View Grading Public Comment
I’m sharing with you the letter that I sent to the Manzanita City Council today about dune grading for views. If you have concerns about view grading I urge you to write the City. For those who may not be able to attend the workshop or Council Meeting, you can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s my letter.
Dear Mayor Scott, Councilmembers Kozlowski, Tonjes, Nuttall, Spegman and City Manager Aman,
A few months ago an application to grade 4.5 acres of dunes between Spindrift and Horizon was denied by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. The areas to be graded are public lands. In the denial OPRD cited the overwhelming turn out of Oregonians who oppose view grading of the dunes, the age of the FMP and the devastating impact of large scale grading on habitat and wildlife. None of those things have changed.
At a Council meeting, the Mayor and Council agreed to place a true moratorium on all view grading until neutral scientific research and robust public participation could take place.
I believe of the 7 properties involved there are 5 property owners who will stand to greatly benefit financially from view grading at their properties. At least two of those are oceanfront vacation rentals.
Allowing the Dunes Management Association to circumvent OPRD’s decision would violate Policy 6 and 7 of the City’s Comprehensive Plan and erode public trust in the processes of governance.
As you know, while goals in the Comprehensive Plan are aspirational, policies do have the force of law when mandatory language is used and can be employed to deny proposals like this one.
The plan states:
6) The plan must have the support of the majority of the community.
7) The plan is not to be used for the benefit of a few property owners or special interests, but for the city as a whole.
It’s clear to me that public opposition to view grading is strong in our community and that the 5 people who will benefit do not represent the majority.
The professionals hired by the Manzanita Neah-Kah-Nie Dunes Management Association were also hired by the property owners in Cannon Beach who wanted to continue view grading. After a lengthy public process Cannon Beach voted to no longer allow grading for views.
I urge the City to move forward with the view grading moratorium and stand behind the OPRD denial for all view grading until a neutral team of professionals can be hired by the City and public discussion can take place.
Oregon’s public lands belong to the public.
Thank you for your consideration,
Tomorrow’s (Wednesday, July 6, 2022) Council Workshop is from 3-5. You can livestream or attend via Zoom. Find the agenda and materials here: