Washougal Planning Commission to discuss potential employment center annexation

Public hearing is set for Nov. 4

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The public is invited to comment on the addition of code language to establish development standards for the employment center zoning designation within the City of Washougal.

The city is developing regulations that would apply to an EC designation.

The area that the designation would apply to is currently outside the city limits of Washougal, in Clark County, but is within the city’s Urban Growth Boundary.

Washougal Community Development Director Mitch Kneipp said the county zones these areas as business park with an urban holding-40 overlay.

A proposed annexation would involve the city annexing a portion of the property the county lists as business park, but the city is calling employment center. The city does not yet have regulations for EC, which is why they are being developed before the potential annexation occurs.

The Deboever Living Trust owns approximately 65 acres near the 29200 block of Southeast 23rd Street, and Clark Public Utilities owns 2.5 acres with an electrical transformer station on the property.

When Washougal adopted its existing Urban Growth Boundary in 2007, the city designated the lands within the UGB to be employment center.

“We didn’t adopt any regulations at the time, because we weren’t annexing any of the property yet,” Kneipp said. “Now, with the pending annexation, we need the regulations in place.”

According to city documents, employment center zoning is intended to provide for a wide range of employment opportunities.

The district provides for business and professional services, research and development, limited light manufacturing and wholesale trade, and corporate offices along with __accessory commercial uses.

Automotive services, bank branches, cement manufacturing facilities, dry cleaning plants and drive-through espresso stands would be permitted in an employment center district. Other permitted uses include restaurants smaller than 3,000 square feet, hospitals, sewer substations, welding shops, and wineries and breweries.

Kneipp said a Deboever family representative has said the trust wants the land to be annexed, for Washougal Police protection.

“They currently have no plans for any other development,” Kneipp said.

The Washougal Planning Commission will hold a workshop Tuesday, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m., in the council chambers at City Hall, 1701 “C” St. A public hearing regarding the employment center regulations will occur during the commission’s 7 p.m. meeting, at the same location.