Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current, September 01, 2007, Page 10, Image 10

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    10
vernonia’s
voice city news
september
2007
Staff Article
CityNews...
City Council August 6, 2007
Appointments to City Committees...
At the City Council Meeting on August 6, 2007
Mayor Sally Harrison made the following ap-
pointments to city committees: James Ba-
raibar to the Planning Commission; ordained
both the Public Works and Learning Center
committees, which had been acting as ad
hoc committees, and named Cindy Ball, Carl
Holsey, Helen Hudson, George Tice, and Jim
Tierney to the Public Works Committee. Kate
Laird, Josette Mitchell, and Burt Tschache
were appointed to the Learning Center Com-
mittee. Mr. Tierney and Ms. Mitchell were
named presidents of their respective com-
mittees.
Sale of Surplus Property...
The Council deliberated the sale of surplus
twenty acres near Cedar and Third Avenues.
The property has been placed for sale, al-
though council has the right to deny any bid
it might receive. During the last public hear-
ing there were no comments for or against
the sale, and only one comment in writing
received against the sale. Council directed
staff to proceed with the sale with another
public hearing set for September 4, 2007.
Parking Study Meeting...
The Planning Commission will discuss a Park-
ing Plan for downtown at it’s regular meeting
on September 6, 2007. The Planning com-
mission has worked hard to prepare on the
study leading to this meeting.
Engineering Study Proposed...
City Administration and the Public Works
Committee are investigating the possibility
of engaging an engineering firm to study city
infrastructure needs and all of the city utility
funds. City Administrator M.R. “Dick” Kline
expressed the need for a comprehensive
Master Plan for city utilities, and received per-
mission to contact possible firms to address
council and citizens in a public forum.
Councilor Shirlee Daughtry
Honored...
Mayor Sally Harrison announced she has be-
gun the process to re-dedicate Park Drive as
“Shirlee’s Way” in honor of Councilwoman
Shirlee Daughtry.
outside city limits at least be taxpayers of the
city, meaning property owners. The council
also passed a resolution that would cover city
volunteers with workers compensation insur-
ance in the event that they are injured while
serving the city.
Appointment to City Committee...
Mayor Sally Harrison appointed Roxanna
Sherman-Heath to the Learning Center Com-
mittee.
Conveyance of Public
Improvements...
City Administrator Kline discussed the fact
that there is no ordinance that directs how
improvements made by developers are con-
veyed to the city. Mr. Kline explained that
City Council August 20, 2007
in most cases when new housing develop-
ments are constructed, the developer usu-
ally will want to give the improvements they
Ordinances Passed...
At the City Council meeting on August 20 the install to the city for maintenance purposes.
council passed two ordinances which were These improvements include streets, sewers,
described as mainly housekeeping issues. and storm water systems. There need to be
The first brought the city into compliance with standards in place for development, and a
FEMA requirements for the sale of flood insur- conveyance procedure. He will be working
ance. The second clarified City procedure re- on an ordinance to present in the near future.
garding citizen initiatives on the official ballot He also noted that there are current develop-
and in the voters’ pamphlet. There was also ers who will want to turn over improvements
discussion concerning a proposed ordinance before an ordinance is created.
that would have allowed area residents within
five miles of city boundaries to serve on city
committees. It was decided to rewrite the or-
dinance to include the stipulation that those
requesting to serve on city committees from
Vernonia Planning Commission
to Consider Adult Entertainment Ordinance
By Scott Laird
The Vernonia Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at its
regularly scheduled meeting on September 20, 2007, to take public
comment on a proposed city ordinance that would regulate the time,
place, and manner that an Adult Entertainment business could oper-
ate in Vernonia.
The Planning Commission believes this type of business might at-
tempt to locate in Vernonia based on predictions of potential area
visitors because of the new State Park and increased traffic through
the area. “There is the potential for a negative impact by people
not socially invested in our community,” said Planning Commissioner
Heather Lewis. “Anonymity is an attraction for those types of busi-
nesses. We can’t legally tell this type of business not to come here,
but we can regulate how, when, and where they operate, and try to
make the impact as minimal as possible.”
The ordinance is intended to regulate businesses such as adult ar-
cades or movie theaters, adult retail establishments, or exotic dance
studios including bars. The ordinance is not intended to discriminate,
nor is it intended to prohibit plays or dramatic presentations, scien-
tific or educational displays or presentations, or dance or other exhi-
bitions which would not normally be considered obscene.
and have data that shows increases in petty theft, vandalism, drug
and liquor law abuses, prostitution, and other unwanted behaviors,”
said Lewis. “As a city, and from a public safety standpoint, it be-
comes very costly to monitor these types of establishments. The
health and safety of the community can be jeopardized. We have put
fees in place that help off set those costs, but there are still additional
burdens on the community.”
“Our job as the Planning Commission is to promote intelligent growth
and to uphold the city’s mission statement which is to provide a safe,
peaceful and economically viable community. The Planning Commis-
sion wants to be as forward thinking as possible as a city and wants
to be ahead - not behind - when dealing with these types of issues,”
continued Lewis. “It is very difficult to do this after a business is al-
ready here.”
No one has applied to operate an Adult Entertainment business in the
city of Vernonia, ”...although we don’t believe it is outside the realm of
possibility,” said Lewis.
The Commission has spent over a year researching this ordinance.
According to Lewis, the State of Oregon Appellate Court has a his-
tory of being lenient towards Adult Entertainment businesses and in
The Planning Commission is asking for public input at the hearing. denying cities rights to regulate businesses of this nature. “Through
“We want people to come and speak their minds and express their our research we have constructed an ordinance with a background
opinions. What we want people to remember is we can’t prohibit that can withstand scrutiny at the Ninth District Appeals and Supreme
these types of businesses. What we can address is the unwanted Court Levels. With strong public input we believe this ordinance will
secondary impacts these businesses can have in a community and stand up if it is ever challenged,” said Lewis.
our ability to regulate them.
Citizens interested in this ordinance can contact City Hall for more
Adult Entertainment establishments have historically led to increases information.
in crime in areas where they are located. “We have done our research