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County to auction off development credits

The auction of credits owned by the county will be August 3 on the courthouse steps with a minimum bid of $3,000 per credit to open
Crook County is planning to auction off development credits next month. The auction which will see the transfer of development credits may be a first for the state of Oregon. According to the county planning director, this event should be of significant interest to property owners in Juniper Canyon area, developers and real estate brokers because the credits provide bonuses permitting additional development in specific areas of the county. The purchase of a development credit allows the building of more dwellings permitted under the standard provisions of the county’s zoning ordinance. The credits can only be used within the RRM-5 zone, which is essentially the Juniper Canyon area. Under the provisions of that district’s zoning, an applicant can build one house per five acres of land. By acquiring a development credit, the applicant can build one additional dwelling for each credit purchased until the maximum density of one house per acre is reached. For example, if a person owns five acres in the RRM-5 zoned area, only one house can be constructed. If a credit is obtained, an additional home, for a total of two homes, can be built on that parcel. Similarly, if a person owns a 20-acre parcel, four homes can be built under current zoning. If one credit is purchased, one additional home, for a total of five dwellings can be built. If five credits are purchased, a total of ten homes can be built. No more than ten would be permitted, as that number would achieve the maximum density of one house per two acres. The transfer development credit program was established as part of the county’s goal to reduce the potential residential development in Juniper Acres. That subdivision, located south of Reservoir Road, is a residential development established prior to land use controls and is in the EFU (exclusive farm use) zone. The program effectively transfers potential development from the EFU zone to a residential zone which is more suited to residential development. Additional credits may be sold privately by owners of parcels who chose not to build dwellings in Juniper Acres. It will fall to Sheriff Rodd Clark to conduct the auction, which is scheduled for 10 a.m., Aug. 3 on the courthouse steps. A minimum bid of $3,000 per credit has been set by the county. There will be five credits offered. These are owned by the county and were acquired through tax foreclosure proceedings. Additional information about the auction is available by contacting Sheriff’s Clark’s office, 447-6398. Further information about the transfer development credit program is available at the county planning department, 416-3838.