The Scenic Area Act gives the Gorge Commission the authority to amend the Management Plan at any time if it determines that conditions within the Scenic Area have changed significantly. Plan amendments must be consistent with the purposes and standards of the Scenic Area Act and other provisions specified in Commission Rule 350-50.
Plan amendments either are quasi-judicial (a change to a plan designation for one or any clearly identifiable set of parcels that does not establish new policies) or legislative (changes existing or establishes new policies and/or guidelines). Any person may submit an application for a quasi-judicial amendment or request that the Commission initiate a legislative amendment to the Management Plan. The Commission can limit the number of quasi-judicial applications it will process and has the discretion to determine whether to initiate a legislative plan amendment.
All proposed plan amendments must be heard at a pre-application conference prior to being submitted to the Gorge Commission. The pre-application conference with the Executive Director is used to determine whether the proposal is quasi-judicial or legislative, identify possible practicable alternatives, identify issues that concern the Commission and other interested persons or agencies, and assist the proponent in the application process.
The process and criteria used to evaluate plan amendments are included in Commission Rule 350-50. The Commission’s staff is available to answer any questions you have about a pending plan amendment or the plan amendment process.