Boundary challenge dropped due to insufficient funds

John Dunzer's challenge to the state Land Use Board of Appeals was dropped due to failure to pay a filing fee.

A possible legal challenge to Seaside’s urban growth boundary expansion reached a dead-end when Seaside’s John Dunzer failed to pay a filing fee to take his case to the land use board of appeals.

This fall, Seaside School District brought a request to bring 40 acres of city residential land and 49 acres of county forestland into the city’s urban growth boundary to be zoned as industrial commercial. The expansion is considered essential to building of the new school campus, which will relocate the high school, middle school and Gearhart Elementary School in new facilities outside of the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

The Seaside Planning Commission endorsed the plan and sent it to the city, which updated its zone code and comprehensive plan to reflect the expansion. The county followed suit on Nov. 8, adopting an ordinance amending the county’s comprehensive plan expanding Seaside’s urban growth boundary to accommodate the new campus.

Money saved from an alternate plan could be used to provide upgrades to the city’s bridges, Dunzer said in an appeal he mailed to the state earlier this month. A longtime critic of the plan to relocate Seaside’s endangered schools out of the tsunami inundation zone, Dunzer said in his appeal that county approval of the school district’s plan violates state planning rules requiring local government to look at all options within the existing boundaries before expansion of those boundaries.

Dunzer claimed that the existing Seaside Heights Elementary School site could be used as the site of a new middle school, resulting in a “more tolerable impact on the entire east side of Seaside.”

His case never made it for consideration by the state, which requires a filing fee.

Dunzer asked for a waiver of the fee, which was not granted, the state board said Wednesday.

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