I have just read Brad and Diane Eamon's open letter to Michael DeSimone (Pacific County Department of Community Development head) in last week's Observer regarding development in the Seaview dunes and their desire for a personal response from Mr. DeSimone. As someone who has been deeply involved in land use issues on the Peninsula I would like to respond briefly.
We do face another major challenge to the long-term health and beauty of the Peninsula that everyone needs to be aware of. At this point, the essential thing is that we bring necessary attention to detail and appropriate patience to process in making the pertinent decisions. If we do not, we could lose a lot.
A dedicated group of Peninsula citizens in conjunction with State Parks has just been successful after years of effort at protecting the Beard's Hollow area from the incursion of a major development (State Parks recently finalized purchase of the Christensen holdings). One outcome is that State Parks is now committed to long-term purchase of the dune lands north to the Seaview approach (some of the last undeveloped dune lands on the coast) for inclusion in Cape Disappointment State Park (with last week's announcement soon to be Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks).
We now face a new threat to major development right in the middle of this pristine area with the plans of Matthew Doney. The Eamons and Mr. DeSimone differ in their views with regard to whether all appropriate steps and legal diligence is being taken in evaluating this proposal. Whoever it right, it is unquestionably the case that this is a situation that calls for thorough communication between all parties concerned and great legal and procedural care. (It does appear that for some reason the county seems committed to a "fast-track" response).
My point is simple. Let's slow down and be sure we do all of this right - get everyone to the table and be sure all necessary T's are crossed and I's dotted. We could pay a high price if we don't take the necessary care. Mr. Doney's holdings lie right in the middle of the lands State Parks hopes to preserve. We and everyone in the future who will benefit aesthetically and financially from the preservation of this resource (such beauty is the one unique resource we have) will have lost something of irreplaceable value.
Charles Johnston, MD