The Malheur County Court on Wednesday completed the process for making amendments to the county mass gathering ordinance to align it with changes made by the Legislature in 2019 to state statutes.

As defined in the ordinance, an outdoor mass gathering is an actual or anticipated assembly of 750 or more people at any one time on unincorporated land in Malheur County longer than five hours but less than 120 hours, in open spaces and not inside a permanent structure. Included in those hours is time for setting up and cleaning up the event.

Not included is the time people take to access the site and to leave it, if it is 60 miles or farther from the nearest interstate highway.

The ordinance also provides for an application fee to be paid before the county accepts an application for the gathering permit. The fee, not to exceed $5,000, will be used to defray the cost to process the application.

A land use permit is required when the number of people who will or may attend the gathering exceeds 3,000. A land use permit must show the gathering is compatible with the existing land use and cannot change the stability of the overall land use pattern of the area.

The amending ordinance was passed following two public hearings. There was no testimony received.

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