Cannon Beach gazette. (Cannon Beach, Or.) 1977-current, July 27, 2018, Image 1

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    VOL. 42, ISSUE 15
WWW.CANNONBEACHGAZETTE.COM
JULY 27, 2018
Rental owner fights $1.8M fine
Federal lawsuit filed
over lodging tax
dispute in Manzanita
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
BRENNA VISSER/CANNON BEACH GAZETTE
Sandra Petersen is suing Manzanita in federal
court over $1.8 million in vacation rental fines.
MANZANITA — A property owner hit
with $1.8 million in vacation rental fines
has filed a federal lawsuit against Manzanita
claiming the city’s enforcement is unconsti-
tutional.
Sandra Petersen, a co-trustee of the King-
wood Trust, which owns the home on Ed-
mund Lane, was fined by the city in October
for operating a vacation rental without a li-
cense and for not paying the lodging tax.
Petersen, who lives in Washington state,
said the city notified her of the citations in
one document, nearly two years after the
first alleged violation in January 2015.
“When I got the letter, I was in total
Flowers, flavor
and fun
PHOTOS BY COLIN MURPHEY/CANNON BEACH GAZETTE
Fresh fruits and vegetables are just one of the many options available at the farmer’s market in Cannon Beach.
Farmer’s Market
showcases fresh
summer bounty
By Colin Murphey
For Cannon Beach Gazette
PAID
PERMIT NO. 97
ASTORIA, OR
PRSRT STD
US POSTAGE
Every Tuesday from 1 p.m.
to 5 p.m. during the summer,
the Cannon Beach Farmer’s
Market is alive with music,
flowers, produce, meats and
seafoods, organic cheeses and
other foods through Sept. 25.
The market is held in the east
public parking lot at the inter-
section of Hemlock and Gow-
er streets, next to City Hall.
Flowers for sale are displayed at a booth at the
Cannon Beach Farmer’s Market.
People gather at the farmer’s market in Cannon
Beach to check out the selection of vendors.
shock,” she said. “It was very unexpected.
I had no idea that I was disobeying any or-
dinances.”
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in
Portland in June, Petersen has tried to block
Manzanita from enforcing the citations, al-
leging the $1.8 million penalty is a violation
of the Eighth Amendment, which protects
against excessive fines.
The city declined to comment.
See Rental, Page 5A
Levy renewal
seeks to meet
fire costs
Tax to bring in about
$1.2M over five years
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Cannon Beach Rural Fire District is ask-
ing voters to renew a five-year fire chief
levy.
The levy pays for the chief’s salary, ve-
hicles, administrative costs and supplies. It
will go up to $0.19 per thousand of assessed
property up from an average $0.14 voted in
five years ago. With the new rate, a home-
owner would pay $19 a year on a $100,000
house. Earlier in the year, the board indi-
cated an intention to keep the levy rate the
same out of fear that voters would have “tax
fatigue” from multiple levies and bonds
coming on the ballot in November, but
decided an increase was needed to cover
growing costs.
Between 2019 to 2024, the levy is esti-
mated to bring the district about $1.2 mil-
lion over five years. The last levy brought
in approximately $700,000 over five years.
With the current rate, the district has had
to dip into reserves to cover growing costs
associated with the position, Fire Chief Matt
Benedict said. Rising health insurance costs
and PERS rates are the biggest increases.
If rates aren’t raised, there will not be
enough in the fund to cover the fire chief’s
position for another year, if the voters chose
not to renew the levy, he said.
Raising the levy 4 cents allows the dis-
trict to build up a reserve to prepare for fu-
ture cost increases, including slowly raising
the salary, Benedict said.
Benedict, who is paid $80,000 a year,
would make $90,000 in two years.
Benedict said $90,000 is on par with oth-
er chiefs around the county, and that if the
district wants to encourage well-qualified
people to fill the position in the future, the
district must start gradually increasing the
salary to be competitive. It will also help
account for rising PERS and health care
costs in the future.
“It’s getting us up to where Cannon
Beach needs to be to get someone experi-
enced in the future,” Benedict said.
Four board members supported the pay
increase, saying it was necessary given the
difficulty of the job and Benedict’s perfor-
mance.
Fire board member Sharon Clyde was
the one dissenting vote, saying it wasn’t the
most prudent way to spend resources in a
time when the district is short on cash.
“It’s not about how well he’s doing. It’s
about fiduciary responsibility,” Clyde said.
Voters will see the levy on the Special
Election ballot Sept. 19.
New owners, new location and new vision
Cannon Beach Fitness Center to reopen
under new ownership on Sunset Boulevard
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
The Cannon Beach Fitness Center is
going to have a new home — and a new
vision — by the end of summer.
Christy Baker of the Cannon Beach Spa
and Emma Molyneux purchased the local
gym in June from Patrick Nofield. The two
will move the fitness center from its current
location in Sandpiper Square to 171 Sunset
Blvd. by Labor Day, Molyneux said.
“It caters more to tourists and travel-
ers in Sandpiper Square,” Molyneux said.
“We wanted this to really be for the com-
munity, and midtown is more accessible
for locals.”
The gym will retain a similar weight
and cardio room that people can access
with a membership. But past that, the two
hope to expand the fitness center to have
a variety of family-centered fitness activ-
ities, running and cycling training groups
and yoga classes — all for free.
“We want this to be a place where even
if you can’t afford a membership you can
be a part of the fitness community,” Moly-
neux said.
Molyneux, a triathlete with a long-
held passion for fitness, moved to Cannon
Beach about a year ago, but said she found
herself missing the “town hub feel” of her
former gym in California.
Baker and Molyneux met at the Can-
non Beach Academy, where both of their
children go to school, and bonded over
a passion for loving health and wellness.
They often discussed ideas on starting new
athletic opportunities and amenities for the
town.
See Fitness, Page 7A
CANNON BEACH FITNESS
Cannon Beach Fitness Center owners Christy Baker and Emma Moly-
neux with their children, Cayden, Kora, Emily, Ayden and Chloe.