Land Use Applications

Process & Appeals

The Process

Getting Approval For Your Project

New land uses within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are reviewed for consistency with land use ordinances that implement the Management Plan for the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The Scenic Area includes portions of six counties on both sides of the Columbia River. These include Clark, Hood River, Klickitat, Multnomah, Skamania and Wasco County. The Gorge Commission only reviews new land use applications for Scenic Area lands within Klickitat County. All other new applications are reviewed by the applicable county planning department.

Land use applications are reviewed according to a process specified in the land use ordinance. The pending applications and decisions found on this site were reviewed through either the expedited review or standard review process. For applications reviewed by our office (projects in Klickitat County) the expedited review process takes at least 30 days and the standard review takes at least 72 days. Actual review times will likely be much longer depending on staffing levels, workload, complexity of the proposed development, and other factors. The review process can vary in length between the counties. Please contact your county planning department for an approximate timeframe.

New Land Use

Submitting An Application In Klickitat County

APPLICATION PROCESS: 

  1. If your project is located in Klickitat County, download the Land Use Application. You should also read our Building in the National Scenic Area Handbook and list of Recommended Plants for Screening. If your project is located in another Gorge County, please contact that County's Planning Department for an application and directions for submission. 
  2. You can submit your completed application by email, or mail it to Columbia River Gorge Commission, PO Box 730, White Salmon, WA 98672
  3. CRGC Staff will review your application for completeness
  4. CRGC will prepare a public notice and post it here on the website
  5. The public will have a comment period. Comment periods are typically 20 calendar days, but may vary depending upon your project.
  6. A thorough analysis of the proposal will be completed
  7. CRGC will write and issue a final decision. You will be contacted and the decision will also be posted to the website. 
  8. All land use decisions are subject to an appeal period after the decision has been issued

THINGS TO KNOW:

  • You should schedule a pre-application conference with a Gorge Commission Planner to help you complete your application and answer your questions. Contact Jessica Gist at 509-493-3323 ext 228 or send her an emailPlease note that we are working with reduced staffing and may not be available for walk-in assistance. 
  • The Gorge Commission does not charge permit fees for our planning services. We are committed to providing timely communication and regular progress updates on all applications we review. At this time we cannot guarantee any specific timeline for review and permitting decisions. We appreciate your patience at this time.
  • Additional approvals and permits may be required by the County, municipality, or other agencies.
  • If you are seeking information regarding a decision or application for lands located in Clark, Hood River, Multnomah, Skamania, or Wasco County, please contact that county planning department by clicking that link below.

Planning Departments

Oregon Counties

Multnomah County

Hood River County

Wasco County

Planning Departments

Washington Counties

Clark County

Skamania County

Klickitat County (Administered by the Gorge Commission)

New Land Use

Appeals

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.