To the editor:
After losing $1,500 dollars looking for a house in The Dalles last year, my family felt used and discouraged. We are desperate to improve our housing situation and until we lost those funds we thought that we had enough money for a small down payment.
We have been reduced to trying to replace the trailer we own with a new manufactured home in the trailer park where we currently reside.
We have been working by ourselves on the application for the permit since October 2018. We have made eight trips to the planning office. Each time we got no concrete help, just more confusion. In our dealings with the planning department, we came away with the distinct impression that the staff prefers doing business with contractors building new construction. Apparently our situation is too complicated for them.
We are talking about a lot that is 17 by 70 feet. The water and sewer system are already in place. There is nothing else we can do to the lot. The permit application asks for information that is either not relevant to our situation nor easily available to the average citizen.
To add insult to injury, we have to pay additional money for a permit from the universally reviled Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Commission. The actual view from our trailer is of I-84, the Google plant, and a large pile of dirt. However, we glimpse the river and the Gorge Commission considers that on its own a “key viewing area,” giving them the right to extract their fee. The expedited permit cost six hundred and forty dollars and takes a minimum of two months; we are unwilling to pay more to have a contractor that we don’t need hired just to get the application for the permit filled out.
Because of the way we were treated last year we are reluctant to be made fools of again. The Wasco County Planning Department has been successful at thwarting our attempt to get safe and decent housing.
Heather L. Thompson and Barbara L. Telfer