Local government

New county land use board approves rezone applications

VALE – A new land use board recently approved four applications from local residents to subdivide their rural property under a state law created in 2023.

The four-member Border Region Review Board on Feb. 22 granted the rezone applications.

Under the new law, inferior agriculture land that has not been farmed in the past three years can be rezoned for residential use. No more than 200 acres total can be changed in the county.

The four applicants included Lonny and Tonya Fulk for property at 4252 S. Road C in Vale; John Zueger for property at 2132 Graham Blvd. in Vale; and Brian McKinney for property at 370 Arabian Drive and 1032 Morgan Avenue, both in Ontario.

The board approved the rezone of a two-acre parcel from exclusive farm use for the Fulks and two parcels from exclusive farm use for Zueger.

McKinney sought and received approval on four applications for two-acre parcels.

A total of seven lots were in the four applications, according to Shawna Peterson, a member of the Border Region Review Board.

“An applicant can apply for multiple lots in one application if they all relate back to the same underlying parcel,” said Peterson.

The February meeting was the first session for the new local land use board. A zoning decision by the board is final.

Peterson said the meeting was exciting to see “all the work on that legislation came to fruition.”

Bill Buhrig chairs the board. He is a research assistant at the Malheur Agricultural Experiment Station.

“We had some pretty good applicants. It kind of feels like the undercard to the planning commission meeting. It went fine,” he said.

Buhrig lauded the work of Tatiana Burgers, county planning director, and Marc Berg, county planning clerk.

“They really helped set us up to go through the process in a timely manner,” said Buhrig.

The board will meet again at 5:30 p.m., March 28, at the Malheur County Justice Court at 1178 Southwest 4th Street in Ontario.

At the meeting the board will consider rezone applications from four people. Those applications include: Jennifer Arreolaforproperty at 4417 Oak Road, Ontario; Steven and Kathleen Glenn, for property across from 1336 Owyhee Avenue, Nyssa and Hank Schaffeld for two properties at 4320 Sage Road, Ontario.

The board consists of Peterson, Buhrig, Malheur County Commissioner Ron Jacobs and Chad Gerulf, a member of the county Planning and Zoning Commission.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.