U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, is a part-time Gearhart resident. Sondland’s role remains a key part of presidential impeachment proceedings.
While not a matter of congressional oversight, his house on South Ocean Avenue has been the subject of chatter, by residents both pro and con.
Sondland and his wife Katherine Durant, purchased the property on South Ocean Avenue in Gearhart for $800,000 in March 2008. The original home was torn down and replaced with the two-story home there today.
South Ocean Avenue Neighbor Margaret Marino described Sondland and Durant as people who “truly love the beach and view it as a place to retreat with their families and dearest friends.”
The Sondlands “are neighbors that deeply care,” Marino said.
According to Gearhart public records, the home has approximately 5,552 square feet, four bedrooms, five-and-a-half baths with a lot size of 1.11 acres. The home is currently valued at about $1.1 million, according to realtor.com.
But others say the diplomat’s house has “the dubious distinction” of having been extended beyond the traditional westernmost development line on Gin Ridge, thereby blocking the headland and ocean views of his neighbors.
“A Seattle native, he (Sondland) irked Portland’s establishment in 2008 when he built a house on Ocean Avenue in the coastal town of Gearhart,” Willamette Week journalist Nigel Jaquiss wrote in 2013.
Homes there typically do not obstruct the views of others, Jaquiss wrote. “Sondland ignored that practice when he built his $1.2 million beach house.”
All the houses on the west side of Gearhart’s “Gin Ridge” were built on a line that gave each house the maximum view west including Tillamook Head to North Head and everything in between, Gearhart’s Jim Furnish said Monday. “Sondland disregarded that and got approval to build west of the line destroying some views their neighbors had for over a hundred years.”
Sondland is one of three diplomats, along with special envoy to Kurt Volker and William “Bill” Taylor, the charge d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Ukraine, said to have discussed the statement Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy would issue in support of an investigation into Hunter Biden, son of the former vice president and presidential candidate Joe Biden.
As the negotiations in a phone call between Trump and Zelenskiy, progressed, the Associated Press reported this week, Sondland said Trump “really wants the deliverable,” said to be information on Hunter Biden’s relations with a Ukraine energy firm.
Sondland is founder and chairman of Provenance Hotels and co-founder of the merchant bank Aspen Capital. He was a major donor to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign.