This past spring and summer months have been extremely busy for the members of DCPARC. Besides our continuing monitoring and attendance at County meetings, many of us volunteered our time to gather signatures to get the Home Rule Charter on the ballot. Now, thanks to so many dedicated volunteers and concerned voters, measure 10-159, will be on the November ballot.
In June we attended the Parks Advisory Board (PAB) community meeting in Sutherlin and their tour of Mildred Kanipe and Cooper Creek parks. We are always amazed at the lack of interest and curiosity the majority of the PAB members display at these tours. Is this the type of people we want to make decisions about our County Parks? A new position has opened up for the “central county” area. Please consider applying. As we have discovered, the PAB believes that Parks are not considered places of tranquility. Unfortunately, the main theme in the PAB meetings is “Revenue”. Not about maintaining the natural beauty of our County parks or preserving the peaceful and tranquil experience they provide. This is what happens when the County declares that the “parks, actually the entire County Government, be run like a business”.
June 24, Joe Coyne of Winchester Bay, graciously hosted a “Money Pit Tour” of our Coastal County Parks (Scottsburg Park, the Lighthouse Museum, Windy Cove (A and B) RV parks, Discovery Point RV Park (part of which the County wants to purchase) as well as the Crab Dock. We also looked at Sparrow Park, logged in 2012 and Southside Park which was cruised for timber in 1978. Named “The Money Pit tour” because the Parks department insist on investing so much money on the coastal parks ($50,000 from the logging of Busenbark Park went toward improvements at the Crab Dock), We plan to continue our tour of County parks this month with a hike of Honey Creek and others that may be sold.
June 21st, the Board of Commissioners approved the Comprehensive Review of “The Parks Master Plan” (it included only three parks) as a County fiscal year 17/18 budget item. Kat Stone and myself attended this meeting and voiced objections to both. The Comprehensive Review Plan will make it easier for the County to change the uses of many of our County Parks without further public input.
We attended a public meetings at the Lookingglass Grange on July 20 about the proposed OHV Park at the closed Lookingglass Transfer site as well as the first public hearing before the Douglas County Planning Commission on August 17th.The proposed plan has been revised to accommodate a 5-mile rocked road to be used by four wheel drive trucks as well as “side-by-sides.” It will take two hours for one to travel the course. It will impact about 40 adjacent, and angry landowners. It is estimated that it will reduce their property values by 15 % and is being proposed in a former landfill that was shut down because of hazardous landslides. This proposal will benefit a few at the expense of many, comes with no cost analysis, no sure funding, no architectural drawing, and no engineering, geological or environmental impact studies. Confusion exists amongst County Employees as to which department will be in charge of it (the Land Department or the Parks Department). Yet we are being told that this is a good and necessary park! A continuance hearing will be held at the 9/21 Planning Commission Meeting. We will be there in support of landowners and according to some: “This is a proposal that will probably end up in the Courts.”
Our meetings are the third Wednesday of each month at the McMenamins conference room at 6pm. We will have a table at the Brew Fest on October 14th at the Fairgrounds. Come in, taste craft beers and visit us!
And please vote in November!!