Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter
Look What's Coming in January and Beyond
January Round-up: Sneak Preview of Hearings
 
Storm Waves on the Central Coast, December 2018. Courtesy Roy Lowe
 
Several projects ORCA is participating in have rescheduled or continued hearings coming  up in January. Here is a sneak preview of what we know now about the hearings and upcoming permit processes. More information will appear on ORCA's Facebook page as the hearings come closer. Please follow us on Facebook for information about hearings, new development proposals - and occasional posts about the fascinating history of our coast. ORCA's Facebook page is here.


Nesika RV Park Hearing will be Rescheduled to January

Curry County hoped to have the initial planning commission hearing on the Nesika RV Park proposal on December 20th, but it was too close to the holidays to get a quorum. The hearing will be rescheduled to January, date as yet unknown. This will be a highly important hearing.

The Nesika RV Park proposal is a classic example of the county failing to apply the law and exercise its required oversight. The proposal, for eleven (or possibly up to eighteen) RV trailers on a parcel of land next to the high - and very geologically unstable - Nesika bluff outside of Gold Beach, means that the application must meet the requirements of the Shorelands Overlay zone. But the County did not apply it at all, nor require a geohazard report, nor a stormwater management plan. These may seem like mere burdensome bureaucratic requirements, but in fact they are vital to the public health and safety. Stormwater from a poorly-sited development seeping into a crumbling, eroding cliff is a recipe for disaster for surrounding landowners. And, of course, the county should have automatically required a geohazard report for a development proposed so close to a major bluff.


Bandon Beach Hotel: Hearings Continue January 24th

The Keiser effort to build a big new glass box of a hotel on the site of the current Bandon Beach Motel is in the middle of the hearings process before the Bandon planning commission. Keiser revised the original application so as to meet city code requirements on height and lot  coverage, so  he would not need to ask for a  variance,  but the new proposal is  similar to the earlier one.  It is a large hotel (32 rooms), with parking for sixty cars across the street, in a quiet residential neighborhood. It will also greatly impact the Coquille Point Unit of the  Oregon Islands  National Wildlife Refuge, to which it is adjacent.  This is no place for a hotel. 

The planning commission will meet again to consider this proposal on January 24, 2019. Send testimony here.


Edge Cable's Tierra del Mar Optic Fiber Landing: Hearings and Decisions in January

Edge Cable proposes to lay a fiber optic cable for Facebook between Japan and the Philippines, and Oregon. The landing place would be a vacant lot in Tierra del Mar, an unincorporated community adjacent to Sitka Sedge State Natural Area, a beautiful coastal park. The proposal sounds innocuous, but it is not: laying the cable will require Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), otherwise known as fracking, for 6 months or longer. Beginning in this quiet residential neighborhood, the company will lay the cable by trenching across the seafloor, slicing through the habitats of many endangered species, ranging from salmon to sea turtles to whales. The fracking will require massive industrial machinery onsite in Tierra del Mar for months, including a mud mixing unit and a mud recycling unit.

The Department of State Lands just closed the public comment period on this proposal. But there will probably be a January hearing for the required Parks and Recreation Department permit. The date has not been set. Edge Cable has not yet applied to Tillamook County for a conditional use permit. If and when they do, that will be another important forum for concerned residents and citizens to voice their opposition to such a major industrial project in a quiet rural neighborhood in such a fragile and well-protected coastal region.


Cannon Beach Dune-Grading: Council Hearings Begin February 5th

After multiple hearings, Cannon beach planning commission finally sent a recommendation to City Council on the proposed Foredune Management Plan, which will change Cannon Beach's policies on foredune grading for views. The first Council hearing is scheduled for February 5th, 2019. Planning commission members deliberated, made many important changes, asked searching questions of city staff and CREST staff who prepared the Foredune Plan, and discussed  options.  Ultimately, they suggested as part of their recommendation that City Council consider whether dune-grading for views should even continue in Cannon Beach. Since the city began to allow it in the late 1990s there has been escalating pressure, especially from Breakers Point, to increase dune-grading amounts. But this impacts all other landowners, who rely on the dunes for protection from high waves, storms and king tides.

Cannon  Beach, much to the city's credit,  paid for a new, comprehensive sand study, completed in 2017 by the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries. This is shaping the  ongoing  extensive debate on  dune-grading.  ORCA does not think foredune grading for views is appropriate. Home purchasers do not buy the right to a view of the ocean. Cannon Beach's economy depends on the beauty of the foredunes as visitors see them from the beach, and the dunes are essential to protecting the city from the sea. We trust City Council will take these matters into consideration as they weigh the costs and benefits of grading the dunes to protect the views of the few.





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