Coos Bay council opposes traditional cultural property designation by tribes

    The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians (SBG)

    COOS BAY, Ore. - The Coos Bay City Council has opposed the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians "Traditional Cultural Property" designation.

    It's a roughly 20-square mile outline that spans North Bend and Coos Bay, and covers some of Todd Goergen's Box Car Hill Campground.

    "As a concerned property owner, one of my biggest issues is with the potential impacts on permitting--both the cost and the appeal process," Goergen said.

    City Manager Rodger Craddock verified possible changes.

    "It does have some new requirements for us, and it could require additional permitting time, additional permitting cost," Craddock said. "It may even require the City to hire an additional staff member and, of course, those costs would have to be born the applicants."

    The Tribe said in a news release: "The primary effect of a listing would be to require federal agencies to consider impacts of their actions and permitting decisions on specific sites within Coos Bay that are of tremendous importance to the cultural survival of the Tribe."

    Craddock said the City understands that, but that there is still "the unintended consequences of what happens on the local level, and for us, that's the permitting process."

    Another factor to the City's opposition, according to Craddock, was the "little" time they had to evaluate.

    The Tribe said it gave the City from December through May to decide whether to support, oppose, or remain neutral.

    "We want to respect their cultural resources and I think existing planning does take that into effect," Goergen said.

    Goergen is also president-elect of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber has also come out in opposition to the TCP.

    “Historic and cultural resources are important to our shared heritage as a people," said the Chamber of Commerce in a news release. "Oregon’s land-use planning laws and regulations, specifically Goal 5, acknowledge that value and provides for its protection. Locally, our Coos Bay estuary plan calls for regular consultation when proposed uses might impact such a resource.

    The Tribe takes those into consideration. "We will work with local jurisdictions to minimize any secondary effects of a TCP listing on local land use ordinances, which should not be particularly difficult considering that existing local and state law already require consideration of impacts to archaeological and historic sites."

    Craddock said the City's Landmark Commission will review and send their findings to the State Historic Preservation Office.

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