In June 2008, the Port of Camas-Washougal completed a "Rezone Assessment" - a public process to consider future employment uses east of the Port's current industrial park (the East Industrial Park); whether the current zoning was compatible with such uses; and to determine the conditions under which the Port would sell a portion or all of the property. This effort resulted in the adoption of Guiding Principles and the Board's consensus that the wisest and best use of the East Industrial Park would be a mix - or hybrid - of both business and industrial uses, which the current zoning would support. The Commission plans to create a plan for development of the East Industrial Park based on the results of the assessment process. [See East Industrial Park Master Plan.]
Meetings & Public Involvement
Regular Commission Meeting, May 19th – Consultants JD White/BERGER-ABAM reviewed the rezone assessment process – including significant public participation – which objectively evaluated the zoning and development options. They also confirmed that current zoning does not prevent the type of business-park uses encouraged by a portion of the public. The Commissioners remarked that they were very pleased by the interest and participation in this process shown by the public. After discussion and consideration of the economic data received, the Commission’s consensus was that the wisest and best use of the East Industrial Park would be a mix – or hybrid – of both business and industrial uses.
“The Commissioners are exploring vision options which will embrace a broad variety of employment opportunities and new site-specific development standards. By focusing on ‘Development Visioning’ rather than a strict rezone process, the Commissioners open the possibilities to achieve the job growth and revenues that are consistent and compatible with local and regional industrial development goals. Current zoning allows for a broad range of development not normally associated with industrial zoning. This flexibility acknowledges the public’s input and desire to guide future development to harmoniously blend with the adjacent natural environment. ~ Scot Walstra, Director of Planning & Development
Regular Commission Meeting, May 5th – The Commissioners stated that any decisions on the direction of the East Industrial Park build-out deserved additional study. After considering over three months of public input and the consultant data, the Commissioners directed staff to provide recommendations which will combine new flexibilities with development standards and the Guiding Principles.
Special Meeting Notice: Wed, April 16th - Presentation to the Commission of the Alternatives Analysis - weighing the alternatives against the Guiding Principles. This meeting will begin at 5:30, and public comment will be taken at 6:45 p.m., as part of the Agenda.
On March 17th, at their regular meeting, the Commission once again deliberated on the draft Guiding Principles. After consideration of how they would be used as a framework for future discussions, and that a combination of uses may be considered in addition to the stated alternatives, the following GUIDING PRINCIPLES were unanimously adopted:
- BROADER POLICY QUESTIONS
Land use conflicts between existing Industrial Park tenants and surrounding land uses (refuge) and future tenants should be minimized.
- PREVIOUS OR IN-PROCESS ENTITLEMENTS
A change of direction from the currently permitted range of industrial uses to a broader range of business park and commercial uses would need to provide significant economic and public value so that the potential loss of entitlement would be acceptable.
- ECONOMIC IMPACT
The economic impacts of a different range of uses must be equal to or more favorable than the economic impact of the range of uses that are currently permitted.
- RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES & PUBLIC ACCESS
Any new alternative must provide for the continued use of the levee trail and Columbia River waterfront by the public.
SELLING PORT PROPERTY
The considerations for selling Port property are (1) when the Port determines the sale is advantageous to the community and (2) the following additional factors are addressed:
- Type of industry
- Meet a level of employment of 7+ jobs per acre
- Level of capitalization
- Environmental responsibility
- Value added to the Community
- Diversification to the industrial base
- Leaves the Port with an acceptable inventory of remaining property
On February 20th and on March 3rd, during their regular meetings, the Commissioners discussed the draft guiding principles presented to them at the February 6th Workshop, and whether or not there was a need for additional criteria to use in considering the future use of the East Industrial Park.
On February 6th, at a Special Meeting/Workshop, facilitated by JD White/BERGER-ABAM, the Commissioners reviewed research in the form of a Technical Memo, Stakeholder Summary, and Market Assessment, At this Workshop, the Commissioners began consideration of draft guiding principles which will aid in the decision process. The guiding principles will be used to evaluate the two alternatives:
- The Port retains the property and keeps the current zoning and range of light and heavy industrial uses; or
- The Port retains the property and pursues rezoning to expand the range of uses.
- The Commission will also begin to discuss under what conditions the Port might sell a portion or all of the property.
January 28th, the Port invited the media and the public to ‘tour’ the East Industrial Park. The tour, while initially planned to be done from the viewing advantage of the levee, was held in the Port's Meeting Room due to unfavorable weather conditions. Using an aerial map and other graphics, this well-attended 'tour' was narrated by Scot Walstra, Director of Planning & Development. A Q&A period followed.
From the outset, the Port welcomed individuals and groups to contact the Port to schedule a Brown Bag Conversation (bring your own lunch) for the opportunity to sit down with Port Staff to learn more and ask questions about the process – either here or at a location of their choosing.
Additional information also appeared in the monthly Port News. Information and Comment Cards were made available at various locations in both Camas and Washougal, encouraging the public’s participation in the East Industrial Park Rezone Assessment process and welcoming their assistance in shaping the future of our region.