Pathway to Barrett Park proceeds

Public can give input at May 9 planning hearing

The West side of Hood River may be poised to enjoy a new park facility if upcoming Hood River County Planning Commission meetings go well and county department staff advice is followed.

With the 31.5 acres already purchased by the county poised for transformation into a public park, the formal review procedures are now under way.

A public Planning Commission meeting is scheduled for May 9, where the Hood River County Parks and Recreation department hopes to have a clearer picture to present to the community on the property located at the corner of Barrett and Alameda drives.

In anticipation of that meeting, county community development department staff have prepared a 20-page staff report, evaluating zoning and amenity issues that will dictate the future nature of the park currently zoned EFU (exclusive farm use).

Section 7.40(F) of the planning code notes that EFU-zoned land “allows parks, playgrounds or community centers owned and operated by a government agency ...” as a conditional use. The county will proceed to seek allowance under a “passive and low-intensity” park definition, issued by staff at Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

That zoning pathway to development places some very specific limitations on the types of facilities and land-alterations that may take place — essentially “minimizing any permanent or intense development or infrastructure.”

Translated by planning staff, those restrictions resulted in the following recommended changes (among others) to the proposal under consideration:

n Parking spaces would be reduced from 119 to 70 spaces and would not be paved with asphalt or slab concrete, but may be hard-surfaced. A grassy overflow parking area for 30 additional vehicles would be made available.

n Elimination of the bike skill development area trail and bocce ball courts

n Three picnic shelters, a restroom building and small playground would be the only structures

n No portions of the park shall be lined or contain backstops, bases, goal posts, rails, tracks or other facilities used to accommodate organized sports

n Park shall not be reserved for nor encouraged for use by organized teams or events

n Access road, parking areas and pathways may not be paved unless for ADA accessibility

n An erosion/sediment control plan must be submitted and approved

A full copy of the staff report may be obtained by request at the Hood River County Parks and Recreation Department or the Community Development Department.

The Planning Commission meeting is 7 p.m. May 9, 601 State St., 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 www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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