Fusion Lodging Responds to Community Concerns About Proposed Hotel Development on Historic Oceanside Cabins Site

By Barbara Keckler, Director of Sales and Marketing, Fusion Marketing
Earlier this month, an op/ed was written in this publication regarding the new hotel space planned by Fusion Lodging in Oceanside, Oregon. As the company representative, I want to dispel some of the incorrect information shared and put to rest the rumors and speculation it created.
In June, Fusion Lodging purchased the 100+-year-old Oceanside cabins. Sensitive to the historic nature of the cabins, the company intended to refurbish the original cottages. Unfortunately, after the purchase, it was determined we would be unable to renovate–we would have to rebuild due to their crumbling condition.

I reached out to Jerry Keene from the Oceanside Neighborhood Association (ONA) in early November to notify him that Fusion Lodging would be building on the site due to the cabins’ condition and that we valued the community’s input and involvement in the project. I also shared that we would include our plans as they begin to evolve.

Fusion Lodging is in the preliminary planning stages, and we have several proposed concepts in consideration for the site. (EDITOR’S NOTE: The rendering that has been published is just one of several designs under consideration.) We have a pre-application meeting with the Department of Community Development (DCD) this week to determine how to move through this process. This meeting is the typical step any company would go through before any planning process and is not in any way an attempt to skirt community involvement.

At this time, Fusion Lodging is hoping to build a structure that will integrate into the community aesthetic and include 25 guest rooms with ground-level parking under the rooms to keep the state park’s spaces open to the public. The proposed build will also have a restaurant space, so we don’t lose one of the few eateries located in Oceanside. The structure’s height is currently set to 35 feet–the allowed county building standard. The company is not yet sharing those concepts because we have not yet chosen which one to move forward with in the permitting process.

We will be providing ample opportunities for public input, including hosting a community meeting once we settle on a final concept. We are keenly aware of the significance of the cabins to the community. We are designing a way for their history to be an integral part of the new hotel, so those stories remain a part of Oceanside well into the future. We are excited about the ability to provide high-quality rentals in the area, bring in tourism dollars to Oceanside and the surrounding area and be a positive addition to the community.

As plans for the hotel unfold, we will announce community meetings, release final concepts and invite public input here in the Tillamook County Pioneer and other media outlets–along with sharing them with the ONA.

Fusion Lodging plans to honor the history of the Oceanside cabins through photo displays, collected memorabilia and local stories.

From Sarah Absher, Tillamook County Director of Community Development, regarding the Fusion Lodging Oceanside property:
To confirm, an application for a new hotel/motel has not been submitted to the Department of Community Development. The upcoming meeting with County staff and regulatory agencies is a pre-application meeting only- and is for information purposes with focus on what is required for development of the property. Pre-application meetings are for proposals that require public hearings and are a coordinated effort between applicable County departments, special district representatives, state/federal agency staff and a developer where compliance with regulatory requirements may cross multiple jurisdictions.
The property of interest is located in the Commercial Oceanside Zone and uses permitted conditionally in this zone allow for a motel or hotel not containing more than 35 units, subject to the criteria outlined in Article 6 of the Tillamook County Land Use Ordinance. In this commercial zone, a proposal for a new hotel or motel is a quasi-judicial land use review process completed through a Conditional Use application that is subject to public notice and a public hearing before the Tillamook County Planning Commission.
Should an application for a new hotel or motel be received by Community Development, a copy of the application will be posted on the Community Development website once the application has been deemed complete. Copies of all public notices, staff reports, and public/agency comments will also be posted on the website for the duration of an application review process. Interested members of the public are encouraged to check the website for updates.
Here is the link to the DCD land use application webpage: https://www.co.tillamook.or.us/commdev/landuseapps. A new table will be created for this land use application on the land use application webpage should an application be received by Community Development.