Cannon Beach’s process for updating the Foredune Management Plan has been hijacked by a small minority of beachfront homeowners. This self-concerned group has hired a Portland attorney and threatened litigation against the city unless they get their own way. And guess what, their tactics are working! Let me show you how.
At the April 26 planning commission meeting, city planner Mark Barnes, stated that the sole purpose of the DOGAMI study was to update the perimeters for dune grading for view enhancement. Quoting from the meeting’s audio, “If we were going to shut it (dune grading) down we would not have spent the money on the Allen report. You don’t need to have an updated report if you’re going to end the program.” This news was shocking to me and many others.
As a second-generation Cannon Beach property owner, who has been following dune-grading requests and practices for years, I am truly worried for our beach’s future. A small, vocal minority of beachfront owners looking to restore their views, at the expense of turning our pristine beach into a permeant construction zone, are now unduly influencing planning policy.
At the same meeting, Barnes revealed he had made numerous changes to the CREST planning report without direction from the Planning Commission or City Council. When pressed by Commissioner Kerr as to why, Barnes responded, “Once there was testimony from, ah, Breaker’s Point representatives that the numbers we had in a previous document was not going to be enough to, ah, break even with the accretion rate. So, I boosted that number.”
Why are Breaker’s Point representatives dictating — literally — Cannon Beach’s Foredune Management Plan’s numbers?
Why would the city spend the money on the Allen report if they were only going to take dictation from Breaker’s Point representative to establish their new dune management plan?
This new plan will decide the future of our beach for years to come. This task requires a city planner who isn’t taking dictation from Breaker’s Point or any other small vocal group.
Last year we celebrated Tom McCall’s Beach Bill’s 50th anniversary. The bill gave all of us equal rights to enjoy 380 miles of glorious coastline. At the bill’s signing Tom McCall said, “No local selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our people.”
The next Planning Commission meeting is at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 24, at Cannon Beach City Hall. Please join us in demanding the most rigorous protection of this, our collective birthright.