The Astoria City Council again voted to delay action on the Portway Tavern's controversial windows at its meeting Monday night.

The delay will give city staff more time to review the information provided by Councilor Bob Heilman, who owns the Portway Tavern. The matter was postponed until the council's Nov. 18 meeting.

The controversy began when Heilman, who bought the Portway in 1997, went up against the Historic Landmarks Commission about replacing some of the windows. Commission members were upset that Heilman's new vinyl replacements failed to follow city regulations on size and style designed to maintain the historic ambience of renovation work. Heilman - a longtime public opponent of the HLC, who believes its status should be merely advisory - appealed the HLC's opposition to the City Council.

On Sept. 16, after a lengthy presentation by Heilman, council members voted 3-1 to uphold his appeal against the Historic Landmarks Commission. Supporting him were Mayor Willis Van Dusen and Councilors Loran Mathews and Don Morden. Against was Councilor Blair Henningsgaard.

At the time, Henningsgaard noted that as a city councilor it was especially important that Heilman should follow the rules; other supporting councilors said the Portway had "never looked better."

The information provided by Heilman supports the Sept. 16 decision. City staff has prepared its own evidence in support of the decision, as well.

The council's decision may still be appealed to the Oregon State Land Use Board of Appeals.

Also at Monday's meeting:

The council voted to vacate a portion of 21st and 22nd streets, adjacent to 2142 Commercial St.

Mathews, acting as mayor pro tem in Van Dusen's absence, read a proclamation marking November as Mediation Month to acknowledge the work of "those who make peaceful conflict resolution a reality here locally," such as the community mediation center, Dispute Resolutions.


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