Local News: Astoria City Council meeting highlights

The Astoria City Council met Monday night to approve some changes to waterfront code and homestay lodging regulations. They also approved the city purchase of a new streetsweeping machine. Joanne Rideout has the story.  Listen Below [2:38]

At their July 1st meeting, the Astoria City Council approved changes to city code with regard to waterfront development and homestay lodging. Both were second reading of amendments brought up at the previous meeting. The way city procedures work, amendments have a first reading, public comment and council discussion in one meeting and then a second reading at the following meeting to allow for more discussion and public comment before a vote. The council passed both agenda items unanimously, no one from the audience chose to comment on either agenda item during the public comment period.

The waterfront code amendments were mainly housekeeping items to streamline code, and did not address proposed 28 ft height limits for waterfront construction. That issue remains before the planning commission, which meets again on July 23rd.

Homestay lodging amendments addressed issues such as specific property uses in different code zones, and parking issues. Those were also passed unanimously by the council.

Councilors also unanimously approved the purchase of a new city streetsweeping machine, which will cost a little over $300,000 for lease/purchase.

City Manager Brett Estes:

“An approved vendor of Sourcewell is Owen Equipment Comapny. And they are the dealer for NW Oregon. The Sourcewell contract price which was established for the streetsweeper was $263,011. So the public works and finance departments have been working on a five year lease purchase agreement. And the lease and its associated finance charges will not be finalized until the purchase of the streetsweeper is approved by council. There is a current estimate of $305,000 including interest.”

The council also voted to turn over some lots in the Mill Pond neighborhood of Astoria to the Mill Pond homeowners association. The lots are buildable over water and have not sold, presumably because of the expense to develop them. The lots will be come park space.

And developer Paul Caruana received approval for his request to construct a wheelchair access ramp on 14th street for access to the Astor Hotel Building.

Councilors also held a first reading of proposed code amendments regarding solicitation of work contracts. This proposal is will update and clarify city procedures, bring our regulations into compliance with Oregon Law, codify practices we currently employ and simplify1 our contracting process. The council will hear a second reading of the amendment at its next meeting and likely call for a vote.

I’m Joanne Rideout reporting.