A spokesman for a group of Newport residents who are opposed to logging trucks passing through their neighborhood made another plea to the city council Tuesday evening to not let it happen – that the vehicles are noisy, are a safety hazard for other motorists, pedestrians and children and would worsen the risk of landslides in the area.
Resident Mike Peterson said the Moore Road neighborhood sits on steep terrain that has been classified as a dangerous landslide area. He said no one can remove as much as a tree from their property unless they hire an engineering geologist to certify the action will not weaken soils thereby prompting a slump or a slide. He said if the city allows logging trucks to travel Moore Road, and it triggers a major land movement, the city would be liable.
At that point the council sought direction from Community Development Director Derrick Tokos who stated that the city’s geologic hazard ordinance covers only earthwork on hillsides and bluffs. It does not pertain to city streets. He said such earthwork can be affected by the amount of tree canopy to be removed and the resulting increase in rain saturation of hillside soils. Tokos said proposals to remove a single tree should not be subject to a geologic engineering report.
During other discussions before the city council and the “Port-City of Newport Task Force,” it has been pointed out that Moore Road has a minimum of 9″ of asphalt laid down which will absorb any vibrations caused by the trucks.
The council and the public was reminded that another public forum on the Teevin Brothers log shipment operations at the International Terminal will be held Tuesday, March 19th, 6pm at Oregon Coast Community College. He said the meeting will convene with all participating government agencies, and Teevin Brothers, going over what is and is not true about what is being proposed. Then they’ll open it up to questions and dialog with the public.
Teevin Brothers and the Port of Newport are in the process of negotiating an operating contract which is aimed at seeing the first batch of logs being delivered to the terminal sometime in the fall.