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About The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 17, 2018)
THE DAILY ASTORIAN • WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17, 2018
JIM VAN NOSTRAND
Founded in 1873
10 years ago
this week — 2008
75 years ago — 1943
Clatsop County Commissioner Sam Patrick has strong
words for county leadership over its failure to put a disaster
plan in place.
“County management’s been asleep at the switch,” Patrick
He blasted county leadership for placing the burden of
building a Disaster Mitigation Plan on Sheriff Tom Bergin and
Emergency Operations Coordinator Gene Strong.
“The mitigation plan should be done in management’s
office or County Planning,” Patrick said.
His comments came as North Coast officials and state lead-
ers continued their investigation into the emergency response
to the Dec. 2-3 windstorm.
Sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
But when the silence at the Clatsop County Planning Com-
mission meeting ended Tuesday, planners had for the third
time approved a NorthernStar Bradwood Landing applica-
tion, and ignored county staff’s recommendation for denial.
The vote was 4-3.
The testimony came from Charles H. Knox of Gold
Beach who said the state has enough land and should not
take any more ocean frontage.
“Is this the Highway Commission policy — to get our
lands by any means?” he asked.
Rep. Lee Johnson, R-Portland, committee chairman,
said the important part of the bill was that the beaches have
“The problem of property rights involving adverse pos-
session will be up to courts,” he said.
Compiled by Bob Duke
From the pages of Astoria’s daily newspapers
The historic Flavel House, built in 1886 for prom-
inent Astorian, Capt. George Flavel, has weathered
many a storm.
The big windstorm that roared through Clatsop
County in early December didn’t faze the sturdy
structure, but several of the trees that surround it
didn’t fare as well. A couple of rare cork elms were
lost during the storm, and two more might have to
But the worst storm casualties weren’t discovered
Two cypress trees on the south side of the house
are leaning ominously toward it — threatening to fall
on the restored mansion at Eighth Street and Frank-
lin Avenue, which has been a museum for more than
“We know they’re going to fall. We need to take
them down before it happens, said Mac Burns, execu-
tive director of the Clatsop county Historical Society.
JOHN D. BRUIJN
50 years ago — 1968
Representatives of Cornell, Howland,
Hayes and Merryfield showed several possible
plans for development of downtown Astoria into
an attractive shopping district to members of the
city council and planning commission Monday
The consultants showed several possible alter-
native plans for routing highway traffic to leave
Commercial Street free of trucks and other high-
way traffic, for possible conversion into a pedes-
trian mall, beautified to make it attractive to
One plan involved routing highway traffic both
ways along Marine Drive past the downtown area,
with possible future development of a one-way
couplet using Exchange rather than Commercial
for eastbound highway traffic.
The beach bill passed by the 1967 legislature places a
“cloud on every property title on the Oregon beaches,” the
Legislative highway Interim Committee was told Monday.
Women welders, cops and even railroad sec-
tion hands fail to cause any unusual astonish-
ment these days and so likewise, motorists driving
into the Shell station at Ninth and Bond streets
have seemed to take it as a matter of course that a
woman should now be filling their gas tanks and
checking their tires.
The blonde young Amazon is Valeria Rowe, of
Route 1, Warrenton, and she’s the first female ser-
vice station operator in Astoria. Garbed in olive-
green overalls and cap with her hair neatly con-
fined in a net, Miss Rowe looked ready to tackle
any job which came her way.
“I always liked to putter around with cars,”
she said, “and so I decided I might just as well be
getting paid for it. Before starting here I worked
in a dry cleaning shop.”
To prepare for her work as an operator, Miss
Rowe attended a two weeks’ Shell school in Port-
land, together with nine other young women,
where she learned about filling tanks, changing
tires, lubrication, etc. She has now been working
in Astoria for over two months.
Questioned as to what she felt she and other
women now taking men’s places in business and
industry would do after the war, she declared that
she would like to stay on in the service station
business, but that if it means depriving some man
of the job, she would be willing to return to her
Clatsop County it was learned today has been chosen as
one of three counties in Oregon and Washington for a test
of the OPA’s new food point ration system due to go into
effect sometime during February.
From 5,000 to 10,000 women in 58 counties
throughout the nation will be chosen and their
shopping habits checked through daily reports. The pur-
pose is to compile a cross section of what types of food
Americans are eating and how much of each so the num-
ber of points can be more accurately assigned to various
housing, homeless crisis
n Jan. 24, our county commissioners
will vote on a vacation rental ordinance
that will allow for unlimited vacation
rentals with inadequate regulations throughout
This, at a time when other communities in
our region are tightening restrictions on the
number of vacation rentals and expanding their
regulations to mitigate and
protect their communities
from the continuing conver-
sion of housing rentals to
This vote, if it passes, will
do the opposite of protecting
Our quality of life and
livability are at stake. Once
this land use wall has been breached, there will
be no going back.
Reflecting the sentiment of our county in
the recent ballot measure, Gearhart affirmed
stronger vacation rental limits and regulations
by a decisive 77 percent voter margin.
Therefore, it seems inconceivable that any
county commissioner could vote for this ordi-
nance, in defiance of this overwhelming public
mandate rejecting these measures.
While I am a local lodging owner, I am
coming at this as a concerned resident and
small business employer who creates local jobs
and cares greatly for our employees.
The biggest and most difficult challenges
confronting all of us in this area, both immedi-
ately and in the future, is affordable housing.
Over the last 10 years it worsened every
year. During this same period, vacation rentals
in Clatsop County rose 100 percent.
A report from UCLA highlights that
nationally, every 10 percent increase in vaca-
tion rental listings resulted in a .39 percent
increase in rent and a .64 percent increase in
house prices. Putting that into context, rents
rose 7.5 percent annually between 2012-2017
in Clatsop County, meaning that over a third
of rent increases in that time frame can be
attributed to vacation rentals.
The “affordability crisis” disproportionately
impacts low- and middle-income individuals,
many of whom are now spending upwards of
40 percent of their income on rent, a 9 percent-
age point increase over the last 14 years.
On top of this, individuals who hope to own
a home are being priced out of their ability to
buy a house, unable to meet the sustainable
threshold of their income going towards a
The upshot is that all of this triggers insta-
bility for working families with children in
our county, in addition to creating downward
pressure on our increasing low-income and
Unlimited vacation rentals are making it
difficult for most individuals to live in their
current neighborhoods. As long-term residents
get priced out of the neighborhood, who
remains? Only those who already own a home,
and don’t rent it out short-term.
Goodbye new families. Goodbye young
couples struggling to pay the rent. Goodbye
students, artists, seniors, and anyone who can’t
afford to compete with vacationers’ budgets.
Goodbye neighborhood diversity, goodbye
• Vacation rentals are a rapidly increasing
component of visitor accommodations in
• The vacation rental marketing platforms
have effectively incorporated single-family
homes in residential neighborhoods to the
county’s lodging rental unit pool, thus compet-
ing with residents for these units.
• There is a measurable shift in housing
supply, otherwise available to the county’s
working families, to vacation rentals and other
• Additional regulation and mitigation
can limit the loss of affordable housing units
otherwise available to the county’s working
The growing number of vacation rentals in
Clatsop County creates two impacts related to
First, by increasing the supply of lodging
and accommodating additional visitors,
vacation rentals increase economic activity and
employment in the county’s tourism business
sector. This increase in employment creates
demand for housing. Given that the tourist
sector employment is dominated by service
industries including lodging and food services,
with average wages below $30,000 per year,
there is, and will continue to be an increased
demand for affordably priced housing as the
Second, as whole housing units are shifted
from providing housing for the county’s
low-income and working families to providing
lodging for visitors, there will be less housing
supply. As these two impacts contribute to what
is a larger housing supply problem in Clatsop
County, they should be mitigated as a part of a
broader effort to expand housing available to
the homeless, economically disadvantaged, and
the county’s workforce.
The shift of long-term housing to vacation
rentals that has already occurred, along with
the expectation for the continued rapid growth
of the vacation rentals, strongly suggests
that additional restrictions, regulations and
mitigation measures are needed to protect the
county’s supply of affordable housing.
Therefore, county commissioners need to
place additional restrictions on vacation-rental
housing, lest it make the supply of affordable
housing scarcer than it already is.
If commissioners do not limit vacation rent-
als it will take even more housing away from
those who live and work here, benefiting only
tourists and other temporary visitors, while
leaving our residents and families in the cold.
Any new ordinance needs to provide
reasonable and necessary regulations for the
licensing of short-term rental of residential
dwelling units in order to:
1. Ensure the safety, welfare and conve-
nience of renters, owners and neighboring
property owners throughout Clatsop County.
2. Balance the legitimate livability concerns
with the rights of property owners to use their
property as they choose.
3. Recognize the need to limit vacation
rental options within neighborhoods to ensure
compatibility, while recognizing the benefits
of vacation rentals in providing recreation and
4. Help maintain the county’s needed hous-
ing supply for residential use.
5. Protect the character of the county’s res-
idential neighborhoods by limiting the number
and concentration of full-time vacation rentals.
In the adoption of these regulations, the county
should find that the transient rental of dwelling
units has the potential to be incompatible with
surrounding residential uses. Therefore, special
regulation of dwellings listed for transient
occupancy is necessary to ensure that these
uses will be compatible with surrounding
residential uses and will not materially alter the
neighborhoods in which they are located.
Vacation rentals are disrupting neighbor-
hoods, making it harder for individuals and
working families to find affordable housing and
forcing an increase in our homeless population.
I encourage you to email the commissioners
your feelings regarding vacation rentals and
affordable housing before Jan. 24. Send your
comments to Scott Lee (email@example.com),
Sarah Nebeker (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Lisa Clement (email@example.com),
Kathleen Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
and Lianne Thompson (email@example.com.
Time to speak up. Take action today!
Stephen Malkowski is owner of Arch Cape
Inn and Retreat in Cannon Beach and a former
planning commissioner of Clatsop County.