Thursday, July 25, 2013

Highlights Of The July 24, 2013 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Meeting

Official minutes available once approved by board

Code enforcement ordinance
The board adopted 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 replaces the existing “notice-order” nuisance abatement process, which is labor-intensive and results in compliance orders that are difficult to enforce.

Land-use appeal
The board voted unanimously to reverse a ruling on a land-use appeal filed by Steve Cullen and grant Cullen a variance to expand a storage structure at an agriculture machine manufacturing facility.
Cullen challenged a June 9 ruling by Hearings Officer Dan Olsen rejecting his application to expand a non-conforming storage building at the Versa Corporation off Highway 202 south of Astoria. Land-use rules limit the expansion of non-conforming structures on land zoned Exclusive Farm Use to an additional 20 percent of the existing size – Cullen sought a variance from those rules to expand the structure by 44 percent.
The board determined that Cullen’s application did meet the criteria for a variance, and directed staff to prepare the required findings for approval at a future meeting.

Similar Use request
The board gave consent to a July 9 ruling from the county Planning Commission approving a “similar-use” land-use request from Safe Harbor Development Corporation to operate a veterinary clinic in a commercial property on Highway 101 between Warrenton and Gearhart.
The county land-use ordinance gives the planning commission the authority to determine if a development that is not listed in a land-use zone is similar to uses that are listed and can be approved for development. The proposed site is zoned Neighborhood Commercial, which allows uses including general stores, eating establishments and automobile service stations.

Forestlands presentation
The board heard a presentation from Oregon Department of Forestry’s Tom Savage and Neal Bond about the agency’s Forestland Classification program, which involves a comprehensive, county-wide assessment of forest lands for the purpose of levying fire-protection fees. The board is being asked to appoint three people to a six-member committee that will oversee the assessment process – the appointments are scheduled to be made Aug. 14.

Other Business
In other business the board
-approved a 2013-14 contract with Veterans Service Officer Phil Simmons that includes an increase in the county’s annual contribution to the program of $14,285 approved by the board in March. The increase, boosting the county’s total share to $20,485, gives the program $57,587.64 this year, including money from the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Simmons sought additional county funding to increase outreach efforts to local military veterans.
-heard a presentation from Clatsop Economic Development Resources (CEDR) Executive Director Kevin Leahy on the organization’s activities, which include business counseling and training.
-approved a resolution urging the Oregon Department of Forestry to take steps  to preserve the “Arcadia Cedar,” a Western red cedar located on state forest land south of Cannon Beach identified as the largest of its species in Oregon.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

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