|2/25/2014 1:06:00 PM|
Letters to the Editor 02/26/2014
To the Editor:
In the fall of 2012 Andrew Spreadborough from COIC was hired to revisit and revise the Economic Development Strategic Action Plan as necessary.
Council insisted on a revision and approved the CATS funds ($10,000) to be applied to the project.
Open meetings were held with community members to target key items in each sector to help stimulate the economy in Sisters. I have a draft dated January 7, 2013 of the meeting outcomes.
And now... Mayor calls "economic summit"? What happened to the Strategic Action Plan that the council insisted upon? Has anyone seen a finalized version of the SAP? He wants community input? Look at the SAP and finish it.
Or was this exercise just another waste of resources and money?
And by the way, if the amphitheater doesn't pencil, let's look at partnering with a developer and build a flex building for less than half the cost of an amphitheater. Without suitable commercial buildings for startup traded-sector business, you can't attract or retain business, and our industrial park will remain empty!
To the Editor:
The City sure is in a hot rush to do some big projects this year. It's time to slow down, let the dust settle from the Highway 20 reconstruction project, and take a look at what we want Sisters to be in 20 years.
Do some small projects at Creekside Campground like re-paving and installing irrigation but hold off on the full-scale change to Creekside RV Resort until we know that's what we really want.
I'd like to see a National Forest campground just south of town on Three Creek Road. We live in the woods, we don't need to become Disneyland.
To the Editor:
At the recent Formula Foods meeting it was brought to the attention of the audience that there are two separate "zones" in regard to restaurants in Sisters. One, the Downtown Commercial District, is comprised of the downtown core, the other, the Highway Commercial District, is the outlying areas (essentially the FivePine Campus and the west side, consisting of the Bi-Mart complex, the Ponderosa Motor Lodge and the Ray's campus).
There are two separate sets of guidelines in regard to what types of restaurants are allowed for each zone.
These zones and guidelines were established so that Sisters residents could have some control over the look, feel and character of the town.
Currently, the main limit that prevents a "chain" restaurant from locating in downtown Sisters is simply the restriction that there are no drive-throughs allowed. The Highway Commercial District allows drive-through uses and regulates the spacing of formula food establishments; the Downtown Commercial District does not allow new drive-through uses, and does not regulate the spacing of formula food establishments.
This causes me concern in the fact that many chain restaurants are installing kiosks, essentially smaller versions of their larger establishments, but without drive-throughs.
I think what gives Sisters so much character and distinction is the uniqueness of the businesses. I personally would not like to see a chain pizza, coffee, sandwich or some other restaurant located in town.
Originally the second zone was set up because of outcry resulting from large chains locating near Ray's.
Currently the city is reviewing the regulations of the Highway Commercial District outlying zone for possible revision. I think what needs to be done is to create a blanket of guidelines for the whole of Sisters so that we have continuity, what those guidelines are will be determined by the community.
You may have a perspective that differs from mine, I just want people to be informed.
Thankfully we live in a town where we have a voice.
If you feel strongly one way or the other, I urge you to attend the town "Formula Food Establishment" meeting on March 6, 5:30 p.m. at Sisters City Hall and let your voice be heard.
To the Editor:
Thank you, Ed Protas, for your editorial about the Creekside Campground last week. It was spot-on. Creekside is a great campground for RVs and tent camping. Most of the time during the summer there are the same amount of RVs as there are tent campers.
The only time I've seen the campground full is on rodeo weekend. I ride my bike through the campground in the summer to see where people are from. I've seen license plates on vehicles from almost every state in the country. Sisters must be doing something right as far as tourism. Why would the city cut down two-dozen shade trees and replace them with concrete? That does not make any sense.
In response to a proposed envisioned concession stand that will sell RV parts and supplies, I'll bet you can get those at Hoyt's, Ace Hardware, Baxter Auto Parts or Bi-Mart, which would support our local businesses and their employees.
Our city manager should be more concerned about the quality of life in Sisters instead of treating tax revenue like an unlimited resource. And be grateful we still live in a quiet small town in Central Oregon with no crime, clean air, and great water.
To the Editor:
In addition to all the excellent points made in last week's guest editorial regarding changes to the Creekside Campground, we should also consider the impact upon locals and visitors who use Creekside Park. We go there to enjoy its peacefulness among the big pines-a peacefulness that would disappear with large motor homes crowded together and running their generators just across the creek. Many of us enjoy using the paved path adjacent to the creek. I fear that enjoyment is at risk with the loss of open space to a ghetto of crowded concrete pads with full hook-ups to accommodate large rigs better suited for commercial operations like KOA.
Currently, much of the charm and draw to the campground is its spacious, woodsy feel. What a shame to cut down all those trees.
To the Editor:
Re: City plan to convert the Three Sisters Park campground into an RV park: This proposal circumvents the goals of the Parks Plan and violates its vision. Our community spent a great deal of time in 2010/2011 developing a Comprehensive Parks Plan. This plan had extensive community input, was well-thought-out and can be viewed online at the City of Sisters website.
The parks plan splits the Three Sisters Park into two parts: overnight and undeveloped. The plan made zero recommendations for the overnight park area. The undeveloped portion has a concept plan and many recommendations which are considered to be of top priority. The recommendation is that the 4.68 acres be developed as a neighborhood park to include: Basketball/tennis courts, Bocce ball area, horseshoe pit, two large barbecue pits, a huge gazebo, a large play structure, sand volleyball area, restrooms, many picnic tables, natural play areas, natural landscape, lawn areas, additional trees, parking, and trails.
The concept plan is amazing and fits quite wonderfully with the current campground.
I also reviewed the RV park proposal which will cost the city $500,000. This proposal would increase the number of RV spaces from 25 to 70, removes 26 significant ponderosa pines, adds a concession stand, and includes a 900-foot long (six- to eight-foot tall) fence along the highway. Is this what we want people to see as they enter our city?
I believe that our city officials and city council members need to sit down and read the Parks Plan. I also believe that they should consult their constituents before they proceed. They need to strive for open communication with the people they represent. Unfortunately, I have not seen that happen with this proposed plan.
To the Editor:
Re: Amphitheater: I think the manager jumped the gun just by a few steps. I have found out that the City of Jacksonville are not the owners at all. The Britt Fest, a nonprofit organization, owns the organization. The beginnings were very small and was built on a volunteer foundation.
The city helps in cleanup, parking, giving parking tickets, control the excessive drinking issues, and garbage detail, and they only receive a portion of the ticket sales with Britt-Fest. The major issue residents still have today is major parking problems. Please look at the current location, where is there any area for parking growth? The noise level is a still a major problem all summer long for the residents that live close. Please look again at the location and the citizens of Sisters that will be affected for a long time.
As of 2009/2010 the land was assessed at $285,000 dollars. From 2010 to current assessed value is much lower. Who provided the appraised value? How many did they do? Is there any connection with the appraisal and the seller of the land? We would like to see all these documents for fairness to all of us.
We are also concerned about the money that has been spent to date besides the $25,000 for a hold on the property. What money was spent on all the drawing plans of the project? Did they get competitive bids on this?
Another big question, why this location? Not because it was a good deal. At the current cost of $85,000 per acre we are not sure who the good deal is for.
Any government arm, city, state, or federal has no business in private enterprise. I think the manager should put more thought into this because of this fact. He should consider inviting private investment companies to his office and share this incredible investment opportunity with them. The first thing they will tell them, bad location.
They would tell this manger how good of an idea this actually is. Why? Because before they commit other investors' dollars they will ensure the success of the project based on real information, not from what a person experienced on a weekend to Jacksonville.
To the Editor:
Vote Randy Miller for Judge.
I have known Randy for years professionally, personally, and through mutual time donated to a nonprofit organization. Randy has always exhibited knowledgeable, professional, and personable behavior. But as important as those qualities are, his exhibition of a quest for truth and fairness sets him apart and are such an important trait for someone to have in the position of a judge.
Randy's experience serving as both a Marine veteran and a police officer will benefit the citizens of Deschutes County as well. I'm sure as a Marine and police officer Randy had to make the right decisions under extreme stress, and as a judge for Deschutes County I'm positive he will do the same and help keep our county safe.
I'm looking forward to voting Randy Miller as our next Deschutes County Circuit Court Judge. I urge my friends and family, and all citizens of the district to do the same.
To the Editor:
The photos on page 23 of the February 12 issue are marvelous. I like them all but especially Gary Miller's photo of the deer. That is an award-winning photo!
It would have been a little better if the buck was the one off to the right or the one leading but that may have been difficult to get him (the buck) to cooperate!
Gary should, if he hasn't already, send that photo off to several photo agencies. It would also make a great Christmas card.
I always look for and can usually recognize Gary's photos before I see his name each week in The Nugget.
Keep up the good work, Gary!
Steve Post, Black Butte Ranch
Posted: Monday, March 3, 2014
Article comment by:
Regarding restaurants in Sisters: Any business would like to find ways to reduce competition, but is that fair? Reducing competition often means higher prices, poorer service, and/or poorer quality. There are many people in Sisters that would love an In-N-Out Burger in town, with their $175.00 burger, quickly and freshly prepared. How about a great taco shop, or an Olive Garden Express?
I understand the difficulty in operating financially successful businesses in Sisters with our short season, but is it fair for residents or visitors to pay more, sometimes much more, so some can protect against competition?
Regarding image, I do agree that any business should be required to follow our local storefront design guidelines.
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