‘Our Camas 2045’ community survey ends May 5

Community asked to weigh in on future of Camas for 20-year planning efforts

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A Camas mural painted on Northeast Fourth Avenue near Camas City Hall and the Camas Public Library is seen in downtown Camas, May 21, 2023. (Kelly Moyer/Post-Record files)

Want to help shape the city of Camas over the next two decades? Camas residents and other stakeholders have a few days left to fill out a community-wide survey for the City’s “Our Camas 2045” comprehensive plan update, and its sister project, the “Our Downtown Camas 2045” subarea planning work that will guide the future of Camas’ historic downtown area.

The confidential survey, which is housed on the City’s Engage Camas website, at, is designed to gauge what people love about Camas and its historic downtown and identify things the City might need to improve. The survey, which can be completed in under 10 minutes, will be available online through Sunday, May 5.

After this, City staff and consultants will compile the survey results and share the results at a Community Summit set for 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 12, at Lacamas Lake Lodge in Camas.

Camas Community Development Director Alan Peters and consultants have been meeting with City officials and other stakeholder groups throughout the past two months to talk about the survey, explain the “Our Camas 2045 Community Conversation Kits” — also available on the Engage Camas website — that help people hold conversations with neighbors, friends or nonprofit groups to gather more community members’ perspectives on how Camas should grow and change over the next 20 years.

“We have had the vision survey and interactive maps up for a couple months, and sent a mailer last week to get some additional engagement on the survey,” Peters told Camas City Council members during their April 15 workshop. “And we have gotten more responses than we were hoping for.”

During the March 27 Camas Parks and Recreation Commission meeting, Peters said the “Our Camas 2045” website has had more than 1,600 page visits and that the survey had received more than 200 responses.

“We’ve had community conversations with clubs, neighbors, etcetera to talk about Camas and help form a vision that will lead ‘Our Camas 2045’ (planning),” Peters said, adding that he will return to the Council following the June 12 Community Summit to present a draft Vision Statement to help guide the 20-year comprehensive plan update.

“This will be a guide for development over the next year,” Peters said.

During conversations with Council members on April 15, and with Parks and Recreation Commission members on March 27, officials shared what they loved about Camas and what they would like to see change over the next 20 years.

“We’ve asked open-ended questions about what people value about Camas,” Peters told Parks and Recreation Commission members in March. “And have found that, first, people love their downtown. They love the community, small-town feel and a lot of things related to parks and recreation – open spaces, recreation, the lakes and trails.”

Consultants added that they have found that parks and recreation, as well as protecting the City’s air and water quality, will likely be key issues to address in the comprehensive plan update.

Some of the things officials have said they love about Camas include the City’s access to quality public schools; abundance of open spaces, parks and trails; proximity to the Portland International Airport; the historic downtown shopping and dining area; the natural beauty; a high number of volunteer opportunities; a “vibrant” downtown association; high levels of safety; the variety of service organizations; and community events that help bring Camasonians together on a regular basis.

When it comes to improving the City, officials and Parks Commission members said they would like to see more parking and housing in the downtown area; more types of housing that would allow a greater variety of socioeconomic income levels to live in Camas; a desire for more commercial or industrial employers; the need for an additional business hub that was separate from the City’s historic downtown; more medical facilities; more things for teenagers to do in Camas; restoring the lakes and preventing toxic algal outbreaks; more affordable housing; continued investments in the City’s infrastructure to make sure drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists have safe, convenient ways to move throughout Camas; and rethinking how the City might invest in public spaces, especially in its downtown area.

People who are interested in weighing in on the City’s comprehensive plan update (Our Camas 2045) or downtown subarea work (Our Downtown Camas 2045) can fill out the survey through May 5, engage with the interactive map on Engage Camas or host their own community conversation using the City’s “Community Conversation Kit” (also available on Engage Camas).