After being unable to reach agreement on proposed zoning code definitions and limitations on vacation rentals and hosted home shares, the Hood River City Council has directed municipal staff to prepare an ordinance to put into place a six-month moratorium on new short-term rentals in residential zones. With only five councilors sitting for the issue after two had previously recused themselves due to having used their homes for short-term rentals, the panel could not get a required four votes necessary for passage of either a municipal planning commission recommendation requiring primary residency be established for homes to be rented out on a short-term basis, or establishment of a cap system for licensing of STR’s. Existing STR’s in residential zones would not be impacted by the moratorium. The Council will move forward with an upcoming worksession on May 23 to deal with regulatory aspects of short-term rentals.
The Dalles City Council has approved allowing RV parks in medium- and high-density residential zones with conditional use permits. Mayor Steve Lawrence says with an expected 500 construction workers needing places to stay in The Dalles during construction of Google’s newest data center, an already existing demand for RV facilities increased dramatically. By requiring conditional use permits, Lawrence says it will allow the City to review RV park plans on a case-by-case basis, and give neighbors a chance to weigh in before the facilities are approved.
Wasco County’s budget committee will convene on Monday, and will be primarily examining a status quo fiscal plan for 2016-17. Commissioner Scott Hege says department heads were asked to budget at current service levels. He notes the biggest challenge remains keeping up with road maintenance, and he says the current proposal from Public Works Director Arthur Smith is to spend about $750,000 down from a beginning fund balance of close to five million dollars to increase the pace of road work. Hege pointed out the beginning fund balance is separate from the road department’s reserve fund. It was accumulated as the road department put money aside in recent years while the county has not budgeted over the last number of years for federal Secure Rural Schools Act funds because of the uncertainty of that program, but they have received some kind of payment each year.
It is Oregon Wildfire Awareness Month, and those who work to prevent fire are reminding people who live in the wildland-urban interface to create a circle of safety around your home. Kiel Narins of The Dalles Unit of the Oregon Department of Forestry says the circle revolves around the home and at least the first 30 feet around the structure. Cut back overhanging tree limbs, clean roofs and gutters, mow grass, and keep plants well-watered. Fuel breaks such as driveways, gravel walkways, and green lawns can halt the advance of a fire by starving of fuel. Properly placed deciduous trees can protect a home by blocking a wildfire’s intense heat. In the zone 100 to 200 feet from the home, trees need to be thinned so canopies are not touching. Tips on creating defensible space around your home to protect it from wildfire is available at firewise.org.
Hermiston 6, Hood River Valley 2: The Bulldogs scored all of their runs in the seventh inning for the comeback win that eliminated the Eagles from post-season contention. Bre Naylor’s two-run single tied the game, and Kylie Hinkley’s two RBI base hit put Hermiston in front. HRV had taken the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning when Made Vallejo doubled home Laney Erikson and then scored on Zoe Munn’s single.
LaCenter 15, Columbia 2
Hood River Valley 6, Hermiston 5: The Eagles scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out the victory. Kellen Duffy’s bases loaded double tied the contest, and he scored the winning run when Hermiston attempted to turn an inning ending double play on Montana Kurahara’s ground ball.
Dufur 21, Riverside 9
Hood River Valley 10, Central Catholic 5: Abby Bartles and Ellen Hudon each scored two goals as the Eagles finish the regular season in second place in the Portland League. They will begin the state playoffs early next week.
There will be delays on the Hood River/White Salmon Interstate Bridge Wednesday and Thursday while Port of Hood River maintenance crews and contractors will be conduct inspections of the bridge lift span. Inspections will begin at 9 a.m. on both days and continue until 3 p.m. Each closure could be up to 15 minutes in duration, so bridge users should expect up to 15 minute delays.
There will be nighttime crack sealing work done on streets in The Dalles this week. The work will be done on 6th Street, Webber Street, 2nd Street, and Brewers Grade, and take place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Flaggers will be in place at those locations while work is taking place.
Hood River County’s budget committee will hold what could be its last public meeting of its process on Thursday. The sheriff, public works director, and juvenile director are the department heads that will come before the budget panel during the meeting. County Commission Chair Ron Rivers says the discussion with Sheriff Matt English figures to be of the most interest. English has indicated the need for more officers, and Rivers says the budget does provide for additional manpower. County Administrator David Meriwether notes work is being done with outside sources to provide funding for additional staffing for the sheriff’s department, with the state marine board providing dollars for additional river patrol, and the County working with the school district for a school resource officer.
A Carson man died in a one-car accident on Highway 14 east of Washougal early Sunday morning. According to Washington State Patrol reports, 30-year-old Christopher Bash of Carson died after being taken to PeaceHealth Southwest Washington Medical Center in Vancouver. The WSP says Bash was driving eastbound on Highway 14 at around 1:40 a.m. when his car left the roadway at milepost 23 and struck a tree. There were no passengers in the car.
The Port of The Dalles is working with a local group to putting together a dog park between the cruise ship dock and the marina. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says the Port has thought it would be a good location for a dog park for sometime, but needed a group to step up to put it together. The land used to be part of an old Port dock in the 1920’s, between the bottom of Union Street and the Marina. Access would be via the Riverfront Trail.