Oceanside Petitions County to Become a City; County Commissioners Set Incorporation Hearings for January 26th at 10:30 a.m. and February 2nd

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Tillamook County may be getting a new city.  Oceanside has done their due diligence with reports, surveys and now has petitioned the county to be a city. “We took this action so our community can have more control of things that impact us,” said Jerry Keene, Oceanside Neighborhood Association President. “We surveyed the community and they overwhelmingly support the incorporation of Oceanside into a city.”  The new city, according to the 2020 census would have a population of 367 — more than Wheeler or Nehalem. See the link below for all the details about the surveys, reports, budgets, etc. that ONA has put together.  There has not been a new city in Tillamook County for over 100 years, and there hasn’t been a new city incorporated in the state for over 30 years.  This is truly a historic happening.

By Jerry Keene, Oceanside Neighborhood Association President

During the two weeks before and just after Christmas, more than 80 registered Oceanside voters signed the petition circulated by “Oceansiders United” to place the question of incorporating Oceanside on the ballot at the Primary Election scheduled for May 17, 2022.  (Only 65 signatures were required.)  Oceansiders United submitted the signatures to the county on December 29, 2021.  In response, the County Commissioners have scheduled a hearing for public comment.

The hearing is scheduled for January 26, 2022. at 10 a.m., with plans to continue it for further input and a possible decision on February 2nd – time to be determine. Both of the hearings will take place at the Tillamook County Courthouse, Meeting Rooms A & B (but broadcast remotely – see below).  As required by Oregon law, including ORS 656.221.040, this hearing is an opportunity for incorporation supporters and opponents to present written or live testimony [remotely or in person] on the following issues:

(a) objections to the petition to incorporate Oceanside as a “city,”
(b) the proposed city boundary (including requests to be added or excluded),
(c) the proposed city tax rate of 80 cents ($.08) per $1000 of assessed value.

The county hearing notice (and accompanying map) states in part: “The hearing will take place virtually with limited opportunity for in-person attendance following OHA [Oregon Health Authority] guidelines and COVID restrictions.  For instructions on how to provide oral testimony at the hearings, please email Kelly Fulton, Executive Assistant, Board of County Commissioners at kfulton@co.tillamook.or.us.

The county has asked us to remind people that oral testimony from the public is generally limited to three (3) minutes and should therefore be succinct and well-organized.  [When the ONA has appeared before the Commissioners in past hearings, we have found that it is effective to orally summarize the points made in written testimony that we submit in advance of the hearing.  Our experience is that they actually do review such written submissions and are familiar with them during the hearing if they are provided a few days in advance.]

Importantly, the County Commissioners do not utilize Zoom for remote hearings.  Instead, they use a similar App by Microsoft called “Microsoft Teams.”  Those who wish to participate or observe the hearing by videoconference need to download the free Microsoft “Teams” App. Here is a direct link:  Microsoft Teams App Options (including free option). The virtual link as well as a dial-in number for those who wish to participate by teleconference will be provided with the agenda on the Board of County Commissioner webpage at:  https://www.co.tillamook.or.us/meetings

As the hearing date approaches, we will send out further notices detailing how to view or listen to the proceeding.

Formal written notices of the hearing with information on how to submit testimony will be posted no later than Tuesday, January 4, 2022, on the Community Club Bulletin Board at 1550 Pacific Avenue in Oceanside, as well as on the Oceanside Fire Station Bulletin Board and in the window at Surf and SUP Shop / Current Cafe at 1505 Pacific Avenue in Oceanside.  The notice and document packet for the meeting will also be available online at the Tillamook County Community Development Department website at Land Use Applications Under Review | Tillamook County OR

For details about the studies, surveys, and incorporation plan – https://www.oceansidefriends.org/community-plan-and-survey-results/