Join city planners next week to help shape the development of key sites in downtown and central Milwaukie.

Focus your comments on five downtown parcels, and what mix of uses they could help encourage, during a meeting at Milwaukie High School, 11200 S.E. 23rd Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.

Discuss how you’d like to see central Milwaukie change, from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, at the Public Safety Building, 3200 S.E. Harrison St. Of special concern are two large empty lots near Highway 224 behind Milwaukie Marketplace on Railroad Avenue and near 32nd Avenue and Harrison Street.

City spokesman Grady Wheeler credited Associate Planner Li Alligood with achieving a format that’s better than your typical city meeting.

“We’re hearing a lot of really, really good things about these meetings — they’re interactive, there’s real-time voting, a lot of visuals to react to,” Wheeler said.

On Oct. 3, 33 people attended the Moving Forward Milwaukie: Enhancing Our Commercial Corridors Kickoff open house and workshop at St. John’s Episcopal Church. After a brief presentation by Planning and Community Development Director Steve Butler, participants took a visual preference survey to provide their opinions on what future development should look like in Milwaukie. Respondents liked photos of rows of buildings that bordered sidewalks over lone structures or buildings surrounded by parking.

For building heights below five stories, more respondents favored buildings of two to three stories. Planners had asked about structures with more than five stories, but no one was willing to say that they preferred the most extreme option available. In the survey, they also preferred town homes and mixed-use commerical/residential buildings for housing downtown, where they demanded more retail and restaurants.

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