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  • In the project area, the greatest land use is private forestry (53%), with government using another 33%, agriculture 6% and residential, commercial, and industrial, combined using 7%.

  • The estuary plays a significant role in existing and prospective land uses.

  • As the local economy has changed in the thirty years since the adoption of the Coos County Comprehensive Plan, the constraints imposed by landuse allocations made in the early 1980s—reflecting economic conditions and knowledge available at that time—may no longer best meet the community’s emerging needs.

  • Introduction

    This chapter provides an overview of land uses and zoning, highlighting the diversity reflecting the urban to rural to wildland nature of the area.
    Zoning defines the allowable use(s) on a parcel of property, be it raw land, residential, commercial or industrial; while “land use” identifies what is currently on the parcel.

    Zoning looks prospectively at desirable uses of land, identifying outright permissible uses, uses conditioned upon meeting certain criteria, as well as potentially a host of criteria regulating features such as height, setbacks, parking requirements, etc. In contrast, land uses are indicative of the history of the piece of property as reflected in its current usage. In many cases, these historic uses would not necessarily be allowed under the current zoning codes—they are termed “legal non-conforming”— because they were established prior to zoning or permitted under previous zoning ordinance. We will divide our discussion between zoning designations and current land uses. Additional information on land use as related to housing will be provided in Chapter 3: Population and Demographics. In addition, Land Cover for the project area is described in Chapter 8: Physical Description of the Coos Estuary and Lower Coos Watershed.




    Example of Bootstrap 3 Accordion

    The Coos County Comprehensive Plan (CCCP) is the local ordinance that implements the state’s planning system for areas outside the incorporated
    cities. The CCCP was first approved by the county commissioners in March, 1985, and was intended to govern the management of land and water areas in unincorporated areas outside the area covered by the two estuary plans (Coos Bay and Coquille River), i.e. the “balance of county,” for the period from 1980 to 2000 (Coos County Planning Department 1985b). Periodic review was completed in 1999 but some of the inventories were not updated due to lack of growth and the expense involved with a comprehensive update of the CCCP, its duration has been extended through the present time.

    Each land parcel is classified for one or more uses. Both the county and the two cities have general zoning maps with boundaries generally
    corresponding to the land parcels; however, in some cases, a property will be “split-zoned” where a portion has one allowable use while the remainder has another. This is most common with parcels split-zoned for forestry/
    agriculture. There are also significant numbers of parcels where the existing uses are “non-conforming” with the zoning classification because the zoning classification was applied. There are several non-conforming legal parcels as the land was platted in anticipation of rural development but due to soils classifications or pattern of residential uses the land
    was not zoned for residential use.

    Zoning is generally broken into seven general categories as shown in Figure 1. It’s obvious in from the percentages and Table 1 that the project area is largely rural, with resource land (forestry and agriculture) predominating (82%), with the next most common category being the zoning overlay for the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan (7%). Parks and open space contribute another 5% of zoned lands within the project area. Zoning for more intensive land uses of residential (5.1%), mixed use (0.2%), commercial (0.3%), and industrial (0.9%), represents a relatively minor percentage of the overall project area, but is concentrated around the bay and streams and rivers.

    Figure 1: Zoning category proportions

    Figure 1: Zoning category proportions

    Examining Table 1, it is apparent that the largest number of parcels—and the smallest parcel sizes—are in those zoning categories that represent more intensive, dense uses such as residences and commerce. The average number of parcels per acre for residences is roughly the same for those located in the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend (2.5 and 2.7, respectively), but they are significantly larger in the rural areas outside the UGB (0.6 parcels, or about one and two-thirds acres per parcel). Comparatively denser are parcels in the mixed, or transitional category, representing the conversion of residential areas to commercial; and these transitional parcels are even more dense than those currently zoned for commercial use. Industrially-zoned land tends to be in larger parcels than those zoned for either residential or commercial use.

    Each specific zoning jurisdiction has their unique codes and definitions for specific uses allowed within sub-categories of the seven broader uses. Figure 2 shows how these are arranged outside incorporated city boundaries; and Figure 3 shows general zoning categories for the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend. Appendices 1 and 2 show the official zoning maps for the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend, respectively. Appendix 3 provides the number of parcels and aggregate areas by specific zoning classification for the areas outside the UGB and both cities. The general patterns outside the UGB is that the resource lands are zoned for forestry in the upper watershed area, and similarly along the ridgetops extending down to the bay.

    Agricultural uses (i.e., Exclusive Farm Use) occur in the valleys, principally in the broad floodplains of the Coos, South Fork Coos, and
    Millicoma rivers and along diked areas such as Catching and Isthmus Sloughs. Rural residential zoned lands surround the east and north bay outside the UGB, along ridgetops and adjacent to streams and rivers where county roads provide access.

    Table 1: Zoning categories, parcels, and areas within the various jurisdictions.

    Table 1: Zoning categories, parcels, and areas within the various jurisdictions.

    Patterns within the UGB (Figure 3) mirror those usually found in cities: industrial sites are concentrated along major thoroughfares, and/or adjacent to railroads or harbor facilities. Similarly, commercial enterprises typically front major streets; higher density residential
    zoning is in these same areas, while lower density residential zoning are buffered from the larger populated hubs. North Bend residential areas have different zoning classifications based on their lot sizes (R-7 and R-10),
    whether they can have duplexes (R5, R-6), and multi-family housing (R-M). About half of the residentially-zoned parcels in North Bend can have duplexes; while slightly over a quarter are solely for single-famiy residents, and slightly under a quarter are multi-family (Appendix 4).

    Coos Bay’s residential zoning pattern differs substantially from North Bend’s. Of the approximately 5,600 parcels zoned for residential use (Appendix 4), almost three-quarters are zoned for single family residences and duplexes, while only about 8% are solely for single family residences. In fact, the City of Coos Bay currently (8/2015) is considering ordinance amendments that would change some of the zoning classifications.

    Coos Bay also has a higher number of parcels zoned for multi-family use than does North Bend (906 versus 768, respectively), as well as 48 parcels, covering 268 acres specifically zoned for certified manufactured houses, either in parks (R-5) or in a classification that allows for single-family residences, duplexes, and the manufactured homes (R-6). There are two areas with the parks, both off of Ocean Blvd., one on the north side Ocean at the junction of 34th Street and Pacific Loop; and a second, larger area south of Ocean in the Shore Pines development that is specifically for senior
    housing.

    Coos Bay also has a distinct classification for waterfront residences (R-W), the first of which is located along the Coos Bay channel north of Newmark Avenue in the Empire Lakes neighborhood. Generally the district
    includes parcels fronting the channel, and extending inland to the first major street. A second R-W district is in Eastside, and located in the dredged material disposal area to the north of the boat launch ramps, along the opposite of the Coos Bay waterfront. The City of Coos Bay development ordinance (Ch. 17.60) says the intent of the zoning is to protect the area, maintain access, and “encourage excellence of design” through clustering or other arrangements to protect open space. Almost any residential use (up through multi-family) is allowed, as are commercial uses that are
    residential in appearance and maintain the character of the area. Any uses other than single family residences require a site plan and architectural review.

    Both cities also have zoning for other, unconventional, classifications. In North Bend there are three residential-transitional (R-T) areas that allow for commercial uses: both sides of Broadway between Lewis and 17th); the
    south side of Newmark between Broadway and College; and a small area centered at Florida and Union. Coos Bay’s zoning includes residential-professional classification (R4-P) used for the Ocean Ridge Assisted Living
    facility off Ocean Blvd., many blocks on the periphery of the Central Business District, and two blocks south of Newmark between S.Main Street and S. Cammann in Empire. The Bay Area Hospital and surrounding parcels are
    zoned as Medical Park (MP), designated for medically-related uses.

    Finally, Coos Bay also zoned areas of unique cultural significance: the Hollering Place proposed development in Empire, and the Waterfront Heritage (WH) area between Bayshore (northbound US-101) and the Coos Bay channel, extending north from Commercial Street to Ivy Ave. This includes the
    historic buildings along Front Street, and the first block back from the waterfront. To the south of this, also between Bayshore and the channel—and extending south to the mouth of Coalbank Slough—is zoned waterfront-industrial (W-I) zoning to reserve the area for water-dependent and water-related uses. This area includes the Coos Bay Boardwalk and the rail yard, as well as the Lucky Logger and Edgewater Inn commercial areas.

    Figure 2: Zoning classifications for areas outside the urban growth boundary (UGB).

    Figure 2: Zoning classifications for areas outside the urban growth boundary (UGB).

    Figure 3: General zoning map for the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend.

    Figure 3: General zoning map for the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend.

    The Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan (CBEMP) is the implementation mechanism for goals 16 and 17 in the Coos County Comprehensive Plan. There are twelve different management types, equivalent to zoning classifications, listed in Table 2 and described more fully in Appendix 4 and in the Oregon Estuary Plan Book (DLCD n.d.). The primary differentiation is between aquatic units (below mean higher high tide), of which there are a total of 13,267 acres; and shoreland units (above mean higher high tide), of which there are total of 9,301 acres. Figure 4 provides a map of the management units within the CBEMP.

    Table 2: Management units in the CBEMP. Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    Table 2: Management units in the CBEMP. Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    The area covered by the CBEMP is divided geographically into management areas, of which there are a total of 124, divided among those in the County (84) and the cities of Coos Bay (30) and North Bend (9). The City of Coos Bay has more management areas because its city limits extend across the upper bay, in contrast to North Bend whose city limits extend into the bay in but in a much smaller geographical area.

    Each of the 124 management areas may have a unique management type (one of the twelve listed in Table 2), or it may be sub-divided into multiple, different management classifications (Appendix 5). The results of this sub-division result in 182 individual management units; and some management areas contain multiple polygons. While most management units only have one polygon, some—especially the urban water-dependent and rural shorelands—have multiple such that there are 279 unique polygons delineated in the CBEMP. Figure 4 shows a map of the polygons, with a sub-set of the specific polygons labeled. The management area numbering system starts at the mouth of the Bay, on the north jetty, and increases clockwise ending at the extreme southern units in South Slough (Figure 4).

    Within the CBEMP, management units are designated according to the criteria described previously; for each unit there is a narrative description of its boundaries, and a management objective is identified, such as “this unit shall be managed to allow the continuance of shallow-draft navigation while protecting the productivity and natural character of the aquatic area” (CBEMP, Aquatic Unit 13A). Following the management class and objective, there is a list of different potential uses and types of activities that vary depending on the management unit and segment. Table 3 provides a list of these uses and activities. Each of these has a determination about whether it is allowed outright, allowed through an administrative conditional use, or prohibited. Each management area also has general
    conditions that apply to all uses and activities (e.g. “inventoried resources requiring mandatory protection in this unit are subject to Policies #17 and #18), and special conditions that relate to a specific activity or use. These special conditions are chosen from among a suite of policies.

    Included within each management unit is an identification of any designated mitigation areas, as well as their priority:

    (1) high priority sites that shall be protected, i.e., no pre-emptory uses or activities are allowed;
    (2) medium priority sites that have realistic potential for mitigation, and therefore pre-emptory uses or activities are also not allowed; and
    (3) low priority sites that have questionable potential for mitigation, and are thus not protected from pre-emptory uses or activities that are otherwise permitted in the management unit (CBEMP, Vol. II, Part 1, §7.3).

    Figure 6: Frequency distribution of taxlots (left) and owners (right) in the CBEMP mitigation sites. Data Source: Coos County Planning Department, n.d.b; Coos County Assessor 2014.

    Figure 6: Frequency distribution of taxlots (left) and owners (right) in the CBEMP mitigation sites.
    Data Source: Coos County Planning Department, n.d.b; Coos County Assessor 2014.

    There are 81 designated mitigation sites in the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan. Figure 5 shows these mitigation sites, color-coded by their priority. Of these 81 sites, 15 are designated as High Priority, totaling
    about 320 acres; 37 are Medium Priority, covering about 485 acres; and 29 are designated as Low Priority, containing about 530 acres. Within these 81 sites there are 390 tax lots (although some may be slivers resulting from mis-alignment of data layers), with 188 owners. The relationship between the number of tax lots and owners is shown in Figure 6. Detailed
    information on tax lots and ownership (as of February, 2014) for each mitigation site is provided in Appendix 6 for those tax lots greater than 0.05 acre.

    The practicality of a site for use as mitigation is affected by its number of taxlots and owners; as this number increases, so does the difficulty of its use as mitigation. As can be seen in Figure 6, most areas designated
    for mitigation contain multiple taxlots. More important is the number of unique owners: about a third of the mitigation sites have a single owner, while another third have two owners. The remaining third of sites have
    more than two owners, with nine having six or more.

    About 63% of mitigation sites are within private ownership or ownerships. Government entities own about 37% of the designated mitigation sites, with 28.9% owned by the State of Oregon, and as such cannot be used for mitigation. This includes all the South Slough “Medium” priority sites. The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay owns the majority of High Priority sites (M3, U13), Medium Priority (U-14), and Low Priority (M-4) for almost 40 acres.

    A site designated as mitigation in 1985 doesn’t necessarily have much relevance to its potential use in 2015. A site could have been developed since then; or it may have naturally reverted to wetlands so that their
    utility for mitigation is minimal. While we have not systematically evaluated all the sites, it’s obvious from even a cursory examination of Figure 5 that many of these sites would no longer qualify for mitigation.

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    Figure 4: Management unit types within the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan. Not all individual units are labelled. Data Source: Coos County Planning Department 1985a.

    Figure 5: Mitigation sites deisgnated in the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan.

    Figure 5: Mitigation sites deisgnated in the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan.

    While zoning determines allowable future land uses (in the absence of re-zones), land use describes what is presently in place. Current land uses are the embodiment of the past development of communities, neighborhoods,
    and rural areas. As discussed previously in the Communities and Neighborhoods chapter, the Coos Bay area has gone through cycles of development (and abandonment) since settlement by Euro-Americans. Land
    that was once cleared for farms and pastures has changed into town lots or may have re-grown back into forest; historic wetlands were drained, diked and filled, have now become shopping centers, or—in some cases—reverted back to wetlands.

    This section will describe how lands within the project area are currently classed into their “highest and best” use by the Coos Co. Assessor’s Office, based on 3-digit property codes with procedures established by the Oregon Department of Revenue (ODOR 2007). The general structure of these codes is shown in Table 3, with all the categories listed in Appendix 6. We will start with the overall patterns, then look more closely at major categories of use. Residential uses will be covered here, and in greater detail in the Population and Housing chapter.

    General Patterns
    Even though the Coos Bay estuary is the largest urban area on the Oregon coast, the surrounding watersheds and communities are still predominantly rural. Figure 7 shows the relative proportions of different land uses,
    highlighting that over half (53%) is still in private forest, and that much of the rest (33%) is owned by the government, often as forest, park, or other open space. Of the remaining land uses, agriculture (6%) has the greatest proportion; residential uses (4%) follow, which if Tract lands (1%) are included almost equal agriculture. Commercial and industrial uses are only 1% each, with an additional 1% of the estuary leased for oyster beds and tidelands. However, each of these principal land uses can be further divided by specific type of use.

    Table 3: Property class code system. Data Source: ODOR 2007, 3-1 based on OAR 150-308.215

    Table 3: Property class code system. Data Source:
    ODOR 2007, 3-1 based on OAR 150-308.215

    Residential: Single and multi-family residence uses have great diversity, but can be divided into four major categories: unimproved
    residential land (i.e., no buildings); traditional residences and mobile homes on lots; residences (traditional and mobile home) that are located on forest lands; and multi-family residences (condos, duplexes, apartments, etc.). Figure 8 shows the proportions of these various types for single-family uses, and Figure 9 shows the proportions for multi-family residences.

    The majority of improved single-family residential use is in traditional stick framed houses (42.2%, 11,489 taxlots on 6,834 acres). Manufactured housing (7.5%, 1,013 taxlots on 1,219 acres) represents roughly one-sixth
    of the traditional housing. Approximately 16% of all single-family residences are located on taxlots also designed for forest use in one form or another. Of particular note Figure 8 is the amount of unimproved lands, either in residential use (12.6%, 2,065 acres) or in tract lands (22.5%, 3,662 acres). “Tract lands” are defined as “parcels of various sizes where the highest and best use is for development to a suburban or rural homesite, but the land is not divided into urban type lots” (ODOR 2007, 3-2).

    Five different categories of multi-family residential uses are shown in Figure 9, totaling an area of 669 acres. The vast majority (57%) is used for mobile home parks, of which 48 acres are in taxlots also designed as forest. One of the uses, two houses or a house with a basement or attic apartment, is relatively minor (7%) in the total area of multi-family uses, but includes almost 20% of the taxlots.

    The greatest frequency by the proportion of taxlots is the duplex through fourplex category, with 55% of the taxlots. Larger housing complexes, i.e., five or more units, are relatively scarce, both as a percentage of the area
    of multi-family residences (10%), but also as a proportion of the taxlots (about 14%). However, this category—along with mobile home parks—has a larger average parcel size (0.53 acres/tax lot for five or more units; 5.3
    acres/tax lot for mobile home parks). Of the 669 acres identified as having the highest and best use for multi-family residences, 9.2% (61 acres) is unimproved, consisting of 30 taxlots.

    However, although almost two-thirds is located on one tax lot of almost 40 acres on designated farm land, located behind Gib’s RV south of Ocean Blvd.

    Figure 7: Principle land uses in the project area. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, aggregated by PCLS variable.

    Figure 7: Principle land uses in the project area.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, aggregated by PCLS variable.

    Commercial: Commercial uses provide services to residents, workers, and visitors to the project area. While commercial uses cover 2,707 acres—a relatively minor 1% of the area—they provide critical support to the
    economy and community. Figure 10 shows the proportions of five different categories of commercial uses. Almost two-thirds (63.5%) of commercial uses are for golf courses, most of which is located in the Bandon Dunes complex that also includes housing and dining facilities. The bulk of activities are conducted in the about 27% of the commercial area that has improvements, containing 901 taxlots that cover almost 800 acres. Another 24 parcels (5 acres) have non-conforming uses for commercial areas; and 2 sites are designated historic commercial. An additional 22 parcels, covering 126 acres, have commercial uses as well as a manufactured house on the site. There are 283 taxlots that are zoned for commercial use, but that do not have improvements, i.e., vacant; these cover 152 acres (5.6%) of commercially-zoned lands.

    Figure 8: Single-family residential uses. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 100 and 400 series.

    Figure 8: Single-family residential uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 100 and 400 series.

    Industrial: While industrial zoned and used lands cover a minor proportion (1%) of the project area, they are largely concentrated along the estuary’s waterfront and waterways.

    Similar to the zoning categories described previously, industrial uses can be divided into four categories: lighter versus heavier, with mobile or manufactured homes, and improved versus unimproved or vacant. Figure 11 shows the relative proportions of these categories. There are 414 taxlots covering 3,030 acres classified for industrial uses in the project area.
    In contrast to the other major uses, unimproved or vacant industrial parcels represent the greatest percentage (43.2%) of this use: 187 taxlots in 1,308 acres. Slightly less in area, industrial zoned lands with improvements cover about 42% of the industrial uses, and include 198 taxlots with a total area of 1,280 acres (or two square miles). In addition, there are 20 taxlots classified as heavy industrial use, covering 343 acres. (the Jordan Cove LNG project site on the North Spit and
    Weyerhaeuser’s Northwest Hardwood’s chip facility at Coos City on Isthmus Slough are two of these sites). Another 9 taxlots covering 100 acres are classified as industrial but have either a mobile or a manufactured home on the parcel. Of the industrial parcels, 36 taxlots, covering almost 600 acres have some sort of forest designation.

    Historically, lumber and pulp mills, and ship yards, provided the industrial base for the Coos Bay estuary. This has changed as some industries have declined, while others have expanded or become established. There are a wide range of uses presently classified as “industrial.”
    These include what would be considered classic uses such as the Georgia-Pacific Lumber mill, the wood treating plants in Hauser, historic log dumps and rafting sites at Allegany and Dellwood, the quarries up Kentuck, and the fish plants and shipyards of Charleston. Transmitting towers for radio,
    television, and cell phones are newer uses also categorized as industrial. Included are two Enterprise zones—the Southport Lumber mill on the North Spit, and the Oregon Resources mineral sands processing facility in Bunker Hill.

    Agriculture: “The Legislative Assembly recognizes that agriculture and related land uses contribute significantly to Oregon’s character and economy and is in the interest of all citizens of this state” (ORS 08A.050, cited in ODOR 2013). While less than 6% of the project area is used for farm use, there is a wide variety of different uses—ranging from improved pastures, cranberry bogs, dairy farms, and small woodlots—in the 510 tax lots covering 18,010 acres. Most of this use occurs in diked areas along streams tributary to the Coos Bay estuary, in narrow valleys above what had been the historic heads of tide of these streams, and in the broad, perched floodplain along the Coos, South Fork Coos, and Millicoma Rivers. Because of the narrowness of lands suitable for farming, many of the taxlot parcels also combine various designated forest uses; and reflecting settlement patterns discussed in the Communities and Neighborhoods chapter, many of these taxlots also contain residences.

    Figure 9: Multi-family residential uses. Data Source:Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 700 series

    Figure 9: Multi-family residential uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 700 series

    Figure 10: Area of various commercial uses. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 200 series.

    Figure 10: Area of various commercial uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 200 series.

    Figure 12 shows the relative proportion of various categories of farm uses. The 16 different property class categories have been aggregated into four for ease of display and discussion. Of the major categories, farm land can be designated for Exclusive Farm Use (EFU), called “Zoned” where agriculture is presumed to be the highest and best use, or it can be unzoned, but designated for farm use by application to the County (ODOR 2014). As noted in the previous paragraph, many farms and ranches have pastures in their valleys and floodplains, and forests on their hillsides,
    giving rise to a combined “farm and forest” property classification.

    Figure 11: Area of various industrial uses. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 300 series.

    Figure 11: Area of various industrial uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 300 series.

    Included in this mixed category in Figure 12 are woodlots of up to 20 acres in farm used taxlots (ORS 308A.056(3)(h)). Finally, farms having cranberry bogs are specifically broken out due to their infrastructure investments and comparatively high crop values. In contrast to other types of uses, the existence of improvements (such as residences, barns, fences, etc.) in farm zones is presumed, and as such the property classes do not differentiate between those with improvementsand those without.

    Figure 12: Area of various agricultural uses. Date Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 500 series.

    Figure 12: Area of various agricultural uses.
    Date Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 500 series.

    Of the 510 farm use taxlots in the project area, over half (266) are exclusively classified as EFU covering slightly more than one-third of the farm use area (6,549 acres). Another quarter of the area is comprised of either un-zoned farm uses (7.5%, 92 taxlots, 1,356 acres), or a combination of EFU and non-EFU uses (18%, 64 taxlots, 3,237 acres). Over another third is mixed farm and forestry, about half of this is EFU (54 taxlots, 3,582 acres), a quarter is non-EFU (14 taxlots, 1,706 acres), and the other quarter is mixed (16 taxlots, 1,341 acres). Included in the forest classifications are woodlots, Small Forest Tracts (SFT), and regular commercial forest uses. Cranberry bogs comprise four taxlots covering 238
    acres, including one in Hauser (the first site in Oregon), and three in the Seven Devils area. Not included are the organic cranberry bogs that the Coquille Indian Tribe has in their Kilkich Tribal Community development off Cape Arago highway in Barview.

    Forestry: Forestry land uses cover over half (53%) of the project area (Figure 7), about 169,000 acres in total. There are 11 different
    property classes that the Assessor’s office for employes for lands whose primary use is forestry. We can aggregate these 11 classes into four major categories: (a) Forestlands where the owner has over 5,000 in holdings;
    (b) designated forestlands owned by smaller holders; (c) land with tree cover but not designated as forest; and (d) lands enrolled in the Small Tract Forestland (SFT) special assessment program. Figure 13 shows that large “industrial” timberland owners hold over fivesixths land primarily used for forestry in the project area; this use consists of 663 taxlots,
    covering 146,664 acres with an average taxlot size of about 220 acres. Designated forest use lands of smaller holders comprises 7.2% of the area; 592 taxlots covering 12,206 acres with an average taxlot size of about 20 acres, or one-tenth as large as the industrial timberland owners’ taxlots. “Tract” forests are typically rural properties of at least 40 acres, but are not designated nor participating in the STF program.

    Figure 13: Area of various forest uses. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 600 series.

    Figure 13: Area of various forest uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 600 series.

    “Designation” as forestland, either under the general category or as SFT, provides significant advantages to landowners through special tax assessment provisions (ODOR 2013). A distinction is made between forestland whose owners hold more than 5,000 acres total (Q in the property class description), and thus are considered as “industrial” timberland
    owners. This distinction is important because only owners holding less than 5,000 acres are qualified to participate in the Small Tract Forestland (STFL) tax deferral program (ORS 321.700-754). Landowners with at least 10—
    but less than 5,000—acres of forestland can apply for STFL designation, and if approved, their land is assessed at 20% of its value with the requirement to pay severance and a forest products harvest taxes when the timber is harvested (ODOR 2013).

    There are about 8,900 acres, containing 281 taxlots, in the forest use Tract category (not including almost 1,200 acres held by industrial
    timberland owners). These Tract uses can be divided into four categories depending upon whether the forest is designated through a special tax assessment process (either general or STF): there are designated Tract forestlands; Small Tract Forestland designations, with and without residences or other improvements; and undesignated forestland with residences. In the case of Tract forest use with residences, the number of
    taxlots is reasonably equivalent to the number of residences: there are 65 (1,747 acres) on designated forest use tracts that have manufactured homes; 15 (561 acres) that are non-designated, but have manufactured houses; and 60 (1,734 acres) that have residences and participate in the STF program.
    According to the Assessor’s office, there is an effort to combine all the Tract classifications into the forestry series.

    Figure 14: Area of County tax exempt uses. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 983 - 993 series.

    Figure 14: Area of County tax exempt uses.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014, PCLS codes in the 983 – 993 series.

    Charitable and Open Space: The project area has a wealth of charitable non-profit organizations to support critical community needs such as food pantries, social welfare, and fraternal organizations. While this sector doesn’t own significant amounts of property, they have their own property classes because they can request exemption from taxes. The charitable property classes represent 265 taxlots covering 816 acres (Figure 14). The vast proportion of lands in this class are represented by various types of open space, including common areas for townhouse developments, cemeteries, and the ocean shore. Utilities, including the County’s LNG pipeline right-of-way and the Whiskey Run oceanic fiber optic cable crossing facility, are also in this tax exempt class because they are
    assessed differently. The Coos Head property owned by the Confederated Tribes is included in this category. There are 76 taxlots owned by churches, cover a total of 87 acres.

    Figure 15: Government land ownership. Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014

    Figure 15: Government land ownership.
    Data Source: Coos County Assessor 2014

    Government: Over 105,000 acres within the Coos watershed are owned by governments at all levels: local, state, and Federal, not including the area of streets, highways, or the beds and banks of navigable streams. Figure 15 shows a breakdown of these ownerships by type. The majority of the State of Oregon ownership is in the Elliott State Forest, divided
    between lands owned by the Common School Fund and those owned by the Board of Forestry. The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR) south of Charleston is Common School Fund land as well. Federal ownership is predominantly in lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including three different categories: Coos Bay Wagon Road revested; Oregon and California Railroad revested land; and public domain lands. Each of these three categories have different legal mandates that determine their uses. Other Federal ownership includes lands managed by the Corps of Engineers, including the jetties at the mouth of Coos Bay that extend into the Pacific Ocean; the Coast Guard stations in Charleston; and remnants
    of the old Coos Head facility that are still used by the Navy.

    A multitude of different local governments own lands that are used for a large variety of uses. The largest local government landowner, Coos County, has a County Forest with units located in the upper South Slough watershed and in Daniels Creek along Blue Ridge. There are also County Parks, including boat launches; the largest are Bastendorf Beach outside Charleston, and Riley Ranch near Hauser. The cities of Coos Bay and North
    Bend own parks, libraries, and municipal government buildings, while the City of Coos Bay owns part of its municipal watershed in Pony Creek. The two largest special district landowners are the Coos Bay-North Bend Water Board for the remainder of the municipal watershed not owned by the City of Coos Bay; and the Oregon International Port of Coos Bay that owns 59 parcels covering 1,767 acres, located in Charleston (the marina and
    shipyard), as well as land along the margin of the Bay and the spoil islands and dredged material disposal areas located in the upper Bay. Smaller parcels owned by special districts include rural fire stations, sanitary district pump stations, the Southwest Oregon Regional Airport in North Bend, and the Bay Area Hospital.

    Oregon’s land use planning system has been widely praised—as well as cursed—since it’s inception in 1969, and approval in 1973. It’s supporters point out that it has controlled urban sprawl, and as a result maintained a land base suitable for agriculture and forestry; it’s opponents cast it as failing to protect private property rights, and were successful in 2004 in passing Measure 37, and initiative that allowed uses permitted prior to the passage of the 1973 law to be continued if the current owner had owned the property since that time; however, the Legislature submitted Measure 49 to the voters in November, 2007 that limited the applicability of Measure 37
    (DLCD 2007). The history of planning and zoning can be seen in the County’s plat maps and the accompanying Coos County and City zoning and land use maps; these are the primary resources that we will rely upon for this discussion.

    Oregon has 19 different goals in its state-wide system of land use planning (see Table 4). The goals provide a structure for local plans at the county level: they define specific processes, criteria, and outcomes that these plans must meet (DLCD 2010). The goals have legislative authority (ORS 197 and 215), and contain specific implementing provisions outlined in rules (OAR 660-015-0000). Of specific interest for this project are the goals related to the preservation of agricultural and forest lands (goals 3 and 4, respectively); the importance of protecting natural areas (goal 5); and specifically, the planning of land uses in the State’s estuaries (goal 16). Economic development (goal 9) provides a structural focus for comprehensive planning urban areas, specifically for commercial and industrial developments; while goal 10 governs the provision of adequate housing; goal 11, public facilities and services; and goal 12, transportation. The
    expansion of urban communities into surrounding rural areas is governed by goal 14, urbanization, provides criteria for the orderly expansion of urban growth boundaries (UGB), and constrains the provision of public services
    such as water and sewers outside the UGB. In addition, goal 16 provides standards and criteria specific to Oregon’s estuaries, while goal 17 covers adjacent shorelands to insure access for water-dependent and water-related
    uses.

    Goal 16 (OAR 660-017-0010) classifies the estuary into distinct water use management units taking into account the resources, values, and benefits of estuary. Beyond the inventories, there are four elements that are considered: adjacent upland characteristics and existing land uses; compatibility with adjacent uses, energy costs and benefits; and the extent to which the limited water surface area of the estuary shall be committed to different surface uses (Good et al. 2008). All of these elements are taken into consideration in developing the following management units:

    (1) Natural – in all estuaries, areas shall be designated to assure the protection of significant fish and wildlife habitats, of continued biological productivity within the estuary, and of scientific, research, and educational needs. These shall be managed to preserve the natural resources in recognition of dynamic, natural, geological, and evolutionary
    processes. Such areas shall include, at a minimum, all major tracts of salt marsh, tideflats, and seagrass and algae beds.

    (2) Conservation – in all estuaries, except those in the overall Oregon Estuary Classification which are classed for preservation, areas shall be designated for long-term uses of renewable resources that do not require
    major alteration of the estuary, except for the purpose of restoration. These areas shall be managed to conserve the natural resources and benefits. These shall include areas needed for maintenance and enhancement
    of biological productivity, recreational and aesthetic uses, and aquaculture. They shall include tracts of significant habitat smaller or
    of less biological importance than those in (1) above, and recreational or commercial oyster and clam beds not included in (1) above. Areas that are partially altered and adjacent to existing development of moderate intensity which do not possess the resource characteristics of natural or development units.

    (3) Development – in estuaries classified in the overall Oregon Estuary Classification for more intense development or alteration, areas shall be designated to provide for navigation and other identified needs for public,
    commercial, and industrial water-dependent uses, consistent with the level of development or alteration allowed by the overall Oregon Estuary Classification. Such areas shall include deep-water areas adjacent or in proximity to the shoreline, navigation channels, subtidal areas for in-water disposal of dredged material and areas of minimal biological
    significance needed for uses requiring alterations of the estuary not included in (1) and (2) above.

    Figure 16: Hierarchy of estuary management priorities. Data Source: DLCD 2007

    Figure 16: Hierarchy of estuary management priorities.
    DataSource: DLCD 2007

    Each one of these management units has permissible uses and these management units were used to development the management units in the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan (CBEMP). The CBEMP applied the management units to the water as well as the upland that directly affects the water uses.
    The management units are defined as follows:

    (1) CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT UNIT:
    In all estuaries, except those in the overall Oregon Estuary Classification which are classed for preservation, areas shall be designated for long-term uses of renewable resources that do not require major alteration of the
    estuary, except for the purpose of restoration.

    These areas shall be managed to conserve the natural resources and benefits. These shall include areas needed for maintenance and
    enhancement of biological productivity, recreational and aesthetic uses, and aquaculture.

    They shall include tracts of significant habitat smaller or of less biological importance then those in the “Natural” management unit, and
    recreational or commercial oyster and clam beds not included in the “Natural” management unit. Areas that are partially altered and adjacent to existing development of moderate intensity which do not possess the
    resource characteristics of natural or development units may also be included in this classification.

    Table 4: Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals. Data Source: DLCD 2007

    Table 4: Oregon’s Statewide Planning Goals. Data
    Source: DLCD 2007

    (2) DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT UNIT:
    In estuaries classified in the overall Oregon Estuary Classification for more intense development or alteration, areas shall be designated to provide for navigation and other identified needs for public, commercial, and industrial water-dependent uses, consistent with the level of development or alteration allowed by the overall Oregon Estuary Classification. Such areas shall include deep-water reas adjacent or in proximity to the shoreline, navigation channels, subtidal areas for in-water disposal of dredged material and areas of minimal biological significance needed for uses requiring alterations of the estuary not
    included in “Natural and Conservation” management units.

    (3) NATURAL MANAGEMENT UNIT:
    In all estuaries, areas shall be designated to assure the protection of significant fish and wildlife habitats, of continued biological productivity within the estuary, and of scientific, research, and educational needs. These shall be managed to preserve the natural resources
    in recognition of dynamic, natural, geological, and evolutionary processes. Such areas shall include, at a minimum, all major tracts of saltmarsh, tideflats, and seagrass and algae beds.

    The management units will be accompanied by a segment number and accompanied with letters to determine the management unit and if it is aquatic or shoreland. For example 1-CS means, segment 1-Conservation Shoreland. In the CBEMP there are two types of navigational channels Shallow and Deep:
    (1) Natural estuaries that lack maintained jetties and channels, and have little residential or commercial developments;
    (2) Conservation estuaries that also lack jetties and channels, but are within or adjacent to urban areas with developed shorelines;
    (3) Shallow-draft development estuaries that have jetties, and whose channels are dredged to a depth of 22 feet or less; and
    (4) Deep-draft development estuaries that have jetties and channels maintained to a depth greater than 22 feet.

    Coos Bay is one of three deep-draft development estuaries in Oregon, with the other two being the Columbia River and Yaquina Bay. Each of these four types has an associated management goal (OAR 660-017-0025): for
    natural estuaries it is “preserve the natural resources and the dynamic natural processes”; for conservation estuaries it is to “manage for long-term uses of renewable resources that do not require major alterations;
    and both shallow-draft and deep-draft development estuaries are to be “managed to provide for navigation and other identified needs for public, commercial, and industrial water-dependent uses,” while at the same time containing management units designated as “natural” and “conservation” where areas meet the criteria for those zones. Figure 16 shows the hierarchy of prioritized management and uses in estuaries, irrespective of
    their type.

    Counties implement State-wide planning goals 16 and 17 within their comprehensive plan (OAR 660-015-0010(1)). For the purpose of planning, the area covered by goal 16 extends to the mean higher high water line, including sub-tidal (submerged) and inter-tidal zones, while Goal 17 extends into the uplands, and requires designation of sufficient areas to support water-dependent, water-related, and water-oriented uses. Part of the requirements for an estuary plan is a comprehensive inventory, including physical, biological, and socio-economic characteristics (DLCD 2010).

    The major outcome of the plan is a “zoning” of the plan area into management units, divided into two broad categories (aquatic and shoreland) then into the three different management classes (natural, conservation,
    and development), that are subsequently distinguished between urban and
    rural; and finally, for the development class, into water-dependent versus non-water-dependent uses. Descriptions of these estuary management types are found in Appendix 4.

    Appendices

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    City of Coos Bay Zoning Map

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    City of North Bend Zoning Map

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    Appendix 3: Parcels and areas of different zoning categories in unincorporated Coos County, and the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend. Data Source: Coos County Planning Department and the Cities of Coos bay and North Bend.

    Appendix 4: Management units and descriptions within the CBEMP.

    Appendix 4: Management units and descriptions within the CBEMP.

    Appendix 5: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    Appendix 5: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    Appendix 5 Continued: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    Appendix 5 Continued: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department
    n.d.a

    Appendix 5 Continued: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department n.d.a

    Appendix 5 Continued: CBEMP management areas, zoning classifications, and their areas (ac.). Data Source: Coos County Planning Department
    n.d.a

    Appendix 6: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)

    Appendix 6 Continued: Designated mitigation sites and their owners with the Coos Bay Estuary Managment Plan (CBEMP)