Following discussion in a joint meeting of the Lakeview Town Council and Lake County’s Board of Commissioners, both entities approved an amendment to the Lake County Enterprise Zone that is co-sponsored.
This zone provides a temporary property tax relief incentive for eligible businesses that site their operations in Lake County.
Under the new amendment, which South Central Oregon Economic Development District Exec. Dir. Betty Riley said had been pre-approved by the state, some 90 acres of land south of the Lake County Industrial Park was added to the zone.
Notification of the proposal had been provided to surrounding area taxing districts, none of which had submitted any comments on the matter during the Wednesday, June 18, meeting.
Local resident Chris Zinda submitted comments detailing his opposition to the change.
Among his concerns are potential air quality concerns that would possibly stem from a biofuels firm that has expressed interest in potentially siting its operations in Lakeview in the area addressed by the amendment.
Zinda said that the proposed biofuels plant runs contrary to air quality improvement goals detailed in the PM Advance plan, which is designed to reduce particulate air pollution in order to meet federal standards.
As well, he also said that the PM Advance plan’s modeling does not account for the potential biofuels plant.
In addition, Zinda said that he fees the county’s comprehensive land use plan is out of date and in need of updates.
Commissioner Ken Kestner read a letter in to the public record from local resident Dee Benson, which also addressed the potential plant’s impact on air quality conditions.
Riley noted that what was on the table at the meeting that day was not a land use change, but only an extension of the area encompassed by the Lake County Enterprise Zone.
As well, any potential businesses interested in benefitting from the zone’s property tax relief incentives must first go through the full planning process and related protocol as part of the eligibility criteria.