Will HR put ban on homes by water?

Planning commission urged to eliminate waterfront zones

The City of Hood River Planning Commission is looking into the prospect of restricting future residential development along the Hood River waterfront.

At the city council’s urging the planning commission placed the issue in its work session at its Sept. 17 meeting.

The commission is continuing to review options for how to approach development on the waterfront.

According to Planning Director Cindy Walbridge, every area of the waterfront which is zoned commercial or light industrial can be used as residential, provided that it has a density of 11 units per acre.

That would likely mean that any residential development of the waterfront would involve condominiums or apartments.

Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz encouraged the planning commission to act on restricting residential development at the waterfront because he feared the possibility of rental condominiums which could be dark and vacant for large portions of the year.

“They are going to sit down and discuss it and hopefully come up with a solution,” Babitz said.

The mayor added he would prefer the waterfront be developed with the light industrial and commercial job creators that it is primarily zoned for.

“I don’t think filling up the waterfront with those is a good idea,” he said of the prospect of apartments or condominiums.

The request the planning commission received from the city is to look at the possibility of removing all residential zoning north of Interstate 84 and west of the Hood River-White Salmon Interstate Bridge.

Walbridge said another possibility the planning commission will consider is whether or not the waterfront can work with mixed uses, such as putting residential condos or apartments on top of commercial units.

The planning commission is likely to take up the issue again at its Oct. 1 meeting and Walbridge said there may be a staff report on the issue at that meeting as well.

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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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