Tillamook BOC Approves Pacific City Ordinance Changes
Cape Kiwanda State Natural Area Near Pacific City. Courtesy Matvyei (Wikimedia)
The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners, despite extensive testimony, approved the changes to Pacific City's ordinances that will increase density in several community zones. Despite a 96-30 vote against the proposed changes by the Citizen's Advisory Committee, and a later negative vote against a County-proposed compromise, the Board of Commissioners approved the changes. Responding to requests to send the proposals back to the CAC for further work under a different drafting committee, County officials said they had no further funds for more work on them.
It would have been better for BOC to have simply left the Pacific City ordinances as they were, given the extensive community opposition to the proposed amendments. That would not have put the County in the position of refusing a request to work with the community to better address the livability and crowding issues that have come up in recent years. Shaping Pacific City's future should not be hostage either to the power of developers or to limited County funding.
Tillamook-Oceanside Transmission Line Will Get Another Hearing
TPUD Proposed Oceanside Transmission Line Route. Courtesy TPUD
The Tillamook County Planning Commission approved the Tillamook-Oceanside Transmission Line (TOTL), despite extensive testimony about its effects on landowners who would be forced to host the line. The Tillamook People's Utility District, knowing the line is unpopular, also applied for a "certificate of public convenience and necessity" which would allow them to use eminent domain against recalcitrant landowners. However, the Public Utility Commission's administrative law judge decided to put the request on hold until the County decides whether to grant the basic land use permit, without which the transmission line could not be built.
The planning commission approval has been appealed to the Board of Commissioners, and the hearing will be July 11th at 1:00 PM in the Tillamook County Courthouse. Opponents - who include farmers, rural residents, business owners in Tillamook and ORCA - will show, again, how much more easily PUD could meet any issues in providing electricity to the Oceanside area without building an expensive and unnecessary transmission line.
Cannon Beach Continues Dune-Grading Policy-Making
Breakers Point and Protecting Dunes in January 2018 King Tide. Courtesy ORCA
The Cannon Beach Planning Commission has concluded its hearings on the proposed Foredune Management Plan and associated ordinance changes, which will set Cannon Beach dune-grading policies for at least a decade. The hearings were marked by repetitive testimony by Breakers Point residents requesting more latitude in dune-grading for view maintenance. Increasing numbers of Cannon Beach residents stepped forward as part of the local organization Friends of the Dunes to point out the many benefits the dunes provide to residents and visitors, ranging from protection against king tides and storm surges to wildlife and economic benefits.
Cannon Beach is a visitors' town. The famed view from the beach, especially on the north end of town, is a principal reason visitors come to Cannon Beach. Visitors do not want to see dunes graded flat and patchy, scraggly beach grass transplants. Breakers Point residents and others who wish to grade for views forget that the town's beautiful natural setting is the basis of its economy. They focus only on their own desires, rather than the good of the community. It seems some residents of Cannon Beach have forgotten that dune-grading for view maintenance is a privilege, to be granted only under specific circumstances. It is not now, nor has it ever been, a right. ORCA testified that the best solution would be for Cannon Beach to return to its stance of the early 1990s, and have no dune-grading for views maintenance at all. That is fair for everyone, and protects the town's economic base.
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