This week, Jackson County’s Hearings Officer issued decisions that should halt operations at an asphalt plant on Bear Creek in Talent, Oregon. Mountain View Paving sought recognition as a grandfathered use that could continue to operate in violation of land use laws. The company has operated on the site since 2001 without land use permits and in April, Crag filed appeals on behalf of Rogue Advocates challenging permits that would allow the asphalt plant to continue operating. The City of Talent responded to citizen complaints and also joined the appeal of the Nonconforming Use application. The property is within the Talent Urban Growth Boundary.
A key fact in the appeal was Code Enforcement citations for new structures and facilities constructed without building permits that led the County to require the operation to obtain land use approvals. The expansion of the operation since 2001 created red flags that ultimately has resulted in the denial of land use permits.
Rogue Advocates President Steve Rouse states, “Rogue Advocates is obviously pleased with the decision upholding our appeal. Appropriate land use permits reduce conflicting uses with neighbors, in this case the 160 homes bordering this property across Bear Creek. These folks raised health concerns and endured industrial noise, asphalt smoke and fumes for years without relief. These homes were developed with permits in the 1980’s, while the asphalt plant moved in 20 years later without permits. The expansion of the industrial use has increased the adverse impact to neighbors, and this decision resolves that conflict.”
“We hope Mt. View Paving will relocate their asphalt operation to a new location and continue to provide their valuable services to the Rogue Valley. We are aware of available properties with existing approvals and resources for this use. This is simply a good business in a poor location.”
The decisions leave the asphalt plant without a recognition as a grandfathered use and without a floodplain development permit. Crag will continue to work with Rogue Advocates to follow up on the County’s order and continue to represent the interests of the nearby residents and community members of Talent.