A freelance news gathering service

Providing an interactive investigative news site designed to inform & elicit communication focusing on matters impacting Crooked River Ranch matters & beyond

Part of an award winning journalism team


9/27/22, 4:20 PM



The 2021 Oregon State Legislature passed Senate Bill 391, authorizing counties to permit Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on certain properties zoned for rural residential use.

The Jefferson County Planning Commission held public hearings on April 14, May 15, July 28 and August 25 for public input. The Commission voted 5-2 against allowing ADUs at this time.

“Jefferson County should not allow ADUs at this time on any property in the county outside of urban growth boundaries.”

The Commission listed 6 reasons supporting their recommendation opposing ADUs:

A couple of examples: Number 2: “There also appears that many of the smaller acreages likely would not meet ADU standards because they wouldn’t be able to pass septic requirements with drain fields.”

Number 3: “Once you remove areas that showed public opposition, areas that wouldn’t meet septic requirements, areas that do not have the capability of handling more people (roads, bridges, ingress/egress, potential fire hazard, etc.) then this is not solving the housing problem.”

Ranch Matters asked Jefferson County Community Director, Scott Edelman, for his take on the Planning Commission’s recommendation opposing ADUs. He provided the following statement:

“Last year the Oregon State Legislature passed Senate Bill 391, authorizing counties to allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on certain properties zoned for rural residential us. Counties are not required to allow ADUs and, further, if a county chooses to allow them, stricter standards can be applied than in the law. Examples of the basic standards within the bill are a minimum lot size of two acres and a maximum size for an ADU of 900 square feet.

Between March and August of this year, the Jefferson County Planning Commission held four public hearings to discuss allowing accessory dwelling units in rural residential areas of the county, not including the unincorporated communities such as Crooked River Ranch. The plan was to first determine if the county would allow ADUs in the general county and if so, under what standards, then begin a public process with residents of Crooked River Ranch to decide if the same standards should be applied within the Ranch.

At their last public hearing on August 25, the Commission voted 5-2 to recommend that Jefferson County not allow ADUs at this time. The Planning Commission will present their recommendation to the Board of Commissioners at their regular meeting on Wednesday, September 28. This will be an information item only.

At a future meeting, the Board of Commissioners will be asked to provide direction as to whether they want to follow the recommendation of the Planning Commission and not allow ADUs at this time or to continue to consider an ordinance allowing ADUs, either by sending the issue back to the Planning Commission or conducting public hearings of their own.”

We also asked Edelman whether there is any correlation between the ADU decision and the pending subdivision project. He replied: “Not at all, It’s just coincidental timing that these two separate processes are overlapping. However, the Planning Commission will be considering similar issues, such as, septic systems, fire hazards and traffic impacts.”

We suggested residents and others opposed to the subdivision might use the above information as part of arguing against the project.


Copy of Planning Commission Recommendation Letter

Ranch Matters Staff

Verified by MonsterInsights