Letters to the Editor for March 18, 2014

Public input welcome on waterfront revitalization

As the Port of Camas-Washougal moves forward with development of our 27-acre waterfront property, including environmental clean-up and construction of the park and trail system, we will also continue to welcome public input and thoughts on the vision for this site.

The Port has strived to include the public throughout this entire process that began with the two-year-long Integrated Planning Grant and two community visioning open houses in 2011 and 2012. We interviewed over two dozen individual Port stakeholders seeking opinions on current and future recreation amenities and continued that search for public input via online and written surveys.

This last summer in 2013, the Port took every opportunity to reach out to our constituents and visitors with questionnaires, fliers, and emails at both summer concerts, at other public Port events and activities, and during two additional open houses where we received more public input and gave updates on the cleanup, the future park and waterfront trail and our Recreational Facility Plan. We also continue to work with many partners such as Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership, Vancouver Audubon Society, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, as well as the National Park Service on the future development of this magnificent site.

In addition to the public input the Port is working with several professional consultants to determine the best way to develop this site and preserve its benefit and value to the community. Eric Hovee, from Eric Hovee and Company is working on a market analysis study that will lay out the best types of businesses to market and attract to this site, such as retail, office-flex, possibly residential, and/or specialty uses (potential multi-screen cinema, health/fitness, and lodging – to complement retail development of the site).

Most recently, PSU planning students have begun a community visioning study to ensure connectivity of the waterfront development with downtown Washougal.

We’re now in the fourth year of planning, and this brief overview shows that the Port is taking its time with the development of this site, not rushing ahead. This is a long-term project and we want to do it correctly. The Port’s goal is that the waterfront development will become not only a landmark, but a destination spot for current and future citizens, as well as visitors from other communities.

David Ripp, Executive director, Port of Camas-Washougal

Kudos to Ridgefield

The residents of Ridgefield should be both satisfied with and proud of their City Council for such an excellent search for a new city manager.

By following the normal best practices for hiring, and going an additional step by utilizing a consulting firm, they have insured that they had a broad and deep field of candidates from which to choose.

There is the probability that some will be dissatisfied with the final choice, but no one will be able to accuse the Council of end-running the process. This serves as a wonderful example to all of our governing bodies in Clark County.

Lee L. Jensen, Battle Ground