Agri-Tourism Events and Activities
What is "Agri-Tourism"?
In 2011 the Oregon Legislature approved Senate Bill 960 (SB960) allowing counties to establish agri-tourism and other commercial events or activities. Marion County adopted these regulations on May 2, 2012 allowing rural farm-zoned property owners to hold, by permit, a certain number of events each year on their property for profit.
Is this countywide?
Yes, but only in farm zones – Exclusive Farm Use, Special Agriculture, and Farm/Timber. The agri-tourism events and activities must be related to and supportive of agriculture.
What are the "event" regulations for other zones in Marion County?
Citizens can hold “personal” events on their property, regardless of the zone, including family weddings, reunions, celebratory parties, etc. Property owners can hold non-personal events on their property, regardless of the zone, provided they are not charging or collecting a fee or compensated in any way. For example, a property owner can allow a friend to have a wedding or family reunion on his/her property as long as they did not charge the friend a fee or collect a fee from attendees. When a property owner collects a fee or other form of compensation from holding or allowing an event on his/her property, it is considered a business. This includes only being compensated for expenses the property owner incurred from the event.
What kind of permit is required for agri-tourism events?
There are three types of agri-tourism permits processed under Marion County Code, Chapter 17.120, Specific Conditional Uses. In summary:
“One Event Conditional Use” Permit : is valid for one event each calendar year for a maximum of 72 consecutive hours, allows up to 500 attendees, and 250 vehicles parked onsite.
“Up to Six Events Limited Conditional Use” Permit: authorizes six events each calendar year held for a maximum of 72 consecutive hours per event. It is valid for two years and may be renewed.
“Up to 18 Events Conditional Use” Permit: authorizes 18 events each calendar year on a minimum lot size of 80 acres. Events must be incidental and subordinate to existing commercial farm use of the parcel and necessary to support commercial farm uses or agricultural enterprises in the area. It is valid for four years, and may be renewed.
How do I obtain an agri-tourism permit?
Marion County Planning Division issues the Conditional Use Agri-tourism Permits. You can download a "Conditional Use Agri-Tourism" Application or obtain one from our office. This form requests general icontact nformation, location and size of the property, a statement summarizing the request being made, etc. You will also need to complete a "Conditional Use Agri-Tourism Supplemental Information" form that requests general information specific to the proposed event(s) and how it relates to farming on the property and/or in the area. If you have questions or need assistance completing the application and/or supplemental form, contact our office. We have staff available each day from 8-4 and happy to help in any way possible.
What happens after I submit the application?
Once a complete application is received, the Planning Division will request comments from other departments and affected agencies. Staff will then review the application for compliance with various land use regulations. In approximately 30 days a decision will be issued approving, conditionally approving, or denying the request. A copy is sent to the applicant and property owners within 1500 feet of the subject property. Please note there is a 15-day appeal period. The appeal process and conditions, if approved, are explained in the Notice of Decision.
What is the difference between agri-tourism and mass gathering events?
The County’s Outdoor Mass Gathering Permit is required for events with over 750 attendees and allowed in any zone subject to certain standards and regulations. The agri-tourism events are only for property in a resource zone currently in farm use. These permits also and have conditions regarding impact to the land, type of building(s) used, and must be incidental to existing farm use on the parcel.
What type of restrictions will be placed on these agri-tourism events?
The specific regulations covering Conditional Use Agri-Tourism permits are listed in Marion County Code 17.120.090. In addition to the limitations on number of events, hours, vehicles, and attendees noted above, the following criteria and standards may apply:
must be incidental and subordinate to the existing farm use on the tract;
must occur outdoors, in temporary structures, or existing permitted structures subject to fire life safety requirements;
shall cause no alteration to land including, but not limited to, grading, filling or paving;
shall not, in combination with other agri-tourism or other commercial events or activities authorized in the area, materially alter the stability of the land use pattern of the area;
for the "up to18 events" Conditional Use, events or activities shall be incidental and subordinate to existing commercial farm use of the tract and necessary to support the commercial farm uses or the commercial agricultural enterprises in the area;
for the "up to 18 events" Conditional Use the lot or parcel that the event or activity takes place on shall comply with the minimum lot size of that zone.
How much do these permits cost?
How do you interpret "...must be incidental and subordinate to existing farm use..."?
Generally speaking, the act of holding events on the parcel should be secondary or subsidiary to the farm use of the parcel. In addition, the property must be receiving farm deferral through the Assessor’s Office. Review will occur on a case-by-case basis, as are all Conditional Use applications.
Need more information?
The Planning Division is here to help you through the process, deal with these new regulations and find solutions or alternatives, when necessary. Contact us at (503) 588-5038 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is open Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.