Plans for waterfront headed in the right direction

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If most of the community didn’t know it already, the live music and fireworks show at Marina Park on the Fourth of July confirmed it. The Port of Camas-Washougal’s waterfront property along the Columbia River is a spectacular setting that is positioned to be a major draw in many different ways.

With the correct planning, partners, public process and decision making by elected officials, this area that has been the focus of so much controversy in the past could truly be something special.

Port Communications Manager Jack Hardy said in a recent interview that the current expectation is that there will be development along the waterfront in the form of a public access, riverfront trail, retail businesses, office space, housing and mixed use — over time.

“We anticipate that over the next 10 to 15 years it will continue to grow incrementally, and as the community allows, to bring jobs, restaurants and more,” he said. “The waterfront location is truly one-of-a-kind and a very desirable location for developers and businesses who care about preserving the history and environment with responsible and appropriate construction.”

To that end, it was recently announced that the Port of Camas-Washougal received a $200,000 grant from the Washington Department of Ecology that could lead to the cleanup of the former Hambleton Lumber Company site on the waterfront.

Many more steps, and much more funding, will be needed along the way to turn the waterfront into something truly unique, but it is clear that the Port of Camas-Washougal officials are heading in the right direction.