On March 1, the Cannon Beach City Council will make a final decision on Jeff Nicholson’s proposal to build a four unit Planned Unit Development on the north end of Cannon Beach. As neighbors of his property and members of the Friends of Cannon Beach, we believe it is imperative that the council uphold the applicable city codes and consider the clear and decisive recommendations of the Planning Commission.

Because city codes governing steep slopes prevented the applicant from developing this small, half-acre parcel as a regular development, Mr. Nicholson threatened the city with legal action. He was then offered the chance to resubmit his plan as a PUD. Unfortunately, he doesn’t want to follow those rules, either, and is still trying to gain approval as though this were a regular housing development. It isn’t. He applied as a PUD. As planning commissioner Lisa Kerr stated, “This doesn’t comply with the purpose and intent of the Planned Unit Development code in the least… it’s just a housing development in disguise.”

In order to deal with Mr. Nicholson’s threats and assist him with his PUD request, public records show that the city has already spent approximately $30,000 of taxpayer money to compensate the city’s land use attorney. Why should taxpayers pay a lawyer to help a developer circumvent the city’s codes? To continue to bend the rules, ignore the Planning Commission and city code, and give favorable code interpretations to this developer would set a dangerous precedent, which would make it easier for future developers to expect the same lenient treatment.

We want to again thank the planning commissioners for their hard work and tireless dedication to ensuring the city codes are followed. It was exceedingly clear during their Jan. 28 meeting that all of the commissioners had done their homework, followed the code, were willing to ask hard questions and engage in a thoughtful discussion, which led to their unanimous denial of this proposal.

If you agree that the Cannon Beach City Council needs to deny the proposal for a PUD on the Nicholson property, we urge you to attend the council meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1.

Fred and Elizabeth Lorish



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