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Larger venue, loud crowd at Crook County hearing on proposed Powell Butte destination resort

(Update: Adding video, comments from hearing)

PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Crook County Planning Commission held a public hearing Wednesday evening on a controversial proposed Powell Butte destination resort that also drew a sizable crowd and concerns at an informal meeting last month.

The hearing was held at a larger venue than last month's gathering -- Carey Foster Hall at the the Crook County Fairgrounds in Prineville.

And emotions ran high, as they did at the earlier meeting, with many on hand opposed to the Crossing Trails destination resort.

Hundreds turned out, expressing concerns about traffic and water impacts, as well as the quality-of-life reasons many said they live in the small, rural community of Powell Butte.

When the audience agreed with a speaker Wednesday evening, they roared in applause and agreement. Officials had to remind the audience members that applause was against their rules and asked them to raise their hands instead.

"I love this area a lot, but the problem I got with it is -- today alone it took me five times pulling over with a mower just to go a mile down Parrish Lane to where they got the hemp farms, to cut some peas and oats today," a speaker said. "The traffic is so bad on Parrish Lane right now, it's unbelievable."

Crook County Community Development Director Will Van Vactor said, "When we prepare a staff report, we're reviewing the criteria and looking at the evidence we have in the record to date. So at this point, the staff report identifies several issues where we think we need some additional information, and we're really just waiting to hear from the applicant in response to some of those issues that are identified in our staff report. "

The proposed 580-acre resort would be built near the intersection of Wiley Road and Parrish Lane, about a mile north of Highway 126. It would include a total of 400 vacation villas and 200 overnight rentals/cabins, 50 overnight seasonal rentals and 100 units of workforce housing.

The planning commission has more public hearings on August 24th and August 25th. The applicant plans to respond to the county planners' questions then.

Article Topic Follows: Crook County
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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.

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