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Good development takes time

There is a saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” This holds true especially for city redevelopment projects.

The city is at the beginning of an exciting project, which may take 20 years to complete. And that is OK.

Carson

With the reconstruction of the Arch Bridge, the opening up of the Blue Heron properties (in West Linn and Oregon City) and the construction of the new police station in Willamette, the arch bridge-Bolton area is ripe for revitalization.

City staff, with the help of consultants, is working on a master plan to create a new identity for the area. We have received a lot of community input along the way, including an online survey and a three-day storefront studio, as well as community planning sessions. We are also benefiting from community input with an advisory committee for the plan.

The council recently heard draft concepts for the area. Some of the ideas include adding a hotel, creating a waterfront park under the Interstate 205 interchange (near the McLean House), building connectivity with trails and making public spaces on the river. The concepts include rethinking the Willamette Falls Drive and Willamette Drive intersection by realigning Willamette Drive near the old police station to create a multiple block “Main Street” with retail, office space and housing. Another element could be 250 to 350 housing units.

But all of this takes a lot of time and a lot of planning, a lot of input and a lot of patience. I would rather take this process slowly and make sure it is well thought-out and will work, rather than rush to get it done quickly only to realize we have made some poor decisions.

Look to some of the great redevelopments out our backdoor. Lake Oswego’s Millennium Plaza Park and the Portland waterfront did not happen overnight. It took years. But look at those thriving areas now.

Though you may not see it externally, progress is being made. The city council will be presented a draft plan for the area by the end of this year, and any required regulatory changes can be expected in 2015.

In the meantime, we are still want to hear from you. What do you envision in this area? What services does the city need?

If you want to learn more, sign up to take a walk with us. The city is hosting two walking tours of the plan area: Aug. 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and again on Aug. 23, from 10 a.m. to noon. To reserve a spot, visit http://bit.ly/1nFoVph.

City Councilor Jody Carson lives in West Linn. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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