Port looks at airfield, Gorge at ‘Expedited Review’

Port of Hood River: Planning for the future of Hood River’s Ken Jernstedt Airfield continues as the Port of Hood River hosts a public meeting today. This meeting will provide an update on the planning process that began in the fall of 2002 and is an opportunity for public input.

The Ken Jernstedt Airfield Master Plan Update meeting will be from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., at the main airport building that houses Flightline Services, 3608 Airport Rd.

The Port, working in conjunction with Oregon Department of Aviation and aviation planning consultant Century West Engineering, anticipates master plan development will be concluded by early 2004. When it is completed, the new master plan will guide development at Ken Jernstedt Airfield for the next 20 years.

Master plan topics that may be considered include potential property acquisitions, hangar construction, potential runway extension and airport security. Public input is encouraged.

The meeting will follow a 4-5:30 p.m. gathering of representatives from local, state and federal agencies, also held at Ken Jernstedt Airfield. For more information, contact the Port of Hood River at 386-1645. Updates will be available on-line at portofhoodriver.com

*** Columbia River Gorge Commission: Meeting at 8:30, Oct. 14 in the Bridgeview Room at Best Western Hood River Inn, the commission will consider two changes in the management plan that would reduce the amount of time needed for citizens to obtain a permit for small projects.

The Commission will debate a proposal to expand the types of projects allowed without a land use permit. They will also decide whether to create a new, shorter permit process, called “Expedited Review” for small projects that have little potential to affect sensitive resources.

“An expedited process would simplify decisions on small projects that have very minor effects on Gorge resources,” said Executive Director Martha Bennett. “These projects wouldn’t harm the Gorge’s historic, natural, or recreational values. With small projects like these, the scenery can generally be protected by requiring the development to be painted a dark, earth-tone color and by ensuring that the project isnÆt shiny or reflective.”

The proposal for projects that should be allowed without a National Scenic Area permit includes new traffic control signs, certain livestock fences, and replacement of existing underground utility lines. The proposed streamlined process would apply to a variety of small developments, including decks less than 500 square feet, additions less than 250 square feet, demolition of buildings less than 50 years old.

“This proposal addresses things that have become regulatory headaches,” Bennett said.

Also at its October meeting, the Commission will decide an appeal by Friends of the Columbia Gorge of a land use approval by the Executive Director of the Columbia River Gorge Commission for a handicapped accessible fishing dock at Rowland Lake in Klickitat County. Additionally, Commissioner Jane Jacobsen will give the Commission an update on the Confluence Project, a series of works of art recognizing the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Mosier Community School: The Board of the Mosier Community School will hold a regular meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Mosier Elementary School. The public is invited. For more information, call 478-3321.

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