The Hood River Municipal Planning Commission adopted draft recommendations for the regulation of short-term rentals, including a five-year amortization period for non-permanent resident occupied STR’s in residential areas with a goal of eliminating them in those locations. The amortization period recommendation includes a hardship clause that would allow property owners to seek further relief from the City, and was approved on a 4-3 vote with Bill Irving, Casey Weeks, and Jodie Gates opposing after they tried different motions to extend the period to seven or ten years. Pre-existing non-conforming properties would be determined by the use of the property from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015. A number of opponents of the decision in the audience held up signs saying “Five years is not grandfathering.” The planning panel did go back and vote to extend the number of days of allowable STR rentals by residents in the residential zone from sixty days to ninety, also on a 4-3 vote with Nate Devol, Will Smith, and Victor Pavlenko opposing. The recommendations will go to the City Council for consideration, with a worksession to outline the planning commission work set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. in City Hall, and the first hearing on the land use questions on April 25. A hearing on specific regulations for short-term rentals that are not part of the zoning work will take place on April 11.
Northern Wasco County PUD is now accepting applications for its economic development grant program. The deadline to apply is May 9. The PUD Board has allocated $50,000 this year to help fund economic development projects in its service area for infrastructure or property with at least a five year life expectancy. No application can be for more than $20,000. Applications must include a brief history of the requesting organization and description of project, including how the project will economically benefit the community, what steps are being taken to bring the project to completion, and how it will contribute back to the community. Applications may be obtained by one of the following methods at the Northern Wasco PUD Office at 2345 River Road in The Dalles, downloaded from nwasco.com, or by calling the PUD at 541-298-3302.
Drivers who use Washington Highway 14 near White Salmon should expect delays beginning Wednesday. The Washington State Department of Transportation will reduce the speed limit from 55 mph to 25 mph on Highway 14 between tunnels 2 and 3 for rock fall protection work from Wednesday until April 20. Both directions of Highway 14 through the work zone will alternate through a single lane around-the-clock, with expected daytime delays of up to 20 minutes. Freight traffic hauling cargo taller than 11 feet 9 inches, or loads longer than legal lengths are not allowed through the tunnels and will need to take an alternate route until the project is complete later in April. The work is part of a $600,000 project that removes potentially hazardous rocks from above the Highway 14 tunnels in Skamania County and the truck climbing lane on U.S. 97 in Klickitat County.
HAVEN, which assists victims of domestic violence, teen dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Wasco, Sherman, Wheeler, and Gilliam counties will celebrate its 35th anniversary during their annual fundraiser on Thursday evening. An Evening with HAVEN will take place in the Fort Dalles Readiness Center with food from area restaurants and an auction. Tickets for an Evening with HAVEN are $35 and are available at Klindt’s Booksellers. The event begins at 5:30 Thursday evening.
Two men were arrested Sunday east of Biggs Junction and charged with poaching two bighorn sheep. According to the Oregon State Police, troopers received a report of a subject was gutting a big game animal alongside Interstate 84 near milepost 119 OSP Patrol and Fish and Wildlife Troopers responded and located a vehicle in the area occupied by a man later identified as 32-year-old Justin Samora of Layton, Utah. Troopers then discovered two severed bighorn sheep heads, and a second man identified as 37-year-old Cody Plagmann of Albany, was found hiding along railroad tracks two miles to the east of the scene. The OSP says an investigation found the pair had worked together to shoot and remove the heads of the bighorn sheep. Both bighorn sheep were recovered but were not able to be salvaged. Plagmann was arrested and lodged at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles on charges of taking and possession of bighorn sheep, wasting of a game animal, and hunting on another’s cultivated or enclosed land. Samora was arrested for aiding in a game violation and also lodged at NORCOR. Anyone who may have witnessed the incident or has information is asked to call The Dalles Area Command at 541-296-9646.
North Wasco County School District 21 will be asking voters in the district a simple question as polling starts this week: what is the will of the community as far as a bond measure to pay for capital facility improvements is concerned? D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says a similar poll in 2008 found no appetite for such a measure, but she thinks that has changed in recent years. Armstrong says the polling won’t be as specific as asking what kind of new or improved facilities are needed. That will come in a second round of questions.
It is Blossom Time in the Hood River Valley. The Hood River County Chamber of Commerce Blossom Time travel promotion now runs for the entire month of April. It had gone to three weekends in recent years, but Chamber Executive Director Mike Glover says after blossoms started to appear in late March last spring, they decided to simply use the entire month of April as “Blossom Time.” Blossom Time brochures are available on-line at hoodriver.org.
Some bills backed by Washington 14th District Representatives have been signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee. Norm Johnson authored House Bill 2772 allowing public hospital districts with revenues exceeding $15 million to participate in job order contracting. Gina McCabe wrote House Bill 2391 to allow counties to modify monthly payroll systems so that no more than 50 percent of earned salary is paid on the draw day, bringing federal and state payroll laws into alignment. In addition, Johnson praised the Governor’s signing of Senate Bill 6245, which requires distance and near-vision screening of students in every school district.
Hood River Valley 8, Ridgeview 7
Redmond 8, The Dalles 5
Columbia 4, King’s Way Christian 3
LaCenter 8, Stevenson 3
Sherman 13, Lyle-Wishram 3
Kiona-Benton sweeps Goldendale 12-4 and 14-1
Hood River Valley 9, Mountain View 6
The Dalles 24, Redmond 3
Glencoe 2, The Dalles 1
Kittitas sweeps Goldendale 15-0 and 23-7
Track and Field
Hood River Valley won the boys’ title of the East County Classic at Mount Hood Community College. Parker Irusta won the 200 meters, 400 meters, and long jump to lead HRV, while Sebastian Barajas won both the shot put and discus. The Dalles was seventh, led by a third place finish by Julian Hernandez in the javelin. In the girls’ portion of the meet, HRV was fifth and The Dalles sixth. Katie Kennedy won the high jump and Abby Kinoshita the triple jump for the Eagles, while Kayla Seibel earned a third in the triple jump for the Riverhawks.
Sherman won the boys title and South Wasco the girls’ crown at the Sherman Invitational. Isaiah Coles won the high jump, long jump, and triple jump to lead the Husky boys, while Ana Popchock won the 800 meters and the triple jump to lead the Redside girls.
Second place finishes by Brian Golding in the boys’ 300 meter hurdles and Ocean Bryan in the girls’ 300 meter hurdles highlighted the Goldendale at the Don Holder Relays in Yakima.
Ridgeview 8, Hood River Valley 0
Ridgeview 6, Hood River Valley 2
Hood River Valley 11, Clackamas 10: Torsen Brown scored three goals for the Eagles in the win.
Lincoln 9, Hood River Valley 6: The Cardinals snapped the Eagles three-game winning streak.
The Superhero 5K and 10K Fun Run and Walk to benefit Mid-Valley Elementary School student Kyle McCarthy is set for Saturday (April 2). Kyle came down with a virus last year that left him partially paralyzed and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. Mid-Valley teacher Mikka Irusta says the goal is to raise $6,000 to go towards an ultra-light wheelchair for Kyle to take another step towards independence. Registration for the run and walk is $25, and it begins at 9:30 a.m. tomorrow morning at Mid-Valley Elementary on 3686 Davis Drive in Odell. Donations to help Kyle McCarthy can also be made at CentrePointe Community Bank in Hood River.