The Cannon Beach Planning Commission held a meeting on December 22 to ask for input on its proposal to limit the square footage of houses to 2,000 square feet.
The commission is also reviewing ordinances related to bed and breakfast businesses and accessory dwelling units.
For more detail, see the following initial story published by The Gazette on this subject at https://www.cannonbeachgazette.com/news/planning-commission-to-review-unit-size-ordinances/article_9c6b60cc-3459-11eb-a223-9fe2c0612a7e.html.
The proposal to limit the size of homes to 2,000 square feet generated many comments from residents who opposed the idea.
Planning Commissioner Charles Bennett said at the hearing that passage of the 2,000 square foot restriction on home sizes would make about half the houses built in Cannon Beach since 1990 in violation of the ordinance, which “seems radical.”
Planning Commissioner Lisa Kerr said Clatsop County has a height restriction of 18 feet for ocean front homes. She said she would like the commission to discuss a similar height restriction in Cannon Beach to prevent the construction of large homes that block the views of the homes behind them.
Commissioner Clay Newton said a size restriction might be understandable for homes in the core city area to protect the village character but not so much out further away, where larger homes may be more appropriate.
Commissioner Barb Knop said she would like more information on how the city handles double lots in relation to size of homes.
Russ Kuhns, who owns a vacation home in Cannon Beach, said in his comment sent to the city that he thinks limiting homes to 2,000 square feet is “too restrictive, particularly with a garage. The living space would end up being in the 1,500 square foot area,” as stated in the city staff report.
Lois Moore, who owns a B&B in Cannon Beach, said when she purchased the property, she paid for the fact that it had a permit to operate a B&B. Not allowing grandfathering of the permits would, when and if she sells, devalue her property.
Judi McLaughlin, said her mother-in-law owns a house in Cannon Beach across from a “beast of a house,” which blocks her mother-in-law’s view.
McLaughlin said for houses on large lots very far from town, it “doesn’t work” to build a small home. There would not be room in the house for multi-generations to live.
Caleb Whitmore, who owns property in Cannon Beach, said he understands the need to keep the village character in town but is concerned about using an “absolute restrictive number” to accomplish this.
Whitmore said he is also concerned about peoples’ ability to provide space for multi-generations to live in one house and “to make use of existing home space.”
Jeff Moon, who is also concerned about size restrictions, said he owns property in Cannon Beach and would like to “bring in his parents” and his brother to live in Cannon Beach.
Kerr said this idea is “just in the planning stages.”
City Community Development Director Jeff Adams said the commission will continue the meeting to take input from residents to January 28.
To provide input, email the planning department at firstname.lastname@example.org. For other options to attend and comment at the Zoom meetings, see the city website.