The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners discussed at their board meeting on May 27 consideration of a sand removal request for Shore Drive, a local access road in Pacific City. The board also discussed parking issues in Pacific City.
Tillamook County Public Works Director Chris Laity said he was approached by Nestucca Rural Fire Protection District Fire Chief James Oeder to remove sand from Shore Drive. The sand has overlapped on the asphalt where people park.
“Shore Drive really is, because its mostly sand, sand tends to move back and forth, if you actually look for the center line, there is no center line,” Commission Chair David Yamamoto said. “If you actually measure where the center line should be on the road, it is pushed quite a bit to the east and much of it is covered by sand.”
Yamamoto said health and safety is the county’s number one priority. The commission approved the sand removal.
Commissioner Bill Baertlein asked for an update about the parking situation in Pacific City since the order of no parking on Cape Kiwanda Drive.
Tillamook County Sheriff Jim Horton proposed the potential option of opening the parking lot in Cape Kiwanda on weekends. Right now, cars are parking in front of people’s yards.
“We had people parking from Cape clear down to Bob Straub State Park,” Horton said. “They are all over the place.”
He proposed the parking lot to be open Friday afternoons through Sunday evenings.
Horton went to Pacific City on Saturday and witnessed 25-30 cars parked illegally. Recent conversations with business owners received positive response.
“My observation of 25-30 cars parked along Cape Kiwanda Drive, there were several people walking along the road way, in and out of traffic, in front and backyards of homeowners,” Horton said. “There were reports of urination in backyards, public sanitation issues, a lot of things I think we have a solution for and that would be opening up the parking lot.”
Horton said the county cannot put a roadblock to keep people from coming in; they are coming here anyway.
Commissioner Bill Baertlein said state parks have asked the county not to open the parking lot due to lack of manpower. He asked if they could keep the public from parking on the beach. Horton said the gate would be moved to the boat launch and people would need to have the combination to drive through; the public would not receive this combination.
Commission Chair David Yamamoto said people all over Oregon who usually fly somewhere for their summer vacations will be home and driving somewhere, possibly to the coast.
“Enforcement is going to be the number one issue,” Yamamoto said.
No matter how many parking spaces available, there will be more people than spaces available. Yamamoto does not think this will be a permanent issue. The Kiawanda Community Center will continue to rent parking spaces.
Yamamoto asked if Cape Kiwanda parking lot does open, if signs could be placed stating no motorhomes or trailers.
Yamamoto said he is concerned about this summer and his primary concern is the health and safety of residents.
Baertlein suggested opening the parking lot for a couple of weekends to see how it goes.
Commissioner Mary Faith Bell said a big part of enforcement will be education.
Baertlein said it is the day-trippers, not those who stay at the hotels, who have come with a bad attitude.
The commissioners voted on Friday, May 29, to open the Cape Kiwanda parking lot, effective at 8 a.m. May 30. The parking lot is now open to the public on weekends from 8 a.m. on Saturdays until 6 p.m. on Sundays.