The Gorge Commission hears appeals of decisions made under the land use ordinances for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Five of the Gorge counties administer their own land use ordinances (Multnomah, Hood River, and Wasco counties in Oregon, and Clark and Skamania counties in Washington). The Gorge Commission’s Executive Director administers the Scenic Area land use ordinance for Klickitat County, Washington.
Appeals of decisions made by a county are handled under Commission Rule 350-60. These appeals are “on the record” which means that the Gorge Commission only reviews the decision of the county for error; no new evidence can be considered.
Appeals of decisions made by the Executive Director of the Gorge Commission are handled under Commission Rule 350-70. These appeals are “de novo,” which means that the parties may provide new evidence to prove their cases. In these cases, the Commission makes a decision on the case independent of the Executive Director’s decision.
Any person who wishes to pursue an appeal must comply with the applicable rules. Each rule contains requirements for filing an appeal, including exhibits with sample forms. The Commission’s staff is available to assist you file your appeal forms and any questions you may have. You may choose to hire an attorney; however, an attorney is not necessary. Download our sample forms in MS Word: Appeal of a County Decision and Appeal of a Decision by the Gorge Commission Executive Director.