The rising cost of running the Astoria Trolley down the city waterfront has the city council discussing how to find a sustainable way to fund annual repairs to the several wooden trestles and rails that run across them. City engineers estimate the cost to effect repairs that ODOT has directed need to be completed before the 2017 Trolley season could mount as high as $300,000.
Since November of last year the Astoria Community Development Department has been working on various aspects of the city affordable housing strategy. Monday night the City Council heard an update on progress and was asked for additional direction before the Planning Commission schedules it's public hearing on the proposed changes to the town's development code aimed at increasing housing availability.
Clatsop County Board of Commissioners
Highlights this week
Septic program enforcement
The board adopted Ordinance 16-04, which strengthens the county’s ability to enforce rules covering on-site wastewater systems. The county assumed authority for septic system licensing and monitoring from the State of Oregon in 2014, using a hearings officer for enforcement. Because the hearings officer approach has made it difficult and costly to pursue enforcement action, the ordinance brings on-site wastewater under the county’s Code Violations provisions, allowing the county to issue citations.
The board heard a presentation from Public Works Director Michael Summers and Assistant Public Works Director Ted Mclean on a proposed transportation project priorities list. The list includes six improvement projects as well as a feasibility study to examine the potential development of alternative/emergency routes outside Astoria and Seaside, as well as the possible relocation of the existing Public Works facility to a new location outside the tsunami inundation zone. Summers said the proposals would be brought back to the board for discussion at a future work session.
In other business the board:
-Approved a county road event permit for the 2016 Hood to Coast/Portland to Coast Relays, scheduled for Aug. 26-27.
-Heard a presentation from Clatsop Economic Development Resources Director Kevin Leahy on the agency’s accomplishments of the previous year.
-Approved a 2.5-percent cost-of-living pay increase for the county’s 42 non-union employees.
-Tom Bennett, Clatsop County-
Warrenton city commissioners made a decision Tuesday that will benefit people on tight lunch breaks working at the Airport Industrial Park. The commission heard the first reading of a zone change for general industrial properties in the city.
Warrenton is leaking. New Public Works Director Jim Dunn reported to the city commission Tuesday night that he estimates the water system is losing as much as 30% and about half the sewer system suffers from infiltration and inflow which causes dilution in sanitary sewers, decreases the efficiency of treatment and may cause sewage volumes to exceed design capacity.
The Bella Ridge Apartment project proposal for Miles Crossing hinged on the approval of a change in zoning that would allow mutli-family high density housing as a conditional use in that area which is primarily zoned for single-family homes in a rural setting. At their meeting this morning attended by five of the seven commissioners following deliberations, and with one commissioner removing himself from the discussion due to a conflict, the vote was 3 to 1 to deny the necessary zone change and the conditional use permit.
The Astoria Police Department is hosting the 9th Citizen Police Academy to start this coming September. Classes will be held everyThursday evening from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, beginning September 15th, 2016 and ending October 20th, 2016. The Citizen Police Academy is open to community members who are interested in learning more about how their Astoria Police Department works.
After a record setting season, razor clamming on Clatsop beaches will close Friday, July 15 to protect newly-set young clams.
Since 1967 the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has closed the 18 miles of beaches north of Tillamook Head to razor clam digging to allow young clams establish themselves on the beach during the summer.
The proposal to build a large apartment complex near Miles Crossing has been scaled back, for now.
The proposed Bella Ridge Apartments project has run into some big community resistance with neighbors saying building multi-family housing conflicts with the intent of planning for the area primarily as a single family home, rural setting. They question whether the project will overtax the water and sewer systems. They object to more traffic negotiating Miles Crossing.
The Port of Astoria wasn’t able to convince the majority of the Warrenton Planning Commission that the city should permit food trucks to locate at the airport. The city development code makes no accommodation for food trucks in the industrial zone.
As a remedy the city Development Director Skip Urling suggested a code amendment that was reviewed by the State Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) and as a result was narrowed from generally allowing food services to specifically allowing food trucks. DLCD’s Patrick Wingard wrote that while he could see the value of having such a business close to those industrial businesses, the proposed code amendment would have opened the door to brick and mortar restaurants including chain operations to locate at the regional airport. Wingard suggested the change only allow food truck operations which he said would have limited impact and desirable portability.
A man knocked on the back door of the Warrenton Police Station shortly after 8:00 pm Friday evening . An officer opened the door and the man commented that the police were “looking for me” and that he was “wanted for murder.” The man identified himself at David Isaiah Godwin age 25 from Newport, North Carolina. The officer checked with Dispatch and found that Godwin had an arrest warrant out of North Carolina for “Homicide” and was listed as “Armed and Dangerous.”