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Stop the Superdrive Cannon Beach

08 • 15 • 2023

Stop the Superdrive Cannon Beach

Victory! Cannon Beach City Council votes unanimously to deny the proposed development of a private "superdrive" along the ocean shore and protects a public beach right-of-way.

On August 15, the Cannon Beach City Council voted unanimously to deny an application for development that proposed to convert a public beach right-of-way into a personal private "super" driveway. The development, located in iconic Cannon Beach, raised a number of important conflicts to Surfrider's beach preservation policy, interest to plan and properly adapt for climate change, and protect an "access for all" ethos by preserving the public beach right-of-way.

Oregon's public beaches are an icon for the state and no other place along the coast exemplifies the history and importance of this recreational birthright more than Cannon Beach. Governor Oswald West, the first instigator of Oregon's public beach policy, himself built a home here. But just next door to where that home was built, which was recreated as a museum, a proposed private driveway would have eliminate a public right-of-way and access adjacent the beach and ocean shore.  Abandoning a public right-of way adjacent the ocean shore for private interests raised serious equity and access concerns for Surfrider and could have potentially created beach safety concerns. Further, the project would have sited a tremendous amount of new infrastructure in ground zero for existing hazards and the rising tides of climate change. Dive into our comments to learn about the myriad of project concerns or visit the project page to learn more. 

Since 2020, The Surfrider Foundation Oregon Network and the North Coast Chapter worked with a number of partners to comment and appeal local decisions around the project. Key advocates from the historical center, Haystack Rock LLC., and Oregon Coast Alliance were critical support in earlier land use appeals and our review of City codes. Surfrider submitted comments, educated our members and provided testimony throughout the process. Following multiple failed applications, a LUBA appeal and a final City Council hearing, the City Council finally voted to deny the application and uphold their code in the face of private interests!

Read our blog to learn more about the project

Campaign Updates:

UPDATE - July 10, 2023:  Cannon Beach City Council held a public hearing, during which many members of the community and our partner organizations gave oral testimony in opposition of the proposed development.  The applicant's attorney asked for a continuance, which was granted.

LINK TO CITY'S DOCUMENT FILE: 2023 LUBA Remand of Development Permit DP#22-06 at Taxlot# 51031AA00600 | City of Cannon Beach Oregon (  Public comments are in Section D.

UPDATE - August 9, 2023:  Cannon Beach City Council held a special meeting for continuation of the case.  During this meeting, the Council deliberated, and adopted a tentative decision to deny the proposal.  This directed City staff to compile draft findings for Councillors to review and inform their final vote.

UPDATE - August 15, 2023:  Cannon Beach City Council voted unanimously to deny the application for development!  View the final order and findings from the City.

UPDATE - August 29, 2023:  The applicant filed a Notice of Intent to Appeal with the Land Use Board of Appeals.  At this time, Surfrider will be monitoring the situation but will not be intervening in the LUBA process.