Twenty plus years ago, as I was walking through Portland International Airport, my attention was drawn to a picture advertising a new development at the Oregon Coast. A kiosk nearby had brochures which included a shingle-clad home nested in the dunes in the shadow of a ramp leading over the top to the beach. The new development was called Shorepine Village. I took the flier back to my office and put it into my desk drawer. I repeated this routine several more times on subsequent trips through the airport. Every so often I would take out the brochures and wonder how the new project was coming along.
In 2002 we were driving up the Coast toward a wedding in Seaside when just before the Pacific City turnoff I spotted a billboard advertising Shorepine Village "That's it" I told my wife, that's the place where the brochures came from. Shorepine Village was still very much in Phase 1 when we stopped by an Open House at Lot 2 where we met a legendary character named Buck Jensen who was presiding over sales and tours. Several hours later we were the proud owners of a timeshare. Less than a year later, we traded for two, ten-week shares in Kingfisher.
In the early years of Shorepine, Buck was a constant presence in the Village and sold most of the homes and fractional ownerships. In the center of the development, a small triangle is dedicated to Buck's memory. "It was the only piece of property I couldn't sell," he once mused.
By 2004, development was underway in Phase 2 and I wandered through the lots worried I might be missing a bet. One day my wife told Buck, "just sell him Lot 47, he's driving me nuts." Things were moving so fast in those days there was a six to twelve-month wait before construction could get underway. We moved into our new house in 2005. 2021 marks our 19th year as residents.
From my very first impression I knew that starting with its very name, the "Village" was a special place. I was born in Newport, Rhode Island and the idea of a New England fishing village had special appeal. In its initial planning stages, the new neighborhood was platted for something like 125 lots. As development continued, that number was reduced to 90 in order to reduce density and provide for a large habitat area located in the central core surrounded by homes and paths and now a growing collection of shorepines which add more privacy.
As part of Phase 3, a recreation center and picnic area was also added along with overflow parking, the latter designed to help keep the streets clear.
As the original developers envisioned and as future boards, to whom they entrusted the integrity of the development agreed, Shorepine wasn't designed for everyone. Some of the original inhabitants are now gone and have been replaced by new owners, but the key elements of the design remain -- something which limits some individual decorative touches but also something that collectively retains property values and the original unique vision.
It has been that way since the beginning thanks to a Design Review Committee which both enforces and preserves the beauty of the little community.
Twenty years after the ramp first captured my imagination, it remains an iconic feature of the village and every spring it is exciting to see what winter has done to the ocean side of the dune.
And even though the village has grown and some of the faces have changed, it is still common to get a friendly greeting on the paths, on the street or on the ramp, because in the end, we all have something very special in common.
Three generations of our family have enjoyed endless hours at the beach and a fourth generation isn't too far into the future. We consider it a legacy.
For our part, we are grateful to the multitude of Shorepine owners and friends who have captured the vision and committed themselves to preserving what makes our village special.