Area for playing fields

Seaside is interested in assuming title for properties here shaded in orange, with the intent of continued use for recreational and athletic field purposes.

Clatsop County plans to turn three tax lots over to Seaside. The property, at the northern part of the former high school campus on U.S. Highway 101, comprises playing fields and recreation space.

The lots are part of five parcels deeded to the county from the Seaside School District based on a reversionary clause linked to the properties use for school purposes. They encompass the northern part of the property and have been used for athletic and recreational fields. The reversionary clause kicked in when the district closed the former high school to move schools to a new location out of the tsunami inundation zone.

City Manager Mark Winstanley said he wants to preserve the fields for recreational purposes.

“The community feels that it would be very important that those sports fields continue to be able to be used by youth of this area,” he told the county Board of Commissioners at a February meeting. “We are asking that the county commission deed that property over to the city of Seaside so it can continue to be used in the manner it has been used over the last 60 years.”

The city will continue to take care of the property, which has a “couple of baseball fields and a couple of soccer fields right now,” Winstanley said.

Seaside Kids and the school district are among local users.

The move to preserve the property for playing fields comes at a time when recreation areas are in short supply, said Commissioner John Toyooka, who represents Seaside.

“In South County, there’s insufficient fields and areas for the youth to play at this time,” Toyooka said. “Losing the high school, losing some of those playing fields, it’s going to make it a challenge. We do need those available fields for the youth of the county. We don’t have viable alternatives at this time.”

The properties have been sent to the county’s categorization committee for discussion as to the appropriate category for each parcel per the county’s property management policy.

Staff will present those findings to the county commission for their formal adoption, Sirpa Duoos, the county’s property management specialist, said after the meeting.

After the formal adoption, staff will present the request from Seaside for the board’s consideration.

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