The city of Milwaukie has secured a state grant that will help pay for the transportation and development planning for the area around the future Tacoma light rail station and prospective minor league baseball stadium site in the North Industrial Area.
In June 2011 the city was awarded a $148,000 grant from the State Transportation Growth Management (TGM) program to undertake the planning for the half-mile area within Milwaukie that surrounds the Tacoma light rail station. In April, City Council authorized staff to move forward with the Tacoma Station Area Plan Project.
'You look at how light rail has brought to life the Interstate corridor to the north, and we want to position our community to take advantage of those same kinds of benefits,' Planning Director Kate Mangle said.
Mangle explains current land use policy and transportation infrastructure is not in place to encourage or allow the type of development and uses that would take best advantage of the station or baseball facility.
'A substantial amount of planning work and transportation analysis will be necessary to realize development that could energize this area, and the TGM grant is funding this effort,' Mangle said.
The effort will carry a significant public involvement component; actively reaching out to the city's neighboring Ardenwald/Johnson Creek and Historic Milwaukie Neighborhood Associations and the area's businesses and property owners. A series of one-on-one interviews with interested parties is being scheduled, and a Stakeholder Advisory Group and Technical Advisory Group will also meet periodically throughout the project to develop the project's recommendations for the 15-acre project area. A community meeting forecast for September 2012 will showcase three different redevelopment scenarios for public input, and another community meeting in early 2013 will present a Draft Tacoma Station Area Plan.
'We're working really hard right now to understand the area's traffic limitations,' Mangle explained. 'With that as a framework, the three options will explore a wide-range of combinations - a mix of industrial, entertainment, retail, office and residential uses. But all three options will focus on improving bicycle and pedestrian access in this area, stimulating growth without hindering the area's rail-dependent industrial uses, and creating jobs and amenities for the surrounding community.'
To track the progress of this project, follow the Tacoma Station Area Plan Project under the Projects tab on the city's homepage, located at cityofmilwaukie.org.