A pedestrian walks by the historic Tidal Rock Park in downtown Astoria, Ore.

A pedestrian walks by the historic Tidal Rock Park in downtown Astoria, Ore.

Colin Murphey /The Daily Astorian

The Astoria City Council, looking to free up an overburdened Parks and Recreation Department, will discuss the potential sale of park land.

Some city councilors see selling underused park land as one way to put the department on a path to long-term sustainability and potentially open up land to development. Beyond parks, the sale of city-owned land could make property available for affordable housing, City Manager Brett Estes said. Any such effort on housing would be led by the community development department.

The four parks councilors plan to talk about at a work session Wednesday morning are ones the city has contemplated selling before. They include the site of Astoria’s first post office, now marked by an obelisk, and a historic reconstruction of a customs house — both the first such establishments of their kind west of the Rocky Mountains. The other two sites are Birch Field, a marshy ballpark in Alderbrook, and the historic Tidal Rock site downtown across the street from the Blue Scorcher Bakery and Fort George Brewery.

If the City Council wants to sell the parks, Rosemary Johnson, the city’s consultant and a former city planner, recommends they direct staff to begin the steps for selling Birch Field, complete a relocation and engineering evaluation for the custom house and contact adjacent property owners about Tidal Rock.

Read the full article at The Daily Astorian