City unveils wetland, habitat protection map

The City of Hood River will unveil its draft map to protect natural resources from development on June 19.

An inventory of wetlands, riparian corridors and wildlife habitat will be displayed from 6-8 p.m. at the Hood River Valley Adult Center, 2010 Sterling Place.

Information about the project and its effect on property uses will be explained by city planners, local natural resource agency officials and consultants. The open house will also list opportunities for public comment, including testimony before the City Planning Commission on July 2 and the City Council on July 14.

Jennifer Donnelly, city senior planner and project manager, said the inventory will be used to update the city’s comprehensive land-use plan and zoning code as required under Goal 5 of Oregon planning rules.

The Portland environmental/planning firm of Wetland Consulting was hired to perform the study last fall with $30,000 of grant funding from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

In late November, the city sent out more than 300 letters to landowners who could have their property subjected to a “sensitive site” overlay zone and protective setbacks within that designation. These individuals were also asked to give permission for officials to walk across their land and briefly study the vegetation and soils.

Donnelly said when the draft map is finalized, it will be used to protect fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality and management of stormwater runoff.

Donnelly said the Goal 5 requirements will help both the city and property owners meet federal and state environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act and the Oregon Removal-Fill Law.

For more information about the project or next week’s open house call Donnelly at 387-5224.

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