One of our Land Use Program’s proudest moments came on the day last year when the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) completed purchase of the “Beltz Farm” property which occupies the spit enclosing the Sand Lake estuary just north of Tierra del Mar. Oregon Shores’ only role in acquiring the land for the public was to advocate for it. A decade ago, however, the property might have been turned into a golf resort and lost its natural character if Oregon Shores hadn’t effectively blocked the development plan. 

So, naturally, we take keen interest in the OPRD planning process for the new park that will be located there. Oregon Shores President Allison Asbjornsen will serve on the advisory committee that has been appointed to work with OPRD (aka State Parks) in creating a master plan for the Sand Lake spit.

There will be three sets of public meetings to allow interested citizens a chance to weigh in on the area’s management. 

The first meeting in the initial series takes place on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 1-3 p.m., in the Tierra del Mar Meeting Hall, 5895 Bilyeu Ave. State Parks staff will explain the planning process and hear comments from the public regarding what residents and visitors most value about the place. A second public meeting, along the same lines, will be held on Thursday, Aug. 27, from 6-8 p.m., at the Kiawanda Community Center, 34600 Cape Kiwanda Dr. in Pacific City. 

The first meeting of the advisory committee will be held just prior to the Aug. 27 public meetings, 1-4 p.m., also in the Kiawanda Community Center. The public may attend this meeting, but not offer comments. 

A second series of meetings, to be held on dates yet to be announced in November, will present the results of the assessments of the property and the initial set of planning concepts for the new park. And a final series of meetings, tentatively planned for March, 2016, will present a draft of the master plan for public review.

For more information, to comment if you are unable to attend the meetings, or to be placed on the distribution list for future notification, contact Ben Hedstrom of State Parks at (503) 986-0745, You can reach him by mail through the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, 725 Summer St., N.E., Suite C, Salem, OR 97301.