Letter to Editor – THE “VILLAGE” AT MANZANITA

Housing Task Force

Do you have concerns about the request from developers asking the City of Manzanita to approve a “resort” that would accommodate up to 1200-1600 people in short-term-rentals rather than address Manzanita’s lack of housing affordable to over 70% of the residents?

If so, please attend the Manzanita Planning Commission meeting this Monday, June 5, at 4pm at the Pine Grove Community Center and make your concerns known.

This project would house MORE THAN TWICE Manzanita’s population of 599 people.  It would build up to 320 short-term-rental “homes” – more than ALL of the 315 currently resident-occupied-homes in the City of Manzanita.

It is requesting that ALL of those 320 homes be approved for short-term-rentals, which is 28% MORE THAN THE TOTAL OF ALL SHORT-TERM-RENTALS currently permitted in the City.  Manzanita requires that new requests for having a STR license be placed on a “wait-list”, and this request asks for that to be ignored for them.

There is no language in the Zoning Ordinance permitting a resort project such as this whose facilities extend far beyond that of a “hotel”.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan states that:

    • “Land use determines the kind of city Manzanita is and will be and is a matter of civic concern.”
    • “The uses must fulfill the needs of residents
    • “. . . foster housing and living environments to meet the needs of families of different size, income, age, taste and life style.”
    • “The City of Manzanita supports the Statewide Housing goal by its intention to provide opportunities for development of a wide variety of housing types and price ranges within the Urban Growth Area and the City of Manzanita.”
    • The City should regularly maintain and update the City’s inventory of buildable land and use it to both identify housing development opportunities and assess the ability to meet future housing needs.”

This application does not meet ANY of those needs.

The City’s Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Ordinance, and Transportation Plan are frighteningly out of date, and need to be updated before review of any applications such as this.

    • The City’s Comp Plan does not even acknowledge tsunami, earthquake, or global warming issues.
    • The City does not acknowledge the huge income gap shown by the county housing study.  Should we at least require a $15 minimum wage?
    • The City updated the Comp Plan in 2008 to adopt the findings of the Buildable Lands Study, but refused to include recommended language.  that the study found a massive shortage of land for housing affordable to over 70% of the residents; to include a goal that the city supports cultural and economic diversity and considers housing affordable to all income levels a priority; and to include a policy that the city explore a variety of strategies to help meet a full range of housing needs for community residents.

Discussion of these issues was postponed until “some time later this year”.  Nine years have now passed.  It’s time to take action on housing for residents.

The project would be accessed only from already-overloaded Necarney City Road, which has only ONE street connection to within the City of Manzanita.

Come to the meeting and share your concerns!

-Tom Bender, Neah-Kah-Nie