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Pool headed to planning commission for approval

Design plans and a code adjustment for parking for CPRD's $20 million aquatic center will be presented at April 14 meeting

The Chehalem Park and Recreation District’s $20 million pool project is set to clear a major regulatory hurdle when plans for the new aquatics center and renovations to the existing facility are reviewed by the Newberg Planning Commission at its 7 p.m. meeting April 14.

City planner Steve Olson will present the project for approval for Type III conditional use, Type II site design Review and Type I code adjustment concerning off-street parking.

Project architect Scott Edwards Architecture submitted the application to the city Jan. 29 and CPRD project manager Jim McMaster said he is optimistic about gaining approval after working with the city planning department over the last two and a half months. ARTIST RENDERING COURTESY OF SCOTT EDWARDS ARCHITECTURE - Plans for the Chehalem Park and Recreation District's $20 million aquatic center will be reviewed by the city of Newberg Planning Commission at its 7 p.m. meeting April 14 at the Newberg Public Safety Building.

“Hopefully, it’s smooth and we’ve done everything we’re supposed to do and we can move ahead,” McMaster said.

The code adjustment pertains to the number of off-street parking spaces that will be provided on the renovated site. According to CPRD’s application, a traffic impact study and parking analysis determined 197 spaces would be needed during periods of peak demand. The project site plan calls for 143 spaces and the application cites several factors that limit parking capacity well below 197, most notably because about 45,000 square feet of Babe Nicklous Park will be maintained. The new park will contain approximately 60 trees, a playground, basketball court and open lawn space.

CPRD received some vocal opposition on the planned removal of existing trees and the application asserts the reduction in parking spaces is a “necessary trade-off” to maintain the park, which is a “valuable piece of the community.”

McMaster said the city provided helpful suggestions for the project, including how the center will mitigate the loss of on-street parking along its side of Haworth Avenue due to a city-planned bike lane.

During big events at the facility, CPRD can request that the city close the bike lane for temporary parking.

“They’ve made some suggestions where we could do some things we didn’t realize, which is good,” McMaster said. “It’s a good relationship between two entities.”

McMaster said that nothing has cropped up to delay the project over the past two months and that the building design plans have progressed to the point where contractor Triplett-Wellman can more conclusively estimate costs, hopefully resulting in delivery of a maximum price as soon as late June.

“It’s hard to say, ‘Here’s a picture. How much is it going to cost me?’” McMaster said. “Now, everything from hooks on the wall to different kinds of filters, all of that stuff is out there so they can look at the cost and we’re hoping it’s less than the cost they’ve given us already. This month is going to be a busy month for us with plans and costs.”

The project is still on track to break ground in August or September and McMaster expects permit applications will be submitted sometime this summer.

“Hopefully things will move fast,” McMaster said. “I don’t know how long the city will take to review those plans. I think they understand our need to move as fast as we can to beat the weather, but we know their schedule is busy, too, so we’re just going to wait and see.”

The public is invited to provide feedback to the commission, either in person at the meeting, which will be held in the Newberg Public Safety Building, or by mail before noon April 11.

For more information on submitting comments, visit www.newbergoregon.gov/planning.