Lincoln City residents, and most everyone else for that matter, will get a number of chances to motor their way around a primo piece of property recently acquired by the city for what many real estate experts would call the land deal of the century in Lincoln County. It’s over 300 acres of what was going to be “The Villages at Cascade Head.” The owner of the development was financially hammered by the recession and couldn’t keep it going. So the city picked it up at a price that will go down in history as one of those rare occasions when the cunning and prowess of the private sector is exhibited by none other than actual government officials, including City Manager David Hawker.
The spectacular property has phenomenal scenic views of the ocean, various beaches, headlands and of Lincoln City below. And those views are going to be enjoyed by regular folks who want to drive up and breath the rarified air and savor the exquisite panoramas of The Villages on the last Saturdays of the months of July, August and September. Those would be July 27, August 31 and September 28th, 8am – 8pm.
Access to The Villages is off Northeast Devils Lake Boulevard. However, vehicles are restricted to private vehicles. Commercial or off road vehicles are prohibited.
The City purchased the property at the end of May from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for $2,500,000. Its 363 acres are almost entirely wooded and provide habitat for a number of protected species of animals and plants.
The master plan for the site designated 99 acres of land for an inter-connected network of nature parks and wildlife corridors. The property also includes the northern end of the City’s Head to Bay trail, intended to link the nature park at the northern part of the project with the City-owned park on Siletz Bay via a bicycle and pedestrian trail. The City of Lincoln City plans to keep some of the property as open space, develop some of it for affordable housing, and then sell off pieces of the property to private investors to develop in an environmentally-friendly fashion. In the meantime, the City will designate the property as an interim park.
Due to the sensitive environment of the property and the condition of the road that runs through it, the City has chosen to limit vehicular access to the property, and permit only non-motorized and pedestrian access. However, the City Council and City Manager wished to grant limited vehicular access to the property in order to give those citizens who may not be able to access the property on foot a chance to enjoy it.
“The Villages at Cascade Head is beautiful country” said David Hawker, City Manager, City of Lincoln City. “It is a wonderful place to see coastal flora and fauna, and I am pleased that City residents have the opportunity to enjoy it. By opening the road to vehicles on a limited basis, we will allow all of our residents to explore this special place in a way that will not harm the existing infrastructure and environment.”
Again at all other times, access is permitted by pedestrians and bicyclists.