Oregon Coast Alliance Newsletter
Spotlight on Tillamook County
Tillamook PUD and the $46 Million Bond Measure 
Tillamook Bay at Sunset. Courtesy Aaron Zahrowski/Wikimedia
Tillamook People's Utility District has been aggressively pursuing its proposed Tillamook Oceanside Transmission Line (TOTL) for several years now. Currently, TPUD has an application before the County.  The Planning Commission approved it, and the Board of Commissioners just followed suit. The landowners who appealed did not get any protection from their elected representatives. The utility's application before the Public Utility Commission for the use of eminent domain is still pending.

TPUD is plowing ahead, certain of ultimately getting all its approvals.  In late July the TPUD Board approved an ordinance (Ordinance 2-18) approving issuance of $46 million in revenue bonds. The monies would be used: "to finance improvements in the District's electric system, including a transmission line and substation, meter replacement and a new operations center." In other words, the District is proposing to issue these bonds to pay for the highly controversial and unnecessary  Tillamook-Oceanside  transmission line. The bonds are to be paid solely from electrical system revenues. 

ORCA opposes this action by TPUD. The  district  - ironically organized as a people's utility - is saddling its ratepayers with $46 million of revenue bonds for a transmission line that is highly controversial and will harm farmers, rural residents and timber owners, as well as traverse a portion of the Southern Flow Project, a large wetland restoration in the area. Stimson Lumber Company, whose lands the transmission line would also cross, notified the Board of Commissioners in May that they too oppose the line, because it would take 36 acres of timberland out of production, and open their lands to vandalism.Worse yet,  as many have testified,  the project is  unnecessary. TPUD  has an alternative (Option 3) that would shore up service reliability to the Oceanside area without building  a new  transmission line. 

At the very least, TPUD should put this bond measure to a ratepayer vote. Since ratepayers  would  pay for the bonds  and shoulder the costs of the transmission line,  it is only just that they should vote on whether or not TPUD may issue  them.

RV's as Permanent Dwellings in Tillamook County 
Unoccupied RV on Rural Land in Tillamook County, July 2017
Since ORCA won the appeal at the Land Use Board of appeals in the Orlando case, Tillamook County is prohibited from following its custom of permitting recreational vehicles (RV's) for permanent dwellings in rural areas outside of mobile home parks. This meant the County also had to ensure that the Orlandos, whose permit was the one appealed, no longer lived in an RV as a permanent dwelling. The Orlandos had the option of purchasing an approved kind of dwelling for rural residential use, but instead they chose to sell the property and leave, taking the RV with them. So far as is known, the property is currently vacant.

This is the tragedy of a situation like  this. The  County granted a permit to people for an illegal dwelling, and then had to rescind the permission, causing difficulties both to themselves and to the couple that relied on the permit. Allowing RVs as dwellings  creates  many public health and safety problems, including sanitation, adequate water supply, access to emergency services and deterioration of the dwelling.  But there are other costs:  causing immense  inconvenience to  applicants who rely on a permit wrongfully granted, and  expense to  County taxpayers as the County spends money enforcing a court order that should not have been necessary in the first place.

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Contact Information
Contact Executive Director Cameron La Follette by  email
or phone: 503-391-0210
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