WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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What’s in a street name? A lot, apparently. And it takes a lot to change it…

Lincoln County Commission Archive photo

Lincoln County Commission
Archive photo

Some Seal Rock residents asked the Lincoln County Commission Wednesday, to let them change the name of their street. They live on Short Street. The residents contend it’s a boring name and they’d like to have it changed to Seacliff Lane.

Well, who wouldn’t!

However, there are criteria – serious criteria – attached to changing a street name. Commissioners learned from their legal staff that street name changes are tough – only a handful have occurred in the last 27 years, according to County Counsel Wayne Belmont. In order to qualify there must be a duplicate name somewhere else in the county. Or the street might be known by more than one name. Or, one part of the street is called one name but the rest of it by another. Or, if a road is part public, part private, a new name could be assigned to one of the two sections.

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But the real kicker was when staff raised the issue of the computerized 9-1-1 dispatch system for police and fire responders. County Council Wayne Belmont said the huge data base in the 9-1-1 computers is connected to a lot of other data bases that have to be tracked down and changed by hand. And they don’t like to do that. They say it’s hard enough to add news street names to new streets in areas that are adding housing or commercial developments.

So, in short, government doesn’t sit too well with somebody coming in and stating that their street name is boring. Even if it is.

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Yet commissioners Doug Hunt and Bill Hall still couldn’t decide on the request. They said they’d prefer to put it off until their third county commissioner, Terry Thompson, returns from emergency disaster preparedness training, and let him weigh in on the issue. So on December 17th we’ll find out if Short Street becomes Seacliff Lane or if it continues to live up to its current name…Short street, which it is – a single block long piece of pavement, jutting seaward from across 101 from Bernard Street. It is, decidedly a street along a cliff with a view of the sea. But as compelling a reason as it may be for receiving such a “perfect” name, it likely won’t be enough.

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