City Planning tables hearing on waterfront draft

The first public look at proposed mixed-use zoning for the waterfront has been delayed for two weeks.

Tonight the Hood River City Planning Commission will open — and then postpone — the formal hearing on the draft plan that has been advertised for 6 p.m. at the county courthouse. However, because of a trial that is currently underway, the appointed body will convene in the old city hall at the junction of State and Second streets.

As of press time on Tuesday, the city planning body was expected to set the new hearing date for Sept. 24. However, that date could also be changed because the Hood River County Planning Commission will be holding its third hearing on Wal-Mart’s application for a super center at 7:30 p.m. that same evening in Bowe Theatre at the Hood River Valley High School.

City Manager Lynn Guenther said no public testimony will be taken tonight because of the delay in the formal hearing process. He said staffers believed the continuation of the proceedings was necessary so that the City Council could be updated on the latest revisions to the proposed zoning code. He said the City Council will be briefed about these details during a Sept. 22 worksession which begins at 6 p.m., although the location has not yet been determined. No public comment will be taken on the issue at that time.

“This will give the council an opportunity to review and question any items in the proposed ordinance before it is time to take formal action,” Guenther said.

He said Mayor Paul Cummings and Councilors Linda Rouches and Charles Haynie have been working with the Hood River Port Commission for more than two years to resolve zoning issues that have scuttled past planning efforts. In addition, Guenther said several joint meetings have been scheduled between city and port officials to reach common ground on key areas of concern. These discussions have included the amount of space that would be dedicated for a public park, the allowable maximum heights of buildings and the minimum setbacks for construction along the shoreline.

According to Guenther, the council wants to see the outcome of these efforts and has not yet been provided with a copy of the draft zoning plan in its entirety.

“Staff felt this was an oversight that needed to be corrected before we went any further down the road,” he said.

In early June, the port requested that the city adopt a zoning ordinance that would accommodate recreational, commercial and industrial development. The municipality is charged with setting land-use designations for the properties under consideration between the riverside jetty known as the Hook and the Hood River.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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