Driving across the bridge this afternoon, I glanced over at the Breakers

Point condos, and was amazed at the recent changes in the dune on which they

are built. The homeowners association has applied to move some 70,000 yards

(close to 6,000 dump truck loads) of sand to preserve views and mitigate the

erosion that threatens some of the buildings. I remember the protests in the

late 1970s that tried to get the city fathers to see the insanity of

building those condos on an active sand dune (there were even people quoting

Matthew 7:24).

Ask a current owner of a Breakers Point condo why they should be allowed to

perform a major rearrangement of an active sand dune to protect buildings

that never should have been built in the first place, and they will tell you

that it, in fact, has been built, and that is what we need to deal with.

Sadly, I have to concur that it is too late. You can’t “unbuild” something.

The City Council has voted to allow a smaller, yet similarly crazy

subdivision on an adjacent dune. Fortunately their decision has been

appealed to LUBA, and it is likely that Council will be asked to revisit

their decision. It is easy to understand why the developer would appeal a

Council decision to LUBA, but for the life of me I am dumbfounded that

Council made a decision that now requires constituents to fight their

representatives with a LUBA appeal to get them to do what they should have

done in the first place.

If this development is allowed, I can guarantee the consequential

destabilization of that dune will bring those homeowners to apply for

extreme measures to protect their investment, just like the Breakers Point

homeowners. And if this development is allowed, those homes won’t be able to

be “unbuilt.” Now is the time to address the problem.

How, you may ask, do I know so much about that particular dune? I built a

house adjacent to the Nicholson property on that same dune. Pilings had to

be driven close to 70 feet before anything that could support a foundation

was reached. 70 feet. That means that all of the Nicholson development is

dune sand. It is presently stabilized by vegetation, but the excavation that

would be required to create four home sites, and the access and parking for

each would pretty much denude the whole property. Again, if this development

is allowed to proceed, it can never be “unbuilt.” If you know someone on

City Council, who hopefully will be asked by LUBA to review their decision,

let them know what you think.

Michael R. Capper

Cannon Beach


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