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Urban renewal proposal discussion tonight

Estacada studies Urban Renewal District for Estacada's commercian core

The City of Estacada is encouraging property and business owners in the downtown core to attend tonight's Town Hall meeting to discuss the proposed urban renewal district. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The draft Estacada Urban Renewal Plan, which includes $6.6 million in proposed project work, was laid on the table by city staff and has received initial skepticism from Estacada Rural Fire District officials.

An urban renewal district, already adopted by 54 Oregon cities and four counties, is designed to leverage funds without raising taxes.

If the Estacada city council decides to adopt an urban renewal district, the Clackamas County Assessor would freeze the assessed value of taxable property within the defined boundary. As property values increase through both public and private investments, the taxes above the freeze line would be turned over to the urban renewal agency, often to pay for bonded indebtness as projects are developed for the benefit of the district. When a district has paid off its debt obligations, all of the new value created is added back to the general tax rolls.

The Estacada Urban Renewal Plan includes transportation, public facilities, public buildings and planning and development assistance improvements within the 70-acre downtown Estacada core. City officials would like to repave all of the downtown streets as well as improve public parking. It's also in the plan to revamp the sewer and water systems.

A copy of the draft Estacada Urban Renewal Plan can be found online at www.cityofestacada.org.

Light refreshments will be served at tonight's Town Hall. The Estacada Planning Commission is scheduled to hear the proposed plan on Thursday, March 22, and the city council will hear the proposal on Monday, April 23. The public is welcome at all of these meetings.