The many members of Friends of Cannon Beach are of course extremely disappointed with the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals’ recent decision regarding the Nicholson property. Once again, LUBA did not affirm this was a good decision, but rather that the City Council had the right to make it. For Cannon Beach, this most unfortunate action shrugs at our ordinances and is in no way good for our town. This slipshod approval does set dangerous precedents. The city admits that this is absolutely wrong by stating the intention to close the legal loophole used here to make it “unambiguously clear that the slope-density restrictions in city code apply to situations like Nicholson’s,” according to City Planner Mark Barnes in 2015.

There is no local support for the project excepting for the paid service providers. How sad that 70 citizens had to band together and raise approximately $25,000 to fight the right battle when the mayor and City Council (excepting Councilor Mike Benefield) would not. It appears to us that the City Council bowed to legal threats made by the developer instead of defending our code. Friends of Cannon Beach is proud of our efforts to oppose this clear breach of public trust. We are left to hope that in the future our City Council and staff will uphold our ordinances, protect our town from ill-suited, industrial-looking developments, listen to the clear voices of the citizenry (instead of the lawyers), and stand up for what is best for Cannon Beach.

Jeff Harrison

President, Friends of Cannon Beach

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