Funded by an Environmental Protection Agency grant, Deschutes County convened a Technical Advisory Committee to assist the County in developing financial assistance program for drinking water protection actions for south Deschutes County. The Committee represented diverse perspectives in seven meetings over a 10-month period beginning in July 2005.
The Committee raised a number of issues that staff grouped by category. The group reached a primary milestone in December 2005, when the Committee recommended:
- Everyone contributes to the problem so everyone should contribute to the solution
- Focusing funds from the La Pine Neighborhood Planning Area to help retrofit existing septic systems
- Develop a Local Rule that requires Best Available Technology for new development and set standards for existing systems to meet over time
County staff used the four months between December 2005 and April 2006 to draft amendments to the original Transferable Development Credit (TDC) program and coordinate with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality over the basic elements of a local rule, the Committee last reconvened in April 2006 and recommended:
- Forwarding the TDC Code Amendment and Resolution to the Deschutes County Planning Commission; and
- Continue moving forward with the development of a Local Rule
The County Planning Commission held two work sessions in April and a public hearing in La Pine on May 11, 2006 to formally consider the amendments. After receiving testimony from La Pine area residents and stakeholders, the Planning Commission unanimously recommended that the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners (Board) adopt the proposed code changes to the TDC program.
On May 31, 2006, the Board held a public hearing on proposed amendments to the County Transferable Development Credit Program. One week later, on June 5, 2006, the Board adopted amendments to the Transferable Development Credit Program, Deschutes County Code Chapter 11.12.
The amendments create a pollution reduction credit program that will require retrofitting existing septic systems to create credits required for development in the Neighborhood Planning Area. Neighborhood Planning Area developers can either work with homeowners to retrofit existing onsite systems with nitrogen-reducing technology or pay into a "Partnership Fund" that would then be made available to property owners interested in retrofitting their existing wastewater treatment systems.
Additional information about the Groundwater Protection Project can be found at the links at the bottom of this page.
TDC Advisory Committee Members:
Vicki Allen - South Deschutes County resident
Tom Anderson - Deschutes County Administrator
Michael Bentz - Certified Onsite System Installer
Tara Donaca - Lowes Commercial Properties
Kate Fitzpatrick - Deschutes River Conservancy
Steven George - Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Gary Hughes - Kerr Commercial Group
Jon Jinnings - Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
Alan Jones - Realtor / County Planning Commissioner
Bob Lovlien - Attorney / Baldwin-Herndon Trust
Dave Morgan - US Geological Survey (technical resource)
Dick Nichols - Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Kristi Otteni - La Pine Community Action Team
Dennis Pahlisch - Pahlisch Homes, Inc.
Vic Russell - Developer / Contractor
Ted Scholer - Realtor
Steve Wert - Soil Scientist / Sanitarian
Staff support - Deschutes County Community Development Department