The Tillamook County planning commission in early March approved the Treehouse Partners campground on Sandlake Road, just opposite the rural community of Tierra del Mar. The campground will have nineteen sites on a 58-acre property. Instead of seriously weighing the problems with the site, and with allowing a major “glamping" business in this very rural area, the planning commission simply required that all other relevant agencies provide permits. But land use decision-making is more than a box check-off exercise; the planning commission is required to consider the suitability of the site given its topography, and the potential problems with septic, with other uses on surrounding properties, and with nearby communities.
The planning commission did not do any of that; they did not even require a wetland delineation for a property known to have many wetlands. With four cabins, six tent camping areas, nine owner-provided camping tents on decks, and 26 parking spaces (all as mentioned in the application), this could easily add up to some forty people camping at any given time. The stress on Sandlake Road, septic facilities, water supply, roads and other infrastructure, and groundwater, will be substantial.
We get tired of repeating what counties often seem to willfully forget: the burden of proof that their development proposal meets all requirements is on the applicant. The county cannot just rubberstamp a vague, colorless, simplistic application; they are obligated to ensure the applicant provides the required information; and the applicant must know the burden of proof is on them.
The planning commission’s failure to grapple with the problems in this application led to a Tierra del Mar resident appealing the decision to the Board of Commissioners. The hearing before the Board of Commissioners will be April 25, 2022 at 8:30 AM. Please send testimony by April 24 to Lynn Tone, email@example.com
on this proposal.