Port submits Lot 1 plan

Planning Commission to consider subdivision

The Port of Hood River has sent to city planners a subdivision application for the last patch of developable land on the Hood River waterfront.

Fourteen-acre Lot 1 will eventually become the “Confluence Business Park,” an urban development sporting a range of light industrial, commercial and recreational uses — according to emerging plans.

The port submitted the subdivision plan in July, and the City of Hood River has since been processing it.

Kevin Liburdy, Hood River senior planner, said the city planning commission will review the proposal at a public hearing on Nov. 6, and a staff report should be available about a week before that meeting.

Talks about what will occupy the mostly-vacant lot at North Second and First streets have buzzed for decades. A path forward became clear in late 2014, when the port and city adopted the Waterfront Refinement Plan, which guides new construction along the Columbia River.

“The Confluence Business Park subdivision will set the stage for future waterfront development,” the port said in its application. “The size and location of this property on the waterfront creates significant opportunities to establish a signature development that will meet the community’s needs for additional employment with improved circulation and recreational access.”

Walker Macy, a Portland-based firm, created the development plan for the port, based on considerations that rose up in a lengthy public process and visioning period that ended last year.

The port contracted another firm, BergerABAM, to help prepare the Confluence Business Park subdivision proposal, which identifies legal lots within the greater parcel.

The subdivision cuts Lot 1 into six lots — ranging in size from about half an acre to 1.74 acres — and creates two separate tracts: a private street with public access, and nearly five acres of open space, including part of Nichols Basin West Edge Trail.

All parcels slated for the business park are zoned Light Industrial (though a sub-area allows some commercial use).

Port staff noted that no buildings are proposed in the current subdivision request, but “all future buildings in the proposed Confluence Business Park will mirror the existing development at the waterfront.”

Pedestrian routes through the project core aim for a walkable, park-like design.

Site access has been a challenge, as city and port officials noted at a “Lot 1 Open House” in fall 2015. The main concern is interlocking the Oregon Department of Transportation’s interchange plan and the city’s transportation strategies in order to establish a smooth traffic flow along the heavily used Interstate 84 exit 63, according to a summary attached to the port’s subdivision application.

The document addresses such congestion with a block-like grid that aims to keep traffic circulating.

Details on city planning commission meetings and agenda items are posted at www.ci.hood-river.or.us/ planning.

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