Citizens ask priority for parks, parking, and better streetscape

Heights Urban Renewal

CITY Planning Director Dustin Nilsen, left, talks with residents at the Heights URD open house.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
CITY Planning Director Dustin Nilsen, left, talks with residents at the Heights URD open house.

Nearly 100 people filled the meeting room at the Hood River Fire Station Nov. 9 to let city officials know their priorities for future investment in the Heights Urban Renewal District.

Based on “dot voting” with round colored adhesives, results seemed to favor sidewalk and other streetscape improvements, trees, angled parking, a pocket park, and placing utility lines underground as highest priorities.


The Hood River Heights Urban Renewal now has a specific page on the city’s website. Take a survey on what you consider to be the highest priority project type for the Heights Urban Renewal at

Each attendee received one large blue dot to indicate their highest priority and three small orange dots for next highest, and placed them on charts listing proposed improvements and amenities.

Community members can still register their ideas, via a survey on the city website for another week.

The Heights Urban Renewal District stretches from Oak and 13th streets, southward to 12th Street at Eliot and Brookside Drive. Businesses in the district are paying into a fund that accrues in order to do the projects.

The result will be the first-ever urban renewal enhancements in the Hood River Heights, and utilities and infrastructure, parking, public spaces, pedestrian and bicycle improvements are among projects being discussed and considered.

City Manager Steve Wheeler said, “We’ll assimilate what we learned, figure out what the preferences are and step back and figure out what do people want, what’s most important.” The priorities will be presented to the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, possibly in December, likely January.

“This is an opportunity for the community to express its vision in an area that has great value, and this is a great grassroots opportunity to see that happen,” City Planning Director Dustin Nilsen said.

The Heights “is growing as a more and more impactful part of the community,” Nilsen said. “It’s becoming increasingly an area for collection of people and investment, and gaining a whole lot of significance, and it’s great because now we’ll see some investment to embolden that. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

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