|Vision of Rhody's future offered in February meeting posted on 03/01/2021|
Clackamas County and MIG Consultants hosted a Zoom meeting
on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to present a draft of three design alternatives for the
Rhododendron Main Street Site Redevelopment Plan and share community feedback
gathered from a survey conducted in December 2020.
The presentation highlighted the community survey
participants’ preference for a redevelopment plan that includes rental housing
on the site over a design alternative featuring a larger hotel.
Jon Pheanis, the representative for MIG Consultants,
presented design alternatives for associated transit, frontage and crossing
improvements for the redevelopment site.
These elements have all received positive feedback from the
community during the outreach and planning period.
“We’re not starting from scratch, that’s not what this
project is about,” Pheanis said. He detailed MIG’s goal of supporting the
community’s vision while integrating transportation and land use planning.
“The redevelopment site’s location between the river and the
highway poses challenges due to setback requirements,” Pheanis added.
Of the three design concepts, one featured a hotel and
additional retail space, while the other two consisted of a mixture or rental
housing and retail. The survey results showed a strong preference for rental
housing and a general disapproval for the out-of-scale design of a larger
Pheanis stated that Clackamas County and the Oregon
Department of Transportation had informed the consultants that zoning requirements
would limit the proposed number of housing units on the site and that
development would need to comply with a legal requirement to preserve access to
the separate lots.
“ODOT is eager to assist the redevelopment in enabling safer
access for all users,” said ODOT representative Kate Hawkins.
Hawkins stated a traffic study would be the next step for
transportation planning in the community. Hawkins added that many of the
proposed changes would be easier to implement after the department sees the construction
of a sidewalk.
“We want to work with the community here,” she said.
Brett Fischer, a representative for the owners of the
private property at the proposed development site, stated that any development
planning would make it difficult to include a location for the Park and Ride
service which currently utilizes the lots. Fischer added that access to the
private property for use by the Park and Ride was a temporary allowance until
the sites were developed.
Senior Planner for Clackamas County Scott Hoelscher stated
that the next step of the redevelopment process would entail prioritizing
frontage improvements which can only take place pending both funding and the
development of the private property at the site.
“The private property’s development is not guided by the
county, although the overall redevelopment is a community effort built by
consensus we hope,” Hoelscher said.
Hoelscher stated the county would examine the feedback and
comments from the community while continuing to access the redevelopment plan.
“It’s a community project, we want to hear from everyone,”
Fischer said about the private property owners' desire to incorporate community
feedback into their decision-making process.
$68,350 in funding to
hire the MIG consulting team came from a Transportation and Growth Management
Grant – Quick Response Program from ODOT and Oregon Department of Land
Conservation and Development.
More information about the project, including a video of the
Feb. 10 meeting and a PDF of the draft recommendations, is available online at
Scott Hoelscher can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ben Simpson/MT