"To protect the Oregon coast by working with coastal residents for sustainable communities; protection and restoration of coastal and marine natural resources; providing education and advocacy on land use development; and adaptation to climate change."

Oregon Coast Alliance is the coastal affiliate of 1000 Friends of Oregon
Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter

  Appeals and Remands North and South

Arizona Ranch RV Campground: Appeal Hearing May 17th

Manzanita Lofts: Remand Hearing May 15th

Port Orford Grants Knapp Golf Course Developers Another Time Extension
Arizona Ranch RV Campground: Appeal Hearing May 17th
Arizona Beach. Courtesy OPRD
Curry County planning commission in February approved Silver Butte Investments’ application for an RV park of 31 units, plus an onsite manager’s quarters, laundry facility, recreation room and general store at Arizona Ranch. The latter facets of the business would be housed in an existing, but currently unused, motel on the property.

Appealed by a local resident, the appeal hearing before the Curry County Board of Commissioners will be held:

Wednesday, May 17
10:00 AM
County Courthouse Annex
94235 Moore Street
Gold Beach

Email testimony here.

The application has many unanswered questions. First, since under Oregon law these units could become permanent dwellings (being lawfully located in an RV park), the county needs to require heightened scrutiny of the various hazards. These include being in the tsunami zone, a high risk of landslides – especially important because that is the location of the septic drainfield – and seasonal groundwater saturation, as the parcel consists of low-lying ground between Myrtle and Mussel Creeks.

Because of these dangers, at the very least the county must require of the applicant a geological hazard study and hazard mitigation plan before moving the application forward.
The septic system problems at this site are longstanding; the Department of Environmental Quality has required multiple owners over at least fourteen years to repair malfunctioning septic systems on this lot. Furthermore, the property is adjacent to wetlands and less than a quarter mile from the ocean, leading to many questions about wetland protection and the likelihood of saltwater intrusion into the wetland water system from use of groundwater for the development.
In addition, this site is adjacent to the Parks and Recreation Department’s Arizona Beach Wayside, which already has plenty of camping options: the state park has spaces for ten RVs, or twenty vehicles for tent camping. 

To see the documents, click here.
Manzanita Lofts: Remand Hearing May 15th
Manzanita from Neahkahnie Mountain. Courtesy OCVA
Oregon Coast Alliance defended at LUBA the City of Manzanita denial of a large, multi-unit hotel/motel complex on Classic and Dorcas Streets, in the heart of a residential area. LUBA determined that the city needed to beef up some of its legal findings in order to support its denial of the project, and remanded the decision back to the city.

The planning commission will hold the initial remand hearing:

Monday, May 15
4:00 PM
via Zoom (for log-in information, click here)

Manzanita is not obligated to approve this project on remand; it is free to strengthen its legal rationale and deny it again for failure to meet city standards. ORCA suggests this is a course of action the city can, and should, take. The developers have not changed anything about the project this second time, except having convinced the city to design the remand hearing around their interpretation of the LUBA opinion. That, of course, biases the remand structure from the outset, and ORCA does not commend the city for allowing it.

Manzanita needs to do further work to determine whether, how, and to what extent the current proposal meets the city’s density standards for residences, and traffic and transportation standards. As the applicant does not appear to have changed anything substantial in the application to deal with the city’s concerns, ORCA hopes and trusts Council will continue its far-sighted protection of a vibrant residential area of town, and deny the project again, this time with a more watertight legal rationale to support its findings.
Port Orford Grants Knapp Golf Course Developers Another Time Extension
Elk River Estuary Aerial, Showing Knapp Ranch Golf Course Site. Courtesy ORCA
The annual ritual has taken place again. Once again, as every year for the last five years, Elk River Property Development has come begging Port Orford City Council for another yearlong time extension on the effluent pipeline, to use Port Orford effluent for irrigation of the unbuilt Knapp Ranch golf course. And as always, Council has agreed to it, with one Councilor voting against it this time.

Why does Port Orford City Council continue the charade over this moribund golf course project year after year? It is hard to say, the reasons are no doubt many, but surely a major one is that Port Orford has a serious sewer outfall problem, and insufficient funds to fix it. But relying on a shaky, near-dead project to provide the funds as part of the proposed effluent pipeline seems a very bad bargain, especially as federal monies are available for precisely these kinds of projects.

This project requires a recycled water use plan from the Department of Environmental Quality. From January 2019 to the present, ERPD has not provided DEQ with the necessary materials to move ahead on the plan, supplied no requested information, nor in any way indicated the project was still ongoing. Nevertheless, DEQ, like Port Orford, continues to let the unfinished permit sit, barely alive, in the files.

It is long past time for both the city and the state agency to take decisive action to end a speculative project that clearly did not pan out.
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