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Westside Plan meeting, forum happen two nights this week

The Westside Area Concept Plan returns to business this week with two events, including the Aug. 16 meetings of the City of Hood River’s Westside Technical Advisory and Project Advisory committees (TAC and PAC) starting at 2 p.m.

FORUM AND MEETINGS

Aug. 15 — Forum, 6 p.m. at Center for the Arts, downtown

Aug. 16 — Plan meetings and open house, 5 p.m., HR fire hall

All project documents are available at hrwestsideplan.com/project-documents

City Senior Planner Kevin Liburdy said the city’s website on the Concept Plan has been updated to include materials for the next round of advisory committee meetings, to be held at the Hood River Fire Station at 1785 Meyer Parkway.

On Aug. 15, Hood River Valley Residents Committee and Livable Hood River host a forum focusing on “integrating nature into neighborhoods,” featuring a talk by Mike Houck, director of Portland’s Urban Greenspaces Institute. The talk is the second in a series of “What’s Up with the Westside?” forums sponsored by the two advocacy groups.

Executive Director Heather Staten of the residents committee said the goal is “to generate discussion and citizen participation in the Westside Area Concept Plan.”

On Aug. 16, the TAC will meet from 2-4 p.m. (TAC’s agenda does not include time for public comments.)

An open house follows from 5-6 p.m., and project members will be available to discuss working drawings and recommendations.

The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) will meet from 6-9 p.m. and time for public comments is included on their agenda.

Houck will speak at 6:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave. in Hood River. Doors open at 6 p.m. with a no-host bar and light appetizers. Admission is free.

According to Staten, Urban Greenspaces Institute’s motto “In Livable Cities is Preservation of the Wild” reflects its philosophy that well-designed, nature-rich cities are beautiful, equitable, compact, and ecologically sustainable places to live, reducing urban sprawl across the rural landscape.

Staten said, “Proactive, comprehensive planning with lots of public input leads to better places. The Westside Area Concept Plan is a great opportunity for our community to consider how parks, trails and greenspace could fit into Hood River neighborhoods”

Houck founded the Urban Greenspaces Institute in 1999 and has served for the past 35 years as Urban Naturalist for the Audubon Society of Portland. He is also co-founder of The Intertwine Alliance, a coalition of 150 public and private groups.

working to integrate nature more deeply into the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region.

Houck will talk about creating cities where the built and natural environments are interwoven, not set apart. He’ll come with examples from his work with the Intertwine in the Portland-Vancouver region as well as advice for how Hood River can integrate urban green infrastructure — parks, trails, streams and wetlands, fish and wildlife habitat, urban forests, and greenspaces — with the built environment. He’ll also describe how green infrastructure can help communities deal with climate change, both in mitigation and adaptation. Prior to his presentation Tuesday evening, Houck will explore some of the proposed bike/pedestrian routes identified in the Westside Area Concept Plan, and offer his feedback at the evening presentation.



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