Rachel Thompson/News-Register##A new lodging building under construction on Red Shot Lane, about five miles west of Carlton, includes nine guest suites, and innkeeper suite, a common area, a kitchen and a fitness room. The permit to operate as a bed and breakfast facility has been appealed by Friends of Yamhill County, who claim the operation is a rural motel under the guise of a B&B.
Rachel Thompson/News-Register##A new lodging building under construction on Red Shot Lane, about five miles west of Carlton, includes nine guest suites, and innkeeper suite, a common area, a kitchen and a fitness room. The permit to operate as a bed and breakfast facility has been appealed by Friends of Yamhill County, who claim the operation is a rural motel under the guise of a B&B.
Pictured above are the site plans for a recent two-story rural Yamhill County B&B. It is one of two B&Bs  opposed by Friends of Yamhill County on grounds they are really simply motels in disguise.
Pictured above are the site plans for a recent two-story rural Yamhill County B&B. It is one of two B&Bs opposed by Friends of Yamhill County on grounds they are really simply motels in disguise.
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Jernstedt: Expansive B&Bs intruding on farmland where motels barred

Friends of Yamhill County works to protect natural resources through the implementation of goals, policies and laws in the land use planning process that maintain and improve the present and future quality of life for both urban and rural residents.

We are concerned about the spreading urbanization of rural lands. This threatens the long-term viability of Yamhill County’s leading economic sector — agriculture. It also deprives cities and towns of the sort of economic investments that can have expansive impact.

Because of this concern, we have appealed two recent conditional use permits approved in exclusive farm use zones, arguing they were issued for rural motels under the guise of bed and breakfast facilities.

B&Bs are allowed under the Yamhill County zoning codes in some districts. But they must be operated out of a single-family dwelling and the owner must reside there.

Traditionally, this has involved the homeowner opting to rent out a bedroom or two on the side. However, up to nine bedrooms are allowed under county code, which is what plans call for in both cases in question.

Guest Writer

Guest writer Kathryn Jernstedt grew up on the Jernstedt Century Farm. It was staked out east of Carlton in 1891. Like many of her generation, she left to pursue career opportunities, working as a shipyard welder, then as a safety professional for public and private employers. Now back on the farm, she is busy restoring a 100-year-old house — and serving as president of the land-use advocacy group Friends of Yamhill County. com

At hearings on the applications, Friends of Yamhill County argued there is little if any substantive difference between a nine-bed B&B and nine-bed motel.

Home occupations are allowed in EFU zones (YCZO Section 1004) and B&Bs are included in that category (YCZO Section 1012), as one kind of home occupation. However, motels are expressly prohibited.

One of the applications under appeal was filed for a farm dwelling, the other for a replacement farm dwelling for an existing single-wide manufactured housing unit. To qualify under farm dwelling rules, someone living on the premises must be engaged in farming and meet farm-derived income requirements.

For those with a deeper interest in the specific code language, it is available on the Yamhill County website, under Planning and Development, Planning Program (www.co.yamhill.or.us/content/planning-ordinances).

Dwelling and motel are both defined in YCZO Section 200, Definitions and Rules of Construction, quoted below.

“DWELLING: A building containing one (1) dwelling unit designed for and occupied by one (1) family only. The term dwelling includes a manufactured dwelling but does not include a hotel, motel, travel trailer, boarding, lodging or rooming house, private hospital, rest home or nursing home or other accommodations used for transient occupancy.

“MOTEL: One (1) or more attached or detached buildings containing housekeeping or sleeping units designed and used for the temporary accommodation of tourists or transients with off-street parking space for each such unit.”

We spend a lot of time reading and studying the rules and standards. We don’t expect every reader to follow us down that rabbit hole, but do want citizens throughout the county to consider the cumulative impact that these decisions, made one or two at a time, have on our quality of life.

Our cities and towns stand to benefit from investment in lodging facilities and the multiplier effect they have for restaurants, retail shops and entertainment and event venues. That investment provides communities with an opportunity to offer services across various economic strata, as well as locate jobs and workers in proximity.

There will undoubtedly be discussions around the appropriate siting and scale in these locales. The communities themselves are best situated to assess potential clientele – tourists, family visitors to local colleges, artists and performers visiting the area.

Some people feel that tourism, not farming, is the future of Yamhill County. We would like to present some perspective on that.

Agriculture has long been and remains a leading economic sector in Oregon and Yamhill County.

Counties with tourist destinations and large accommodation and food service sectors were hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions. Soil, water and solar resources continued to produce throughout the pandemic, so the agriculture sector remained highly productive.

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