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Sept. 17, 2012
To the Editor;
In case you are not aware; in the midst of the cable park debate and the Wal Mart expansion controversy, the mayor of Hood River is pushing to restrict residential development from the area lying north of I-84 (The Port).
If this comes to fruition there will be some long term and debilitating consequences. At this moment the Port Commissioners are considering various options on what to do with that large vacant space we see when we look north down Second Street (Ed: Lot 1) and we have an opportunity to create a wonderful and well planned work/live/play environment down there unless this idea of the mayor takes hold.
It is not a secret that we are lacking affordable/work force/attainable housing yet this restriction on residential development would take any possibility of this use for that land out of consideration. The less real estate we have for multi-family housing the more it will cost.
I visualize a mixed use development down at the port; combining a work place with a live place and a play place. I am not talking about expensive condominiums. I am talking about market rate rental apartment units mixed in with office space and enough retail to support the residences and the office workers. I am talking about a place for a wage earner who works at Tofurky or a brewmaster who works at Pfriem or even an engineer who works at Hood Tech to live and walk to work. Imagine that!
We need this type of development in our town. We need affordable rental housing. We do not need our mayor, who to my knowledge has no real estate development experience nor land use planning training, putting more restrictions on our ability to achieve this.
Please pay attention to what is in the works and let the Planning Commission and the City Councilors know what you think. A lot of times things like this happen when we are not paying attention. A lot of times these things come to being without considering all the ramifications. Speak up!