Sign law hinders selling of lots

Photo provided by Roberta Schwarz. It shows two pictures of the empty lots for sale and where they are located. 

Roberta Schwarz and her husband, owners of two lots in Cannon Beach, recently heard that the City had an issue with some signs that their realtor had put up in order to sell the lots. Her realtor was informed that she had to take these signs down immediately or she would be fined $500.

Birch Street is platted and has no road. The only place the realtor could install a sign was on 6th Street – and technically in the middle of the ‘platted only’ Birch Street. The realtor was told by the sign enforcement person that the sign must be on Birch Street. The City is not allowing the sign to be put up on 6th Street, nor are they allowing directional signs, except way back on the neighbor’s property, which is out of vision for the most part. The City is also not allowing directional or sandwich signs for open houses.

The City of Cannon Beach receives more taxes from a property when a house is put on a lot. If the lots cannot be sold, there will be no additional house, and therefore, no added taxes for Cannon Beach. The median annual property tax payment for Clatsop County is $2,082, and the average effective property tax rate is 0.85 percent. According to a tax assessor for Clatsop County, Suzanne Johnson, land with structures that are connected to utilities will have onsite development value added to the land. Property tax is calculated based on the total value of land and structures combined. Therefore, the possible value increase for adding a structure to an empty lot is a very wide range.

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