-pdf

 

Technical Advisory Group

A Technical Advisory Group (TAG) consisting of a variety of interests met in December 2013 and January 2014 to help staff understand the benefits and impacts of adopting some or all of Oregon Senate Bill 960. The TAG met again in June 2014 to discuss potential event standards and proposed ordinance language.

 

Online Public Comment

Interested in commenting on this process? Please add your comments below in the text box. Staff will consider all comments as they prepare a recommendation for the Board of Commissioners. You can also send an e-mail to LUTPLAN@co.washington.or.us.

 

Please submit your comments related to Agri-tourism in Washington County