Damascus, Oregon Hosts Land Use and Zoning Town Hall as Part of the Comprehensive Plan Development Process

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City of Damascus, Oregon Hosts Land Use and Zoning Town Hall at Sunnyside Community Church on Saturday, February 23rd, 2013.

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We wanted to show the people we were listening and were implementing their suggestions and this Town Hall was an opportunity for us to get more citizen input as we refine the maps.

How might your property or your neighbor’s property be zoned? What kind of land use or development might happen in your neighborhood?

The City of Damascus moved forward with its development of a Comprehensive Plan with a Town Hall meeting presenting revised drafts of the proposed land use and zoning maps on Saturday, February 23nd, 2013. Over 50 residents of Damascus, along with members of the Planning Commission, City Council, and City Staff attended the Town Hall. The purpose of the Town Hall meeting was to ask the citizens what they want to see in the land use and zoning maps that will guide the development of the city.

“This was an opportunity for us to unveil the revised land use and zoning maps and to get further input from the community,” said Katherine Ruthruff, Chairperson of the Damascus Planning Commission. “There was a lot of confusion among folks about what they would be able to do with their land after the first maps were presented in October, so the Planning Commission went back and made the maps a lot simpler. We wanted to show the people we were listening and were implementing their suggestions and this Town Hall was an opportunity for us to get more citizen input as we refine the maps.”

“What we have are three groups of people with different concerns about the plan, and how the zoning maps will affect them,” said John Morgan, Community Development Director for the City of Damascus. “Group one are the current residents who want to protect the future of Damascus, and have concerns about how growth will change the city. Group two are those that are concerned about the legacy aspect of their property and want to be sure the changes will increase the value of their property. Group three are the developers who want to know what the rules will be guiding development in the city. All of these are legitimate concerns we hope we can address and meet the needs of all of these groups with our land use and zoning maps.”

“I think the meeting went really well,” said Ruthruff. “We had a lot of new faces here with some really good input. The land use and zoning maps are really what it comes down to. This is what determines what people can do with their property in the future. I hope this generates people coming in to City Hall and telling us what’s right and what’s wrong with the plan.”

The next step in the process is for the maps to move forward to the City Council for consideration and inclusion into the Comprehensive Plan.

The purpose of comprehensive plans is to coordinate the harmonious development of cities to meet present and probable future needs and resources in order to promote the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens. The City encourages all of the citizens of Damascus to come have their questions concerning the transportation elements of the proposed Comprehensive Plan answered and have their voices heard in this vital step in moving the Comprehensive Plan forward.

The next Town Hall meeting will be the second meeting on the Transportation System Plan

Saturday, March 16, 2013
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Sunnyside Community Church, 16444 SE Hwy 212, Damascus, Ore.

Future Town Halls:
April 6 – Development Code and Zoning Map
April 27 – Comprehensive Plan and Development Code

Public Hearings on the draft Comprehensive Plan, Development Code, Public Facility Plan, and Transportation System Plan will be held in May, June, and July. It is anticipated the draft plans will be on the November 2013 election ballot for citizen approval.

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John N. Morgan AICP, Community Development Director
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