The Planning Division is divided into two operational areas: Current Planning and Long-Range Planning. Peter Gutowsky, Community Development Planning Manager, oversees the operations of the Planning Division.
Current Planning is responsible for reviewing land use applications for compliance with Deschutes County Code (DCC) and State law, including zoning, subdivision and development regulations, and facilitating public hearings with hearings officers and the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC). Staff is also responsible for verifying compliance with land use rules for building permit applications and septic permits; coordinating with Code Enforcement to respond to complaints and monitor conditions of approval for land use permits; performing road naming duties and assisting with addressing; and providing assistance at the public counter, over the telephone and via email.
Long Range Planning is responsible for planning for the future of Deschutes County, including developing and implementing land use policy with the Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commission, community and partner organizations. It is in charge of updating the County Comprehensive Plan and zoning regulations, coordinating with cities and agencies on various planning projects taking place in the region, and coordinating population forecasts with Portland State University and cities. Staff also monitors and participates in annual legislature sessions, and serves on numerous local, regional and statewide committees primarily focusing on transportation, natural resource, growth management and economic development. Three specific disciplines support both current and long-range planning, including transportation and wetlands/flood plains.
Transportation Planning is responsible for providing comments and expertise on land use applications, and calculating System Development Charges (SDC’s) as part of the land use application review process or upon request; providing comments to the County’s Risk Management Department regarding traffic issues for permitted events; participating in the annual County Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) process with the Deschutes County Public Works Department; applying for grants for enhanced bicycle and pedestrian facilities in coordination with the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC); participating in Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) funded refinement planning; coordinating road issues with Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) for urban interface plans; and serving on several local and regional transportation committees,most notably BPAC, the Bend Metropolitan planning Organization Technical Advisory Committee, and Central Oregon Area Commission on Transportation (COACT) Technical Advisory Committee.
Floodplain and Wetlands Planning is responsible for providing comments and expertise on land use applications, code enforcement, and general property inquiries that require development, fill, or removal in mapped floodplain and wetlands. Staff maintains certifications as an Association of State Floodplain Managers (ASFPM) Certified Floodplain Manager to provide customers with up-to-date and accurate information regarding FEMA regulations, surveying requirements, and construction requirements. Coordination is frequently required with external agencies including FEMA, US Army Corps of Engineers, Oregon Department of State Lands, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the US Forest Service.