Leavenworth’s Future vs. Depoe Bay Syndrome

 We visited Depoe Bay in March, 1987! We acquired this history of Depoe Bay, Oregon from a friend who moved there from Wenatchee.  He was a resident there and knew the pulse of the community.  He knew a lot of people and had a great job that allowed him to make personal contacts and relationships with many, many folks. He was the manager of the liquor store and just about the most popular guy in town!  Here is what we learned-- Have you ever been to Depoe Bay, Oregon?  It is a picturesque little touristy  town on the Oregon coast and has beautiful expansive views of the ocean.  Or rather it did, and THAT is the reason I am writing to you. The natural setting of Depoe Bay is in a gorgeous area along the coast, Hwy 101.  The narrow corridor that contains the town is wedged between the ocean frontage on the west; and on the east, there is a very steep mountain side where homes are lodged, nestled, and slipped into the ledges, or niche on tenuous building sites. Everything was all good and copacetic until the multi-story  condos, hotels, and motels started sprouting up and were perched on the edge of the pristine ocean shoreline. The locals began to notice that some of the favorite viewing areas, overlooks, and observation points were no longer available to them.  The height of the structures blocked views of the ocean for traveling tourists, businesses, tourists’ areas, and also for the regular and ordinary citizens. But wait!!!  You can still see the ocean.  However, you have to drive up into the residential areas to the east and get high enough to see over the barrier-type walls of the oceanside structures to the west.

I see that this Depoe Bay Syndrome should be a lesson for the village of Leavenworth officials and its citizens.  Building structures that obstruct our beautiful views of the mountains, while not the ocean at Depoe Bay, still presents the same lesson to be learned. Who wants to walk outside in the morning to check the pending weather and conditions for the day and can only see the damp sidewalk, dew on the grass, condensation on the car windshield; and, the neighbors rising rooflines, drip lines, and the underside of their rain gutters?  In many cases, no more neighborly views of the beautiful grove of evergreen trees across the alley or down the street.  The view of the mountain tops and ridges within your village is even blocked from your sight. This scenario could be coming soon to your neighborhood.  In my view this is unthinkable, inconceivable, and rude. Take heed!

Sally Kane, Lake Wenatchee



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