The Depoe Bay city council met to discuss what could be sold at a new bait and tackle business Kingfishers Landing opening in the Tradewinds Charters tower. Owner Noile Achen applied for a OLCC license to enable the sale of beer at the new shop. This application was met with disapproval from the Depoe Bay city planner Kit Fox. Mr. Fox became aware of this application and emailed the City Recorder expressing concerns about its consistency with zone standards.
According to Fox off-premises sales of alcoholic beverages appeared to conflict with zoning restrictions imposed upon Kingfisher Pier’s recently-issued City business license. Fox then began questioning the items being proposed to be sold at the bait and tackle shop such as sunscreen, motion sickness medication, raingear, water, soda and snacks. It was city staff's interpretation that “bait” is self-explanatory and “tackle” did not include food, beverages, or other general merchandise.
There were several who spoke in favor of allowing Kingfisher to sell items such as water, snacks and soda arguing that they are essential for folks who are going out on the water for long periods of time. Some of these fishing trips leave early in the morning before other local stores are open. This leaves charter customers potentially without food or water out on the ocean. Having a place for customers to purchase snacks, water, sunscreen and seasick medication is essential. Kingfishers Landing will also be vacuum sealing fish for customers in the new shop.
Kingfishers Landing also received letters of support from Misty Lambrect from Reinventing Rural stating "Fishing can be a physically demanding activity, and it is essential for fishermen to stay hydrated and fueled during their trips. By allowing bait and tackle shops to sell basic food items, the city can help ensure the safety and well-being of fishermen while also providing a valuable service to the community. It is also important to note that preventing bait and tackle shops from selling food items while allowing other business, such as gift shops and gas stations, to do so would be unfair and unreasonable. In addition, restricting the sales of bottled water would be particularly problematic given the potential for dehydration."
Mellissa Sumner, Depoe Bay Chamber Director commented at the meeting "One of the most important things a chamber does is advocate for businesses." She asked the council to allow Kingfisher Pier to sell the same items found in other bait and tackle shops all over Lincoln County. Sumner provided photos of these items available throughout the County.
Dave Price with SBDC, as well as others from the community also wrote letters and came and provided testimony in support of the bait and tackle shop. As a result of how the city planner presented his recommendation to the council Achen felt her only course of action was to withdraw her OLCC license. This ensured the sales of essential supplies for fishermen at the store. After discussion and hearing all the public testimony, councilor Beasley made a motion to allow the bait and tackle shop to be able to sell convenience items for fishing. This was approved unanimously. Kingfishers Landing is expected to open weekends starting in April and full time this summer.