Wednesday the Clatsop County Commission opened a public hearing on an ordinance establishing a civil citation process for code enforcement and nuisance abatement and replacing the existing enforcement process . The ordinance is designed to provide the county's code compliance officer with a more efficient process for responding to non-criminal violations of the county's land use ordinance and building codes. It clarifies the definition of public nuisance, revises the schedule of fines and creates an Abatement Fund to hold revenue from fines to help fund enforcement actions.

The ordinance would replace the existing "notice-order" nuisance abatement process, which is labor-intensive and results in compliance orders that are difficult to enforce, according to Code Enforcement Officer Bart Catching.

The public hearing is continued to the board's July 24 meeting.


The board also set a public hearing on an appeal of a county hearings officer ruling. Steve Cullen is appealing a June 9 decision rejecting his application for the expansion of a non-conforming structure at an Exclusive Farm Use-zoned property south of Astoria.

The board limited the hearing to the record of the hearings officer review. The hearing is scheduled for July 24.


Then the board heard a presentation from the Oregon Air National Guard on its proposal to expand pilot training flight areas for the Guard's Portland-based 142nd Fighter Wing. The Oregon Airspace Initiative, which is currently under National Environmental Policy Act review, would alter an existing coastal training area lying roughly between Astoria and Depoe Bay by lowering the minimum flying altitude from 18,000 feet to 11,000 feet. It would also create a new training area in north-central Oregon.

The expanded sites would provide back-up training areas closer to the 142nd's Portland base, resulting in significant fuel savings for training flights, Wing Commander Col. Rick Wedan told the board. The Guard pilots use the alternate areas when rough seas prevent use of their primary off-shore training airspace.

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