Lest we forget…

Sep 9, 2013 | 0 comments

Oysterville Baptist Church 1964

Oysterville Church 1964

In Oysterville, we are all doing a bit of reviewing and, perhaps, re-evaluating our thoughts about our National Historic District designation and its implications.  Many of the property owners (maybe most?) have settled here since 1976 when the village received that designation and began working with the County to set up the design review guidelines for rebuilding and remodeling.

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Oysterville Church 2012

Over the years, the interpretation of those guidelines – and their enforcement or lack thereof – has been the basis for much angst and division among us.  We seem to have come to a crossroads right now and have an opportunity to improve the guidelines or, as some would have it, forget the National Historic District altogether.  That ‘discussion’ in itself is causing neighbors to argue with neighbors and that proverbial line to be drawn in the sand.

Captain Stream House 1963

Captain Stream House 1963

Before any decisions are made or votes are taken or shouting matches recur, I hope that all of us will consider where we were prior to 1976 and where we are now. Just a quick look at some ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs is enlightening.  Or a drive through our neighboring communities of Surfside, Nahcotta, or Ocean Park will give indications of what our village might look like today.

Captain Stream House in color 1990

Captain Stream House 1980

The ambiance (some call it ‘the magic’) of Oysterville has not come easily.  Nor are all the changes perfect by any standards.  But the alternatives – the what might have beens – are far worse in my mind.  I hope we don’t throw our baby out with the bath…

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