Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, March 13, 2015, Image 4

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    4A • March 13, 2015 | Cannon Beach Gazette |
Tree thinning has residents in a huff
Though the loss of
more than 50 trees is pref-
would like to have it main- erable to losing 70, John-
son said he had expected
Given that ODOT has Will Caplinger, the city’s
little choice but to eliminate arborist, to weigh in on the
the worrisome trees — and issue before the thinning
could be held legally lia- took place.
ble for accidents that occur
Last year, when ODOT
by leaving them alone — informed Cannon Beach
Mayor Sam Steidel said he of its tree-thinning plan
hopes ODOT approaches during a public meeting,
the ongoing project as “an FLW\RI¿FLDOVVDLGWKHFLW\
annual maintenance pro- would pay Caplinger to
gram” rather than an all-at- independently
once endeavor.
the targeted trees. But
when it appeared that
ODOT would not follow
Originally, the depart- through with the plan, the
ment planned to remove 70 independent review was
trees this month, Werst said. dropped.
But with a maximum
If ODOT wanted to
of $10,000 to spend on the spend its limited funds on
SURMHFW¶V¿UVWVWDJH2'27 a project that would ben-
decided to reduce the num- H¿W &DQQRQ %HDFK WKH
ber of trees removed this department should have
year, Grassick said.
invested in seismically
The entire project cost upgrading the woodpile
$7,300, Werst said, adding bridge over Ecola Creek,
that the combined crew Johnson said. Ideally, the
costs about $760 per hour.
bridge should have taken
Trails End Recovery precedence over tree thin-
An excavator prepares to drop felled trees and brush from the east side of U.S. Highway 101 into the back of a truck.
will sell the 40 to 60 tons of ning, he added.
And, as long as trees The equipment belongs to Trails End Recovery, a Warrenton-based company.
said. The company will then were getting cut, Johnson
give ODOT a $400 to $600 argued, the raw timber,
should have been placed
Whether ODOT still in the creek as “woody de-
intends to remove all 200 bris” to help restore salmon
In the midst of
trees, even if it happens habitat, rather than given to
the first round
over a longer time frame Trails End Recovery to sell
of ODOT tree
than expected, Werst could on the timber market.
thinning, far
not say.
Above all, Johnson said
fewer trees
Former Mayor Mike he wished there had been
now hang over
Morgan said he hopes more opportunities for pub-
the highway
ODOT is “willing to only lic participation and citizen
corridor. The
take out the trees that are involvement.
ODOT and
absolutely needed and not
“Yeah, this is (ODOT’s)
Trails End
work toward a goal of any highway. (These are) their
Recovery team
trees, in a sense. But this
were chided
“We’re trying to keep is a public issue that some
by neighbors
clean-up and damage to a people are very concerned
for “destroy-
minimum. We know that about,” he said. “Any time
ing” Cannon
the folks around here are you start cutting down trees
Beach’s scenic
real sensitive to the proj- in Cannon Beach, some-
ect,” Werst said. “I under- body should be saying,
stand the sensitivity.”
‘Hey, wait a minute — do
we need to do that?’”
Trees from Page 1A
‘Wait a minute’
“I’m not very happy
about how this has played
out,” said Ed Johnson, an
Elkland Court neighbor of
Kirsten Massebeau.
A ‘real drag’
With some of their
buffer now gone, Kirsten
Massebeau and her hus-
band, Phillip Massebeau,
said they are concerned
about louder highway noise
and stronger winds hitting
the mature trees that sur-
round their property. “Not
to mention the road is not
as pretty when you’re com-
ing down through Cannon
Beach anymore,” Phillip
Massebeau said.
“We know there was
nothing we could do about
it, but it would have been
nice to at least have some
say,” he added. “It’s a real
Something is amiss
To the editor,
We are writing this letter on
behalf of a number of Cannon
Beach citizens who live or own
property in the north end and are
very upset about the events and re-
sults of the March 3 City Council
meeting. We came to the meeting
to voice our concerns about how
the city and council had handled
a proposal to create a planned de-
velopment on 0.57 acres of steep-
ly sloped primary dune.
There are plenty of reasons to
be upset.
Mayor Steidel instituted a plan
to allow public discourse at the
beginning of each council meet-
ing. On Tuesday afternoon, he
told the neighbors that he would
permit our presentation, as long
frame. Unfortunately, the city’s
land use attorney unexpectedly
forced the mayor to deny us the
opportunity to speak.
In the months leading up to
this meeting, the city’s process
were not posted within the re-
quired time frame and contained
misinformation. The result was a
low public turnout and input.
We were shocked that the
council ignored the planning
commission’s 6-1 recommenda-
tion that the Nicholson proposal
be denied. The planning commis-
sion has strongly opposed this
proposal four times; the council
has also gone on record as being
opposed to certain parts of the
proposal. Still, they approved the
proposal on a 4-1 vote.
ings of fact are inconsistent with
city codes and are not aligned
with the comprehensive plan or
the values of the community.
with misleading information,
which contradicts the original
Something is amiss. The in-
credible beauty, unique topogra-
phy and vibrant community that
is Cannon Beach is under attack.
As citizens, we do not have a team
of lawyers, geologists, engineers
and architects to stand up for us.
We expect the commissioners,
the councilors and city staff to do
that. In this case, our belief that
the council and staff would act in
the best interests of the citizens
was crushed.
We fear that this decision will
set a precedent for even more
misguided, high-density devel-
opment. It is not that we abhor
development, but we expect that
it be orderly, sensitive to the com-
munity’s values and in compli-
ance with codes and regulations
applied as common sense would
Elizabeth and Fred Lorish
Cannon Beach
No trust
To the editor,
A couple of months ago, our
house in North Cannon Beach
ing, or heavy rains or, thank God,
the ocean. It was a city of Can-
non Beach water main that rup-
tured up on Ash Street, releasing
thousands of gallons of water to
neighbors and our cabin.
Water breached inside our
undermining the back deck with
leaving our property basically a
dried up riverbed. Kind neighbors
to stop mold growth inside.
claim to cover the expense of
what is essentially just a big mess.
We can live with the stained rug;
restore the landscaping; repaint
the deck; and remove the muck,
gravel and mud. We can afford
the sizable heating/drying energy
But our neighbors’ damage
was more severe. Washed out post
supports under the house need re-
placing. Yards of road base and
gravel cover their yards. Fence
and landscaping have been de-
stroyed. Then there’s the loss of
rental income due to the liability
of piles of gravel debris. Not to
mention numerous, ongoing trips
out from their home in Michigan.
The city was responsive, tell-
ing us from the start to file with
CIS, the insurance for the city
of Cannon Beach, assuring ev-
eryone things would be taken
care of. After the initial con-
versation with a representative
at CIS, we all received letters
stating “since no negligence
was found on the city’s part, all
claims are denied.”
This left damaged property
owners the only recourse to sue,
ductibles with their own insur-
ance. In the end, this will cost
the city (taxpayers) much more
than if the right thing had been
done from the start. Our neighbor
has asked, “Why does the city of
Cannon Beach do business with
CIS?” A question that should
make all property owners in town
very concerned.
Because whenever city infra-
structure fails causing damage to
private property, evidently CIS
yields its moronic big insurance
wisdom and will stamp every-
thing “non-negligent,” leaving
homeowners with the costs. Even
if these homes had been com-
pletely destroyed. Now, because
of CIS’s asinine treatment of our
neighbors and the city’s position
that “it’s out of our hands,” I’m
talking with legal counsel in sol-
Secondly, the city councilors
approved the Nicholson develop-
ment on Laurel Street in an aston-
ishing turnaround last week, after
rejecting the same plan prior. This
was a clear slap in the face of the
planning commission’s earlier re-
jection. With blatant disregard to
zoning codes on what can be built
public objection and approving
variances that are never ever al-
lowed, the development is ap-
proved. Only one wise councilor
voted “no.” Again, the cost to the
city and its $300-an-hour lawyer,
as this goes on to LUBA (state
Land Use Board of Appeals), is
completely insane and avoidable.
It’s called common sense.
With these two very recent
North Cannon Beach issues, (and
I have to assume there are similar
scenarios all around town) I’ve
come to a conclusion that is so-
bering and eye opening to me: I
can no longer trust our local city
government to be honest.
Instead of working together for
the common good, it appears they
are above the public. The very
people they’ve forgotten they an-
swer to.
Kent Suter,
Cannon Beach
Citizens gobsmacked
To the editor,
Erick Bengel’s article in The
Daily Astorian on March 4, 2015,
(“Cannon Beach OKs develop-
ment, denies dune grading bid“)
indicates how the Cannon Beach
City Council gobsmacked many
citizens of Cannon Beach by its
March 3 4 to 1 decision to grant
Jeff Nicholson, a poor rich man
who pumped $1 million into a
risky project, his request to build
four houses on property zoned for
After citizens had been prom-
at the beginning of the meeting
to deliver their objection to the
project, they were insulted by the
city’s land use attorney when he
advised the councilors not to al-
low any testimony before their
the City Council will allow four
houses and a so-called “living
wall,” which will destroy one of
the city’s nicest natural slopes.
The “living wall,” which should
have been “dead on arrival,” will
extend 120 feet and be 10 feet or
higher in some places.
The planning commission, fol-
lowing the intention of the city
code, voted 6 to 1 against Mr.
ect. But the land use attorney
hired by the City Council seemed
more interested in Mr. Nichol-
son’s investment, which needed
more seed money through the sale
of three of the houses, than he was
in the city code.
This leaves only one conclu-
sion: In order to help a man so
poor that all he owns is money,
the City Council has chosen to
help him make more by granting
his request to change the code and
set a precedent for further devel-
opment. Every person has a right
to develop land, but in Mr. Nich-
olson’s case, development has
eclipsed the land.
Such blatant disregard for
the rules has left the City Coun-
cil’s decision echoing the old
saw, “The world ain’t round, it’s
Rex Amos
Cannon Beach
Food pantry thanks
those who helped
To the editor,
The Cannon Beach Food Pan-
try’s new home is at the Cannon
Beach Elementary School Li-
brary, located at the very south
end of Spruce Street.
Many thanks to so many!
Thanks to the Seaside School
District Board for leasing the lo-
cation, the city of Cannon Beach
and the Oregon Food Bank. To
those who did the remodel: Coast-
er Construction, Ray Neibuhr
Plumbing and Cannon Beach
Electric. Also, Anderson Painting,
Sherwin-Williams Paint, Cobble
and Blend, the American Legion
and Jessie Bateman.
Then came the “Big Move” to
the new location. Again, thanks
to Coaster Construction, Sleepy
Monk, the city’s public works de-
partment, the Cannon Beach Po-
lice Department, Cannon Beach
Fire and Rescue, and many locals,
second-home owners and visitors.
They helped move refrigerators,
freezers, shelves and many thou-
sands of pounds of food. The pan-
try was totally in place and ready
for business in four hours. What
an incredible feat!
The pantry volunteers are very
grateful for the many generous
from loyal supporters of the pan-
try who have helped us continue
our mission: to feed hungry peo-
Now we know it does “take a
Molly Edison
Cannon Beach Food Pantry
Cannon Beach