Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, August 16, 2019, Page 7, Image 7

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    Friday, August 16, 2019 | Seaside Signal | • A7
Demolition: Seaside to raze property
Continued from Page A1
from the city. Now, she
added, she was “desperate”
for that action to be taken.
Over the months, she said
she has spotted rats in her
garden, which she considers
her “refuge,” and they were
trailed from the neighboring
property with the charred
said, plants are overgrown
and invading her property.
She requested an update
on the city’s timeline for
addressing the issue, adding,
“I’m asking for the health
and safety of the entire
According to Winstan-
ley, the city had made mul-
tiple attempts to contact the
property owner and work
with them to address the
issues, which is “the normal
process” for dealing with an
abandoned property. “Our
letters are all being returned
at this point. We’re not in a
position to make the prop-
erty owner comply.”
“That’s been a big part of
the delay,” Mayor Jay Bar-
ber said.
On July 15, Barber had
sent out a memo regarding
the burned and abandoned
house, stating, “It is past
time to declare the above
reference property a nui-
sance.” Chapter 96 of Sea-
side city ordinance outlines
a process and includes pro-
visions for dealing with a
public nuisance, which is
perceived as the last step
when a property owner will
not address a problem iden-
tifi ed by the city.
City Councilor Steve
Continued from Page A1
Property in Seaside after a fi re in early 2018. Neighbors
sought a cleanup.
Wright asked at the July
meeting for more infor-
mation regarding the esti-
mated cost for cleaning up
the property in order for
the council to “make an
informed decision.”
At the Aug. 12 meet-
ing, Winstanley shared that
he put out for bids to get
an estimate to bring back
to the council. The contract
was awarded to Keith Ker-
anen Excavating, the low-
est of three bids at $13,700.
The costs cover “total demo
and clean up of structure,”
according to their Aug. 1
estimate, including hauling
away and dumping in a legal
dump site. Asbestos abate-
ment testing will be con-
ducted prior to demolition.
Work has yet to be
The city will put a lien
on the property, which cur-
rently is up for sale. The
home, on one-third of an
acre, is assessed at $85,764,
with a real market value of
“Sometime in the future,
we should be able to recoup
our costs for doing this
work,” Winstanley said. The
only issue at this point, he
added, is uncertainty about
how long that might take.
City Councilor Tita Mon-
tero agreed it’s important
for the city to recover the
expense of the project.
“I’m hoping they will sell
it quickly, especially if we
clean it up,” she said.
The owner, listed by the
Clatsop County assessor’s
offi ce as Robert F. Boucher,
was unable to be reached by
the Signal at his property or
a listed phone number.
Wheelchairs: ‘Big step’ for accessibility
Continued from Page A1
at the Bob Chisholm Com-
munity Center, east of U.S.
Highway 101 on Avenue A,
and out of distance for users.
Gooch said the district
receives about 20 phone
calls a day about wheel-
chair rental, but only about
half of those interested had
the capacity to bring them
from the rec district’s Bob
Chisholm Center or Sunset
Pool to the beach.
The city’s Public Works
Director Dale McDow-
ell started the grant pro-
cess, delivering his applica-
tion only two days before
the deadline. “The next
word was we were awarded
the grant and we were all
smiling,” McDowell said.
“This was an ideal loca-
tion because we did have
the room. It’s centrally
located to where people will
park, handicapped stalls,
nice wide sidewalks and
The storage units came in
boxes “about 8 inches tall,”
McDowell said, with assem-
bly by the street depart-
ment’s Jeremy Strimple,
Matt Long and Scott Hanna.
Users reserve the wheel-
chairs for four-hour periods.
Using a locker key, those
with disabilities can head
up Oceanway to the Prom,
then south toward Avenue A
beach access.
Gooch said he hears
heartwarming tales was the
fi rst time they’d ever seen
the ocean, we have a 7-year-
old daughter who was dis-
abled and can’t walk, he said
it was “absolutely a god-
send.” “We get those stories
all the time,” Gooch said.
“I can’t count on two hands
the times people have called
back and said ‘thank you,’
and sharing their experience,
which is fantastic.”
The Travel Oregon grant
covered $9,000 for the stor-
age lockers, McDowell said.
With permits and other fees,
the total slightly exceeded
that, with the rec district
coming up with about $500
in additional costs.
Anderson, who put the
program in motion, said
he didn’t envision the pro-
gram taking off as he has.
“It’s been a good collabora-
tion between us and the city
and Park and Rec,” Ander-
son said. “In June alone, the
chairs were checked out 65
times. That’s just amazing.
It tells me the need is there,
and it’s been there a long
Tsunami zone: Bucking state
changes, Gearhart passes overlay zone
The city has been work-
ing with the state’s Depart-
ment of Land Conserva-
tion and Development to
update the amendments,
Mayor Matt Brown said at
the August meeting, initi-
ated by the Gearhart Plan-
ning Commission for the
state Coastal Resiliency
Grant process.
This process could help
to allow grant funds to be
available for emergency
preparedness projects in
Gearhart, he added.
Projects that have been
discussed are new evacua-
tion route signage including
painted signs on the road
surfaces, tsunami evacua-
tion towers, new evacua-
tion maps and emergency
supply storage.
According to the Offi ce
of Coastal Management for
the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administra-
tion, four jurisdictions —
Coos County and the cities
of Florence, North Bend,
and Reedsport — incor-
porated the tsunami haz-
ard overlay zones into their
land-use planning pro-
grams. Regulations limit
development of critical
facilities within tsunami
inundation zones, encour-
age stronger building tech-
niques, and offer fl exi-
ble options to people who
want to make their devel-
opment designs even more
Coos County and the cit-
ies of Reedsport and Flor-
ence have also completed
improvement plans for tsu-
nami evacuation facilities.
The coastal program col-
laborated often with com-
munities to ensure that
different evacuation per-
Passage of the tsunami hazard overlay zone
amendments could lead to grants for signage and
other wayfi nding materials.
The city’s decision comes after a state legislative session
in which lawmakers overturned a 1995 prohibition on
constructing new public facilities within the tsunami
spectives and needs were
Gearhart is the fi rst city
on the North Coast to pass
a tsunami hazard overlay
zone ordinance.
At a state level, with the
passage of the HB 3309,
restrictions on new pub-
lic buildings in tsunami
zones has been lifted. Gov.
Kate Brown signed the bill
in June, adding in a sign-
ing letter “House Bill 3309
restores much needed fl ex-
ibility, while ensuring that
our coast communities
remain safe.”
“It’s really our local
rule,” City Attorney Peter
Watts said. “I’m not sure
why that law was passed.
It seems counter to every-
thing you’ve been doing,
but I’m sure there’s some
story somewhere.”
Gearhart’s new rules
come with “exceptions built
into it” and will not impact
the decision of where to
place a new fi re station,
should voters approve a
new bond to fi nance it, City
Administrator Chad Sweet
If there was no appropri-
ate location outside the tsu-
nami hazard zone “it could
be inside the overlay zone,
so we could put it pretty
well anywhere we need
it to,” Sweet said. “We’re
doing our best to place it in
the place that’s best.”
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Oregon Coast
R.J. Marx
Lincoln City
Patrick Duhachek of Wheel Fun Rentals; Mayor Jay Barber, and
Randy Anderson, who fi rst proposed the wheelchair program
in Seaside.
Visitors are “really grate-
ful” for the opportunity to
access the beach, Ander-
son said. “They’ve wanted
to do this for years. All ages
from young children to older
people. And everybody in
between. It’s an amazing
The demand is already
high, Gooch said. “Wheel-
chair No. 1 is already out in
the next few minutes,” he said.
“No. 2 will go out at 4 p.m.”
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