The Fresh Look Milwaukie: Downtown Road Map project will share the results of its extensive public-input process and discuss possible policy changes to better develop downtown at a workshop at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 9, at the Milwaukie Masonic Lodge, 10636 S.E. Main St.

The project is an effort spearheaded by ALIGN planning, a group of urban-planning graduate students from Portland State University, in partnership with the city. The project's goal is to identify the missing pieces in current planning tools and policies and prioritize the development of those pieces through extensive community engagement.

Within the past month, ALIGN planning has sought input from a broad, diverse range of Milwaukie community members. The group conducted 18 informal interviews with community members, a walking tour, “coffee klatches” with downtown business owners, an online and hard copy survey that has elicited more than 100 responses, and outreach efforts to the elderly and Hispanic community.

Respondents' input about Milwaukie showed:

• Downtown Milwaukie’s restaurants are a draw for downtown visitors. A significant number (94 percent) of survey respondents visit downtown Milwaukie to eat. Also, 38 percent of those interviewed felt that local restaurants were one of the strengths of downtown Milwaukie.

• The Milwaukie Farmers Market is a powerful asset. Seventy-two percent of survey respondents visit downtown Milwaukie to attend events, and 22 percent of interviewees felt that the farmers market was one of downtown's strengths.

• There is a lot of development potential, specifically Riverfront Park and the area around the light-rail station in south downtown. About 70 percent of survey respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they would visit downtown more often if there were a better connection to Riverfront Park, and 27 percent of those interviewed felt that the future light-rail station in south downtown will become one of the strengths of the area.

Things respondents said that needed improvement:

• There is community support for more flexibility in terms of allowed uses on ground level spaces on Main Street. Almost half of the survey respondents said that the ground-floor use type doesn’t matter, as long as they attract on-street activity and provide a pleasant pedestrian experience, and 38 percent of the survey respondents felt that ground-level business space should have a mix of both offices and high-traffic retail.

• Downtown Milwaukie could benefit from more retail variety. Results from the survey suggest that 95 percent of respondents agree or strongly agree that an increased variety of shopping options in downtown Milwaukie would entice them to visit more often. Specifically, 27 percent wrote that some things they would like to see in downtown that are not there today is a better variety of nonchain restaurants and retail shopping.

• The community would like to see more shops in downtown to meet daily needs, such as a grocery store. Eighty-eight percent of survey respondents agree or strongly agree that downtown Milwaukie should be a destination for meeting daily needs; 27 percent of the survey respondents noted that a grocery store was one of the things they would like to see in Milwaukie that is not there today.

The outcome of this project will be a “road map” for downtown Milwaukie, providing a high-level, broad-reaching and value-based plan for the future. It will provide guidance on how to use and revise existing plans and policy tools related to downtown Milwaukie — in particular, the Framework Plan — and will be reviewed by the Milwaukie Planning Commission and City Council this summer.

For more information, visit,, or contact Associate Planner Li Alligood at 503-786-7627 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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