If you are interested in developing vacant property, remodeling an existing building or dividing a piece of property, it is important to be aware of applicable land use regulations and the development review process.
The standards and criteria contained in the city's zoning and subdivision ordinances are intended to ensure consistency with the goals and policies of the City of Hood River Comprehensive Plan.
The city's planning department reviews land use applications and building permits, and also coordinates with affected local, state and federal agencies. Examples of land use applications include site plan review for commercial, industrial and multi-family buildings, conditional use permits, land partitions and subdivisions, and zone changes.
The development review process includes:
Verifying applicable development standards and the required land use review process;
Coordinating with other local, state and federal agencies, utility companies and other parties affected by development proposals;
Analyzing development projects for conformance with applicable local land use regulations;
Preparing and presenting reports with recommendations to the decision making bodies including the planning director, planning commission and city council;
Providing notices of development applications and decisions;
Assisting with code enforcement.
There are a variety of zones in the city such as high density residential, general commercial, light industrial and open space. Each zone describes permitted uses. The city's zoning map identifies the location of the various zones, and the standards of each zone are described in Chapter 17.03 of the city's zoning ordinance.
The city's zoning map is used to identify the zoning of land inside the city limits. Land that is outside of the city limits but inside the Urban Growth Boundary is also depicted on the city's zoning map but should be verified with the Hood River County Community Development Department.
Standards and Criteria
The city's zoning ordinance describes uses that are permitted in various zones, details requirements for location and design, and requires provision of adequate public facilities and services. The subdivision ordinance details requirements associated with altering property boundaries and the division of land. These ordinances also explain the submittal requirements and procedures for review of land use applications. Documents such as the City of Hood River Transportation System Plan, capital facilities plans and City of Hood River Engineering Standards also may be applicable.
Submitting a Land Use Application
Forms can download forms from the Application Forms & Documents link. If you are not sure which form to use, please contact the planning department. Application fees are detailed in the city's latest consolidated fee schedule.
The development review process must be completed before most building permits can be issued. In most cases, the planning department is obligated to review land use applications within a time period established by state statutes.
In some cases a pre-application conference is required prior to submittal of a land use application. Pre-application conferences are required for more complicated development projects such as conditional use permits, and they are typically scheduled three- to four weeks after required application materials are submitted and a fee is paid.
When a land use application is submitted and a fee is paid, the city planning department has up to 30 days to determine if that application is complete. If it is not complete, additional information will be requested.
After a land use application is deemed complete, the city has up to 120 days to render a final decision.
Based on the time periods described above, some land use applications may take nearly six months to process. However, in most cases, applications can be processed more quickly. Contact the planning department to discuss your project and current workload in order to get a better estimate.