After lots of digging into the details of the Seaside Ordinances, Comprehensive Plan, and other mind-numbing government documentation, we’ve got more than a few things to say about this proposal:
The maps provided look like they are from the 1980s. Really. The text is nearly illegible, the contour lines on the map are so wide you could drive a truck right through them, and wetland delineations that are documented by the State of Oregon are completely missing. Take a look for yourself. The “large” version is in the blog post that has the full development package. It’s just as bad.
The geotechnical report included in the proposal is a hot mess. An independent geotechnical engineer has reviewed it and the first comment was that it is “about a poor a report as he’s ever seen.” It meanders like a lost cow in pasture full of grass. It offers a terrain map that doesn’t meet the ordinance for the application, provides less than the minimum requirements for emergency vehicles, lacks any commentary about how the development would physically impact the adjacent properties, and makes no mention of the incredibly steep terrain and 50′ river beds that exist on the property. There’s other challenges as well.
The building standards recommended are wobbly. We wouldn’t want to live in a future house built in this development. The foundation repairs on those 6″ footings alone might require two new mortgages. That new tool shed would become a new pool shed when a spring bubbles up. And when the winds howl like a banshee through the canyon they will tear away roof shingles – and maybe even a roof. We also think that folks oughta know if the “cut and fill” recommendations are wayyyyyy beyond the capacity of the soils to handle.
There is a whole segment of hazard mitigation details that are almost like that TV show: “Lost”. Landslides are a thing. That swimming pool that was just put in last summer is now a mud bath. A moderate earthquake (gasp) might shake up and “liquefy” a basement of a structure built on the filled land. And the water. Sheets of water during a solid rainstorm will go ripping down the newly clearcut canyon – right onto the properties – and wash away the flower beds. Every. Single. Month.
We all *want* to believe that some clever engineering can solve these challenges, but reality is always different. We realize that these descriptions are meant to make for entertaining reading, but we are 100% serious and these objections are no joke. This proposal is nothing but a bad idea.
Getting a little more technical, and in addition to all of the above concerns, there are some elements of the proposal that outright don’t meet the minimum standards of the local and state ordinances:
- 10 of the 17 lots are below the minimum required for the area
- 8 of the 17 lots are below the minimum required lot width
- The lot coverage request of 40% exceeds the maximum of 35%
- The setbacks requested are less than required for a fish-bearing stream in the State of Oregon
- The top-of-bank designations appear to be far from the actual top-of-bank
These exceptions (some of which aren’t even requested – just assumed would be granted) have been included in the proposal exclusively to maximize the density of the development. This approach is specifically prohibited by code.
For any proposal for a planned development there are requirements that it meets the purpose of the Seaside ordinances and comprehensive plan. A key phrase is that the development be “compatible with the surrounding areas.” We are confident that clearcutting this parcel and rendering it lifeless is in direct conflict with that purpose.
Simply put, they are proposing a development where it doesn’t belong, where it isn’t wanted, and on incredibly unstable land.
Call Mayor Jay Barber – (503) 738-5511. Let him know that this is a bad idea.