GEARHART - The controversial barn is coming down.
Gearhart City Council chose to grant Jerry and Bonnie Eller a demolition permit after a lengthy, and long-contested, review of the request. The barn is one of the last livery stables of its kind remaining in the state of Oregon.
The Ellers took the city's decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals, where the case was dismissed because paperwork had not been filed correctly. After the dismissal, the Ellers chose to resubmit their application for demolition of the barn through a letter to the city: "Gentlemen, I am reapplying for a demolition permit for the barn that is located at 774 Pacific Way. The barn is in very poor condition and not worth the money nor the time to repair it because of the extensive rot of the main structure. It would be much better for the city and us if this permit was granted."
Other members of the community were on hand to express their side of the story. Shannon Smith, who said she had been working with the Ellers regarding their barn and had gotten to know them, read a statement she had written: "I respect the Ellers' right to do what they want with their property."
Smith also went on to say she had an emotional attachment to preserving the barn but that she wanted to see the Ellers' rights respected.
"The fact of the matter is that it is still a piece of private property," said Councilman Chuck Schluter. "Sometimes the feel-good decision is not the right decision."
Schluter proposed the city grant the Ellers' request for a demolition permit with a few caveats: The Ellers must delay the demolition of the barn for 90 days to give time for interested parties to buy and relocate the barn and the Ellers must relinquish the property that was given to them by the city as a right-of-way for maintenance of the barn.
The permit was granted in a 4-0 vote, with Dianne Widdop absent.
Shortly after the permit was granted, the Ellers quietly thanked the council and left the meeting.
In other action:
? Gearhart was recognized by Medix Ambulance for its support of local Emergency Medical Services.
? The drafting of an ordinance for permits to drive limited distances on the Ridge Path was planned.