Marion County, OR, County Code

Updated August 2020

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Table of Contents


Brownfields Redevelopment 

Food Systems

Solar Energy


Agritourism | Food Systems

The county’s zoning code addresses agritourism. The code defines three categories of agritourism and other commercial events or activities in conjunction with farming operations — a single annual event, up to six annual events, and more frequent events of longer duration — and provides use criteria and development standards for those uses (§17.120.090).

A single agritourism event in a calendar year is a permitted use in the farm/timber, exclusive farm use, and special agriculture zones, while multiple agritourism events in a calendar year require conditional use permits (§17.136.020; §17.137.020; §17.139.020). The code also provides a list of requirements to obtain a permit for a single agritourism event in a calendar year (§17.125.130).

A webpage on the county’s website provides background and additional guidance on the county’s agritourism regulations.

Brownfields Redevelopment

The county’s property tax code includes a section to establish and govern exemptions for brownfields redevelopment (§3.35). It establishes eligible and ineligible properties and creates an explicit carveout for rural brownfield redevelopment projects.

This ordinance identifies the exemption period of eligible properties, the costs that can be mitigated, and the sliding scale at which exemptions are set. It also lays out the assessment process and actions that could lead to approved projects' disqualification.

solar energy

The county's zoning code provides conditional use standards for photovoltaic solar power generating facilities (Sec. 17.120.110). The code provides definitions for land types and provides conditions for locating solar facilities on high-value farmland soils, arable soils, and non-arable soils, including limits on the acreage that can be used and requiring the mitigation of any negative environmental impacts such as soil erosion, soil compaction, noxious weed introductions, or stability of land use patterns in the area. If the facility may impact wildlife of federal or state concern, the applicant must conduct a site-specific assessment and determine appropriate mitigation strategies.

Photovoltaic solar power generating facilities are conditional uses in the Special Agriculture and Exclusive Farm Use zones (Sec. 17.136.050.F, Sec. 17.137.050.F).

The code permits private energy generating facilities, including solar power panels, as accessory uses in all zones in compliance with standards that address limits on power generation and rooftop placement; in historic districts or scenic areas, systems must be nonreflective (Sec. 17.126.020.K, L).

Marion, OR

2010 Population: 315,335

2010 Population Density: 266.71/square mile