Sunday, September 20, 2020

Local business owners intend legal action over transitional housing deal

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Helping Hands lincoln city
The red area highlights two tax lots recently purchased by The City of Lincoln City for transitional housing (Satellite image via Google Maps)

Lincoln Woods Apartments and Ashley Inn & Suites owners continue legal efforts to challenge a recent conditional use permit granted to the City of Lincoln City, allowing Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers to provide transitional housing for Lincoln City’s homeless population.

In a letter addressed to City Manager Ron Chandler and City Attorney Richard Appicello, Byron Farley of Martinis & Hill, lawyer for the business owners, expressed “concerns and objections” to the conditional use permit (CUP) despite a recent ruling from the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) who ruled in favor of Lincoln City due to an untimely appeal.

The business owners said they had no idea about a $750,000 deal between the City of Lincoln City and Helping Hands Reentry — a nonprofit serving the homeless — where the City purchased land and two vacant buildings at 3454 NE Highway 101 & 2201 NE 34th Street, for $400,000 and gifted it to the nonprofit. A $350,000 urban renewal rehabilitation loan will be given to Helping Hands to bring both buildings up to code and both the purchase of the property and the loan are secured with promissory notes and trust deeds. If Helping Hands does not use the property for transitional housing, the building reverts back to the City.

Farley says he conducted a thorough review of the CUP, Application and the Final Order from LUBA. He focuses on part of the Application, saying a “departure from standard operating protocol and procedures for Helping Hands Reentry Outreach Centers will be expected and diligently verified throughout the operation of the transitional housing facility.”

Among the details included in the Application was the following statement:

There are strict guidelines for residents. They have to be clean and sober, actively employed, provide at least ten hours of volunteer service to the community, and attend self-improvement meetings and addiction meetings.

Because of the wording in the Application, Farley said his clients will expect strict enforcement to make sure people in the transitional housing facility are actively employed.

Farley’s letter further states Chandler, speaking as the Applicant at the Dec. 3, 2019 public hearing, expressly stated that the residents were required to be actively employed.

Following Chandler’s presentation, a concerned citizen, Robert Kilpatrick, testified somewhat in opposition to the CUP. Kilpatrick stated that his initial reaction when learning of the CUP was one of “panic.” He stated, however, that upon hearing from Chandler that the residents would be employed, his concern regarding the risks and dangers associated with transitional housing was mitigated. Following Kilpatrick’s comments, neither Chandler, nor anybody on behalf of Helping Hands, said anything in response to Kilpatrick’s statement and understanding that the residents were required to be actively employed.

Farley said enforcement of the actively employed component of the application would inevitably result in considerable legal expense for all parties involved and said his clients intend to vigorously protect their property rights, including the right to the peaceful enjoyment and use of their property by guests and tenants. Farley said this type of facility causes unreasonable disturbances, including crime, noise, violence and other events that will significantly and unreasonably interfere with nearby residents and vacationing guests.

Farley threatened “aggressive legal action” for each incidence of interference of his client’s property rights.

At the close of the letter, Farley points out Lincoln City is not immune to the current pandemic and said a considerable projected financial shortfall made it imprudent to give a $350,000 rehabilitation loan to Helping Hands and said the money would be better spent in areas of immediate need.

Farley said his clients would be willing to engage in dialogue with the City to avoid future legal challenges, alternate sites for transitional housing and other uses for the parcel that would benefit the City.

Previous coverage:

Apartment and hotel owners hire attorney over City’s transitional housing deal

Transitional housing: Helping Hands meet-and-greet at City Hall

Special Report: City of Lincoln City to close deal for transitional housing

City Council discusses transitional housing deal; storing vehicles on street

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Justin Werner
Justin Wernerhttps://wernerhost.com/
Justin Werner is founder and publisher of Lincoln City Homepage and a journalist reporting news for the fine citizens of Lincoln City, Oregon and beyond. He's on a mission to seek out truth and isn't afraid to be the tip of the spear for freedom of the press. When he's not wearing his reporter hat, you can find him enjoying the Oregon Coast with his wife and three children.

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6 COMMENTS

  1. Why not put ’em in the empty schools? Lots of cameras, bathrooms, kitchen and other facilities they can use. Maybe they can even get some education while they are sitting around doing nothing all day. It’s not like this virus is going away anytime soon. Despite what the media says.

  2. They should buy my neighbor’s house, it’s in the Olivia Bitc… I mean Beach subdivision, we promise not to sue, and I’d prefer that to a VRD, and the current owner. The whole point of being homeless is not having to have a job or follow rules, I don’t see this working at all. This is just like the city though, it’s easy to pass measures and grant permits that ruin someone else’s neighborhood, it happened to us. And it’ll happen to you next.

  3. Well they will pass whatever they want to help out their friends. When it comes to something that is legitimate they make it as hard as they can. Since they have so much extra money that they don’t know what to do with it they should have to give it back to US THE PROPERTY OWNERS. The city wants to keep buying land with our money and then sell it or give it away to their friends. Just look at cascade head ranch or whatever they want to call it.

  4. I know Stallion, the city had a chance to buy a great piece of property
    in my neighborhood and use it for a lookout and public space, it’s already typically used by surfers to wave watch, and other people park there for the view, instead they approved a ridiculous house plan that is currently being appealed by one of my neighbors, it only cuts into the cliff side, and cantilevers over the side. Using outdated geological surveys and good old boy back room “authorities”. It over looks “shark fin rock”, and no one here wants it changed into some crazy house that’ll fall into the ocean after they cut into the bank.

  5. Don’t forget, the city employees, the city council members, etc., all work for you the people….It is your tax money that they squander with seemingly immunity. You have the power to recall these people and replace the abusers of your tax dollers. Take action, get rid of the corruption and abuse

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