Wednesday, August 20, 2003
By SVERRE BAKKE
Klickitat County commissioners Monday unanimously voted to vacate the Husum/BZ Corner comprehensive plan and zoning map update and start the planning process over again.
The Husum/BZ Corner Community Council, by a 4-2 vote, approved the controversial update nearly four years ago, in September 1999, and sent it to the county for ratification.
Klickitat County commissioners adopted an ordinance that incorporated the update into the county's comprehensive plan in January 2000. The update later was the subject of two appeals.
One appeal, by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, contended the community could not pass a zoning plan less restrictive than the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area master plan. In response, the county subsequently rescinded that portion of the plan.
The other appeal -- filed by the Husum Citizens Group in Skamania County Superior Court more than three and a half years ago -- questioned the public process used in creating the plan and zoning map update. Until Monday, that lawsuit had not been resolved.
According to Ordinance 0081803 enacted by commissioners at the conclusion of Monday afternoon's public hearing, "...there has been substantial changes (sic) in the community since the time of the January 3, 2000 adoption of zoning/comprehensive plan amendments to the extent that further amendments are now required to address changed circumstances...it appears to be in the public's interest to rescind Ordinance 0010300 in order to resolve the [Husum Citizens Group Jan. 21, 2000] appeal and allow the community to develop a proposed zoning/comprehensive plan amendments (sic) that will address current issues."
Monday's decision to vacate the plan sends the issue back to the Community Council for a new look at the community plan. The process could include a new round of community council meetings to take input on the plan and zoning map.
Until the county can act on a new community plan, all zoning and other plan provisions for the Husum/BZ area will revert to their pre-2000 status, the ordinance stated.