Park pact remains in limbo


News staff writer

April 22

The Hood River Port Commission is ready to stop the “pingpong” match over waterfront park development guidelines.

This week the elected body shipped its fifth version of the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) for Lot 6 off to the City of Hood River. The port board debated on Tuesday about just signing off on the document that had been amended to eliminate any reference to the Columbia River Mixed Use Zone. However, the port decided to grant the city council the courtesy of reviewing the text first for any unseen errors or unaddressed concerns. The IGA has been repeatedly changed over the past six months at both ends to accommodate recommendations from officials and staff.

“This IGA has been bounced back and forth many times. And while it’s very important to get it right, we also need to get it done,” said Port President Sherry Bohn.

Without the joint agreement in place, the port will not turn over the deed to the city for about six acres along the shoreline. That property is designated to be used as a public park and a joint port/city advisory committee is already working to score state grant funding. However, the requested $500,000 is unlikely to be turned over to the local community without the property transfer being completed and development details worked out.

In the latest IGA text, the port deleted any language regarding Ordinance 1851. That move underscored the port’s recent request that 23 acres along the shoreline be left in its current light industrial zoning. The port believes it needs to change course from proposed commercial and residential land use designations to meet the growing demand for an expanded local business base.

At the April 19 meeting, the port declined to incorporate six new conditions requested by the city into the IGA. City attorney Alexandra Sosnkowski had sent a letter on April 13 informing the port that the city would agree to forgo its adoption of 1851 if a set of requested criteria was granted.

The city wants the port’s new master planning process to address variable building heights to prevent any singular wall of construction, establish a view corridor from Second Street and a pathway along the entire shoreline. In addition, the city is seeking a 75-foot setback along the riverfront for riparian protection and preservation of wetlands along the Hood River and the riverside jetty known as the Hook.

The port believed the IGA was not the proper venue to deal with these land-use issues. In the last two years, three citizen initiatives have been ruled illegal by state agencies because they circumvented existing statutes. The port did not want to inadvertently stray into that same territory. However, the agency has agreed to discuss the city’s list during the planning process, which will take place during the next several months.

The port board is hoping to overcome a challenge that Hood River County is facing in attracting new companies. A lack of “shovel ready” sites has kept several industries from siting in the local area — and bringing in more jobs.

On Monday, the city council will look over the port’s revised IGA at 6 p.m. in the municipal courtroom at the junction of State and Second streets. Councilors will decide whether to pull 1851 without having their conditions met, or proceed with the mixed-use zoning plan.

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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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