UPDATE: Below the great press release discussed in the post is the article from Crook County this summer outlining how the Crook County Planning Commission said “DENY” to a “private” motocross mess. Guess who was instrumental in THAT VICTORY AGAINST MOTOCROSS? You guessed it – my heroes 1000 Friends of Oregon! Read on:

And now, from my land use heroes at 1000 Friends of Oregon, is their press release about their fantastic victory against the unwieldly Washington County urban reserves. How, you might ask, does that matter in south Clackamas County, home of nutty Molalla planning and the crazy folks who think Idiot Ridge can continue as a nasty motocross track site on any level on prime farm/forest land?

It matters because the very talented lawyers who got LCDC to kick Washington County’s sprawl dreams back in their face are also completely committed to going to the mat against plannin’ Potter and Idiot Ridge.  I hope Potter and Mr. Idiot Ridge are feeling VERY RICH AND LUCKY because I sure wouldn’t want to go up against the long string of 1000 Friends of Oregon’s recent victories. Go Team 1000 Friends – I am proud to support your important work, protecting our great resources from MX destruction and from a silly failed timber town that is shrinking by the day! Press release:

“Important Victory on Urban and Rural Reserves

1000 Friends of Oregon and the Washington County Farm Bureau scored a big victory on
October 29th when the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) reversed a decision by Metro and Washington County to designate almost 700 acres of farm land north of Council Creek, north of the town of Cornelius, as urban reserves. LCDC also sent back, for more evaluation, an area north of Forest Grove that includes about 200 acres north of Council Creek in that area.

Council Creek forms a wide natural buffer between urban development on the south and
farming on the north side of these two communities. For decades, the agricultural
community has maintained that Council Creek and its tributaries are where urbanization
should stop to avoid the conflicts that come when development encroaches on farmland.

The commission’s decision is an important victory that protects some of the best
agricultural land in the world  an area that LCDC Commissioner Christine Pellett called a
“national treasure.”  LCDC’s decision gave weight to the value of farmland and is a win
for our region’s agriculture economy.” (end press release)

Here is the story about the VICTORY AGAINST MOTOCROSS IN CROOK COUNTY that 1000 Friends helped concerned neighbors WIN! (Note how closely the below story parallels the sad story of Idiot Ridge – gee, what meanies all these neighbors are across the nation who say “Hell NO, NOT IN MY BACKYARD”  when motocross hulks come calling! And the NEIGHBORS ALWAYS WIN!) quote:


County planning rejects motocross facility proposal

Proposal called for a private motocross park near Brookfield Court off Lamonta Road

Ramona McCallister

August 12, 2010

After an extensive meeting at the Crook County Planning Commission on Wednesday night, the conditional use proposal for a private park (motorcross track) northeast of Brookfield Lane was unanimously denied.

Lance Shinkle, a resident who lives across the road from the proposed park, has been leasing a parcel of ground on 4.55 acres on Northeast Brookfield Court from Bruce Westenfelt for the purpose of motorcross practice for his children. As his children have become older, so has the usage and frequency of time on their motorcycles. The surrounding neighbors have made complaints that the resulting noise and dust have become an issue, and some have also voiced a concern about plunging housing values as a result.

Shinkle applied in June, 2010, for approval for a “private park” on land that is currently exclusive farm use zone, EFU2, approximately one mile northeast of Lamonta Road on Brookfield Court. A private park is allowed under Crook County Code Chapter 18.20.020(7), “Public and private parks, playgrounds, hunting and fishing preserves, campgrounds, and community centers owned and operated by a governmental agency or a nonprofit community organization.”

The proposal set off a series of reactions from local residents, who allege that the noise and dust has become an issue in relation to livestock, livability, and quality of life in the surrounding neighborhood. There were also complaints that other parties were coming in and using the property for motorcross and ATV use.

According to testimony, there are three other parks in the area for motorcross riders. The locations include Gray Butte, Four Corners off of Millican Road, and Prineville Adventure Park, 10 minutes east of Prineville.

Shinkle explained that he originally was trying to have a place for his kids to practice their motorcross riding, and the land was available from Bruce Westenfelt near his property. Westenfelt wasn’t using the property for other uses, so he leased it to the family.

“It started out as just a private track, we let other kids come and ride on it. Now that we’ve had to go through this whole process in order to make it a place for our kids to ride, it might as well be a place other kids can ride too, maybe even hold a few events a year to offset the costs of doing this.”

Shinkle said that his two boys, ages 10 and 12, depend on their mother to haul their bikes to other locations for practice when he is at work, and the property made for a safe, convenient way for his boys to practice nearby, where their mother could keep an eye on them. In the beginning, there were just his two boys and a neighbor using the course. Shinkle said that most of the time, this is the case, although once in a while they invite friends. He has tried to be conscious of the times they practice, and abide by times of 3:30 to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

Shinkle said that when he is in his house during the time the boys practice, you can’t hear the bikes, and they are attempting to cut down the dust with the clay they are bringing in.

Two individuals spoke in favor of the application for the private park. Kathy Wilson said that she has lived in the neighborhood for twenty years, and her only concern is the dust-which Shinkle has made concessions to rectify. Wilson said she doesn’t have any complaints about the noise, and the property that is in question hasn’t been used in years.

Another resident, whose child uses the course, said that she has a young child that naps through the practices, and she doesn’t think the noise is an issue. She also said that it gives the children a safe place to ride, and she has seen a great deal of improvement in their riding skills since they have had access to the course.

Two residents voiced concerns in opposition of the proposed course, in respect to their horses, in particular. One woman said that she trains horses professionally, and had to move her horse to another location because of risks to her horse’s safety and her safety when riding. This was due to her horse being easily spooked by the noise, and the risk of running through a fence. Another woman said that she was concerned about respiratory issues from the dust to her horses’ health.

Gabe Wymore, who lives on Brookfield Lane, also spoke in opposition of the proposed private park. He said that the park is 330 feet or less than one city block from his own irrigated pasture. The track is bordered on one side by a public road, on another side by an irrigated pasture with livestock present, and on another side by an 85-acre irrigated field.

Wymore said that even though it’s a practice track, it makes as much noise as a regular track.

“It’s the same motorcycles going the same speeds, making the same loud noises, doing the same jumping and racing and causing the same dust clouds that any regular motorcross track would do. The only difference is that a regular motorcross event may last for one or two partial days, while we have seen this practice track frequently operate for seven days a week and often until dark.”

Wymore also said that he appreciated that the Shinkles were trying to keep their kids involved, but not at the neighborhood’s cost.

Mari Wymore, who also spoke on behalf of several residents of the Brookfield neighborhood, said, “My husband and I have talked with most of the neighbors who live near the motorcross track and have their permission to pass along some of their concerns.” She relayed several comments made from close neighbors. Some of these included the concern that the track would lower property values, dust and noise was affecting their health, increasing traffic due to the possible track, and concerns for elderly-especially breathing problems from the dust.

The planning commission agreed to make a decision before leaving for the night. The vote was unanimous by all members to deny the CU-10-0092 request for conditional use approval on behalf of Lance Shinkle and property owner, Bruce Westenfelt.

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