Duking it out in front of LUBA
Lincoln City’s City Council decided to move ahead and fight Oregonians In Action (OIA) legal challenge to the city’s recently adopted rules on Vacation Rental Dwellings,or VRDs. OIA has filed an appeal with the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) in Salem throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the city claiming it’s violating everything from property rights, to ignoring the needs of the people and and ripping up the city’s land use plan as approved by the state. As appeals go, it’s extremely general in its basic framework and there are a number of specific violation allegations that will require some very heavy lifting.
The situation was made more complicated recently when a group of citizens gathered enough signatures to put a referendum on the ballot in Lincoln City asking for an up or down vote on the new VRD rules. In response OIA contacted Appicello asking him to back off on his rebuttal to OIA’s allegations placed in front of LUBA until after the referendum vote.
Appicello pointed out that the number of complaints contained in OIA’s LUBA appeal exceed the number of complaints in the referendum. Therefore Appicello requested the council let him move ahead with his response to OIA’s complaints to LUBA. The council said, OK. The referendum comes before the voters in May. LUBA could hand down a ruling on OIA’s complaints before that vote. It’s getting very complicated.
Pulling a U-Turn on the D-River utility undergrounding?
The council also heard testimony Monday evening from Urban Renewal Director Kurt Olsen that they’ve already spent over one hundred thousand dollars on design for the undergrounding of utility lines and their poles that run along the ocean side of Highway 101 going by the D-Lake Wayside. The whole point is to remove the unsightly power and cable TV lines that contaminate the view of the beach and the ocean – disrupting a classic city vista for those motoring through town.
But there has developed some second thoughts by City Councilor Chester Noreikas about the project and he’s got some fellow doubters in the form of new city councilor Kip Ward and Mayor Don Williams. A vote to hold up the project was split 3-3 which requires City Councilor Jim Davis’ presence to cast the deciding vote. He couldn’t make Monday night’s meeting. A visually dismayed Kurt Olsen asked what could get support back for the project, citing how much time and money has been spent on it. But the question was cut short by the council which said, in effect, “wait until Councilor Jim Davis is here to join the discussion.”
The project had been projected to finish up later this year or early next.