A favorite view ... from our backyard, Neahk-Kah-Nie Mountin overlooking Manzanita Beah and Nehalem Bay. Please respect our beaches and our residents - enjoy these treasured natural wonders and leave the beaches, rivers and outdoor recreation areas CLEANER than you found them. Take only photos, leave only footprints. (PHOTO BY LAURA SWANSON.)

Manzanita City Council Regular Session Highlights 11/9/2022

By Cara Mico
The Manzanita City Council held a public hearing for the proposed moratorium on dune grading to improve views. The council reached a consensus in the September meeting to move forward and proceed with finalizing the findings. Attorney Bonnie Miller attended the November council meeting to answer questions about the process. Only one public comment was submitted for the record; Sandy Wood expressed support for the dune grading moratorium. The council unanimously voted to enact a moratorium on new dune grading for views.

The council also provided a second reading of Ordinance 22-02 (Affordable Housing Tax Abatement). Manzanita resident Kelly Roy expressed excitement for the ordinance.
“The city has another tool in its tool belt to incentivize our urgent need for workforce housing,” said Ms. Roy.

The motion to adopt this Resolution 2218, authorizing the city manager to enter into contract with Cove Built Llc as construction manager and general contractor (CMGC) for the city hall planning process, passed unanimously.

The CMGC’s job is to help plan the new city hall building by giving the technical advice that is needed. Ms. Aman explained that Cove Built was the most competitive of five proposals for the CMGC role, with Bremet Construction, Robinson Construction, O’Brien Design and Build First, and Cascade Construction also submitting proposals. The proposals were reviewed independently by each councilor, and the top three candidates were interviewed.

Cove Built is a local firm based out of Arch Cape and led by owner Jason Stegner, who will serve as the city’s project manager. Mr. Stegnar has a degree in mechanical engineering and has significant experience in construction management. Cove Built worked on the Seaside Convention Center, the Nehalem Auditorium Addition, the play area at the Nehalem Elementary School, and a $5.5 million reconstruction of the Jewel school gymnasium currently in progress.

The CMGC will work with the city to get a phase one schematic design of the city hall building to a thirty percent design phase so that the council will have a better understanding of the costs involved in the project. The council will then decide whether or not to proceed with design development, construction documents, and ultimately construction based on the final schematic.

“We will be coming back to the City Council to get approval on phase two,” said Ms. Aman, adding, “What we’re approving today in terms of dollar amount is a lump sum pre-construction fee of thirty thousand dollars.”

The city also approved the Doris Lane reconstruction bid documents from North Coast Civil Design for the replacement of Dorcas Lane from S. Fourth Street to Third Street. The project consists of storm water main installation and replacing all the water mains with high-density polyethylene (HDPE) as part of a larger project to replace all the residential connecting service lines as well as the roadway. Bidding will close on November 29, with time for people to object. The council will approve the final contract at the December meeting. The project is expected to conclude on June 30, 2023.

There are currently three open planning commission positions in Manzanita. The city council approved the planning commission member criteria at the November 9 city council meeting.

The Planning Commission is looking to increase diversity among its members by recruiting new city residents, including those within the urban growth boundary. The commission represents a variety of stakeholders and believes that by being more open and broad in scope, they’ll increase the number of applicants. They are specifically looking for people who have read the comprehensive plan, have experience with the zoning and subdivision ordinances or would like to learn, have an interest in the public process, represent diverse perspectives, and have a vested interest in the city.

The planning commission’s main job right now is to hold quasi-judicial hearings and decide how to use land based on the zoning ordinance. The other role is legislative. The commission recommends zoning and ordinance changes to the council. The commission is interested in people who can objectively balance complex and intertwining ideas, and can help pick through the weeds to form a solid decision-making process. The more voices involved in the process, the better the outcome.

Applications for the three open positions will close in early December, and interviews will be held shortly thereafter for final selection in January. There will be two joint Planning Commission and City Council trainings beginning January 28, 2023, where Brett Estes from the Department of Land Conservation and Development will provide comprehensive planning training.