Tue Jan 13 2009 10:00 AM -- Jan 20 2009 18 Acre Residential Development proposed adjacent to Arcadia State Park
|People in Clatsop and Tillamook Counties: a land use hearing is coming up before the Clatsop County Planning Commission on a proposal by James Smejkal to rezone 18 acres of forest and recreation land to residential, in order to build a subdivision across Highway 101 from Arcadia Beach State Recreation Site. Please consider submitting testimony to Clatsop County. Written comments can be submitted by EMAIL or by fax (503-338-3666). Please also consider attending this hearing and speaking, if you so desire. The hearing will be held Tuesday, January 13, 10 a.m., in the Boynton Building, 857 Commercial Street, Astoria. |
Here are the facts:
Arcadia Beach picnic spot, 3 miles south of Cannon Beach
James Smejkal is the new owner of an 18-acre parcel of land in Clatsop County, directly across Highway 101 from Arcadia State Park. It was formerly a part of Arcadia State Park, but the State Parks Department traded it to Smejkal in return for some land he owned in the new Stub Stewart State Park. Unfortunately, Parks traded away some 90% of Arcadia State Park in this land deal, retaining only the approximately 2 acres of the Park that are on the west side of Highway 101, and the parking lot on the east side.
Currently, the land is zoned for Agriculture Forestry and for Recreation Management. Smejkal is petitioning Clatsop County for a rezone of the property to Residential Agricultural-2 (RA-2) which would allow a rural subdivision on this property. He is also petitioning for two required goal exceptions to allow his proposed change: In order for this zone change and plan amendment to take place, Smejkal must apply for goal exceptions to Goals 4 (Forest lands) and 14 (Urban development).
Smejkal is requesting a "reasons" exception to Goal 4. This property is surrounded on three sides by working forest lands, all zoned for forestry uses. The land is clearly forestry, and part of it is zoned as such. Goal 4 contains a policy that the state's forestry land base be maintained. The burden is upon the applicant to show that his proposed use must be accommodated on resource lands (rather than rural exception lands). Oregon Shores does not believe the applicant has met this burden. The Oregon Department of Forestry also has reservations about this proposal, and has submitted testimony that it is not in favor of the proposed goal exception and zone change.
Smejkal will also have to take an exception to Goal 14 in order to allow urban-level uses on rural lands. A rural-level use requires a minimum of ten acres. Since Smejkal wants to have 2-acre lots, he must take an exception to Goal 14. He has the burden of showing why the need for such a development cannot be met inside an existing Urban Growth Boundary or the expansion of an existing one, in addition to meeting other criteria for a "reasons" exception. Oregon Shores does not believe Smejkal's application has met this burden. This is a critical matter, as this property is not served by any existing water or sewer lines. All homes would have to be served by wells or streams, and have individual septic. The Department of Land Conservation and Development also judges that Smejkal has not met his burden, and has submitted testimony opposing the goal exception and the zone change.
In addition to the required goal exceptions, Smejkal must also apply for a zone change under the Clatsop County Comprehensive Plan and the Southwest Coastal Community Plan. But in order to be approved, a zone change must be consistent with the overall comprehensive plan and the zoning in the area‹and not provide an overly-intense use on the land. Also, the Southwest Coastal Community Plan does not allow lands zoned for conservation forestry (or other uses) to be re-zoned, unless a specific analysis is made. In Oregon Shores' opinion, this application fails on all these points, since the surrounding lands are principally zoned for industrial forestry use, and appropriate analyses have not been made overcoming the requirements of protecting forest lands.
There will be further developments in this application, as a hearing will ultimately be required before the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners as well. We will keep you updated.
1/5/09: Oregon Department of Forestry comments on Smejkal application
12/22/08: DLCD comments on Smejkal application
6/16/08: Smejkal Zone Change Application
6/16/08: Smejkal Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment
6/16/08: Smejkal Goal Exceptions
Articles on topic 'Clatsop County Land Use':
Dec 2 2012 Oregon Shores Wins Another Skirmish in “Vested Rights” Battle
Apr 30 2012 Oregon Shores Achieves Final Success in Vested Rights Case
Jul 6 2011 Clatsop County ‘Vested Rights’ Cases Close Loophole
Jun 2 2011 Court Upholds Oregon Shores’ Position on ‘Vesting Rights’
May 3 2009 Application Withdrawn for Residential Development at Arcadia
Mar 10 2009 Second Hearing on 18 Acre Residential Development Proposed at Arcadia Beach
Jan 13 2009 18 Acre Residential Development proposed adjacent to Arcadia State Park
Sep 8 2008 Measure 37/49 Vesting In Clatsop County
Nov 6 2007 "Vesting" and other Implications of Measure 49