I am not in favor of any more motels being built in Astoria. I believe they change the character of the town in a way that homestay lodging does not. Most of our visitors like Astoria not just for the views or the Riverwalk, but because our small-town way of life has a peace and authenticity our larger neighbors lack.
But regarding the recent letter to the editor, "A trust broken", the writer should remember that our city councilors take an oath to uphold the law, and building codes are laws, to all extents and purposes. If the code states that a motel is allowed to be built in such-and-such a location, to such-and-such specifications, then they are bound to uphold the rights of people to build within that code.
They can (and no doubt will) represent their constituents only by changing the code, but they cannot do so retroactively. One has only to imagine themselves in the applicant's position to realize that denying a legally valid claim may be popular, but it is still unfair. In that case, the Land Use Board of Appeals would just send it back and tell us to think again, anyway.
This seems to me to be a case of equal application of the laws, and I'm glad our City Council has the courage to do what's clearly right.