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Town approves zoning change, tree removal

On, Tuesday, March 25, Lakeview Town Council held a work session and regular session covering a variety of topics, but the most contentious discussion remained the tabling of the ATV ordinance.

During the work session, Dustin Gustaveson of the Oregon Department of Forestry presented a plan to modify a current grant in place and town funds initially allocated to snow removal for instead reducing juniper trees in Bullard Canyon as a means of fire and flood prevention. Gustaveson explained how junipers not only compound the pollen problem for allergy sufferers but limit grass growth, reduce watershed levels, and contribute to both increased fire hazards and the probability of mudslides and flooding.

Also discussed during the work session was the issue of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limit zoning. State Senate Bill 1531 legalized medical marijuana dispensaries subject to local government oversight with a one-year moratorium if implemented by May 1.

Town Council is permitted to pass the moratorium which allows a wait-and-see approach for one year while information is gathered about how best to approach the time, place, and manner of distribution should dispensaries be permitted while specific regulation is still up for debate in the legislature and pending ballot measures.

Following the work session Mayor Mike Patrick began the regular session, which started with a zoning change request by Darryl Anderson and Chuck Kelley to switch the corner empty lot at North H  and First Street from a commercial to residential zone so that Kelley may build a house on the property. After consideration the Council voted unanimously to approve the zone change.

Patrick updated the council on the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality’s analysis of the PM Advance plan, with a meeting scheduled for April 8 at 7 p.m.

Council member Sharon Faulkner gave a spirited update on the ongoing debate between the D.A.R. and community regarding the status of the Schminck Museum and its rumored closure.

Town Mgr. Ray Simms updated the council on the status of Red Rock Biofuels considering an operation in Lakeview, with estimates that a decision will be made by June or July.

Darryl Anderson shared a report on the repairs to the city pool, stating that the concrete is poured and the current work is on updates to plumbing. It is estimated that the pool will tentatively open on May 31, though factors like lifeguard training and sidewalk improvements may limit its hours of operation until a later date.

A unanimous vote approved the proposed plan presented in the work session for redistribution of some matching city funds and remaining grant funds for juniper tree removal in Bullard Canyon.

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