Deschutes County Commission began looking at alternativeoptions, such as , in an effort to alleviate the county’s shortage of affordable , a report said.
It is believed that it is more affordable than an apartment or standard home and could be used to stabilize those who are otherwise living in the woods or on the streets.
However, county staff analysis shows that creatingin rural areas of the county is easier said than done.
A recent analysis found that even expanding ancan be difficult.
According to Peter Gutowsky (the county’smanager), the barriers are rooted in the within the state system.
Gutowsky stated that the biggest obstacle tobeing built in rural areas of the county is the fact that they are considered urban uses. Gutowsky is the commissioner.
To be able to build anin an area not considered “urban”, anyone who wants to set up a new one or expand an existing one will need to apply for an exemption from the state. This can take extra time and cost more.
Gutowsky also said that there are other barriers. A number ofin Deschutes County have very shallow groundwater. To obtain a water , they would need to submit a hydrologic study. The owner of an would have to update the entire to meet modern standards if it expands. This could prove costly for those that were not built according to current codes.
According to county records, existingand face similar . In the rural area of the county, there have not been any new or built in the past 40 years.
Gutowksy stated that if ais used for long-term purposes instead of , it would be considered a city use and would require the same type of exception.
The commission hopes to influence change through the state Legislature.
Staff from counties recommended that the commission advocate for a change to allowto expand without needing to apply to the state.
The commission is also interested to see if anylocated in rural are interested in providing emergency for those who require it. Bill 2006, a recently passed law allows for emergency shelter to be built in this specific zone.