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Planning Department

Zoning Ordiance


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A 2.5% service charge ($2 min.) will be imposed by Merchant Services

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Department At-A-Glance

Land use and zoning permits for activities on all lands outside the Urban Growth Boundary of the three Cities:  Partitioning; Property Line Adjustments; Conditional and Permitted Use Permits, Ag Exempt Permits; GIS mapping services; Wild and Scenic Waterways and Flood Zone Determination; Comprehensive planning and development; Rural Addressing.

The Planning Commission meets as needed. The meetings are held in the Jeanne E. Burch Family Services Building located at 401 Fourth Street; Fossil, OR, unless otherwise published in the newspaper of record.

The Planning Department strives to protect the agricultural and forest lands within the County while promoting responsible development for the benefit of landowners and the economic health of the county as a whole.  Parties interested in building, development, or other actions governed by State statute and the local Wheeler County Zoning Ordinance are encouraged to call the County Planning Department and discuss regulations and possible options for consideration in an effort to promote healthy stewardship of lands within our County.

All building permits for structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and mobile home placement are issued through the State of Oregon Building Codes Division. You may access their information online at, by phone at (541)276-7814, or by email at



Water Master - Wheeler: Phone (541)969-8799


Wheeler Soil and Water Conservation District (website):  Phone (541)468-2990


Onsite Septic Program (Harney County) (website): 

Jesse Barnes, County Onsite Specialist
Phone: 541-573-8195
Cell Phone: 541-589-2696


State of Oregon Building Codes (website): Phone  (541)276-7814 Pendleton


Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (website)


DEQ Eastern Region Contacts - Call (541)633-2018 to verify location of septic tanks



Oregon Revised Statutes regarding land use planning, Please visit this site for more information.

County Planner

Matt Davis

701 Adams Street

PO Box 447

Fossil, OR 97830

Phone: (541) 763-2126


Hours: Monday - Friday

8:00 am-5:00 pm



Planning Commission

Steve Bray, Chair

Kendal Derby, Vice-Chair

Kimmy Sue Lickteig

Deb Stubblefield

Shawn Hawkins



The Wheeler County Planning Commission will conduct a Public Hearing on Monday, March 11th, 2024, at 5:00 PM in the Jeanne Burch Building at 401 Fourth St. Fossil, OR 97830 to consider: 
Conditional Use applications submitted by Contention Ranch, LLC to establish four private hunting preserves for upland game birds, subject to ODFW approval and licensure. CUP-23-002 Big Bottom Ranch, situs address 40607 Rowe Creek Rd, Mitchell, OR 97750 (TL 104 & 101 Township 9 South Rane 21 East); CUP-23-003 Contention Ranch at Goose Point, situs address 19506 Tap Horn Ln (TL 103 Township 10 South Range 21 East, TL 902 & 906 Township 9 South Range 21 East); CUP-23-004 Contention Ranch Headquarters, situs address 38912 S Twickenham Rd, Mitchell, OR 97750 (TL 3401, 3603 & 3600 Township 9 South Range 21 East; TL 400, 401, 402, 201 & 1700 Township 10 South Range 21 East) and CUP-23-005 Contention Ranch at Horse Mountain, situs address 39046 Highway 207 S, Mitchell, OR 97750 (TL 2407, 2411 & 1810 Township 10 South, Range 22 East).
The use may be approved in the Exclusive Farm Use Zone under Wheeler County Zoning Ordinance (WCZO) 3.1 (5)(h) subject to Section (7) and Subsection (6)(j).
The applications, supporting documents, and all evidence relied upon are available for inspection at no cost at the Wheeler County Planning Department. Staff reports will be available for inspection at no cost seven days prior to the public hearing. Copies will be provided at a reasonable cost.


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