City of Damascus, Oregon Hosts a Second Transportation Planning Town Hall as Part of the Comprehensive Plan Development Process

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The City of Damascus, Oregon hosts a Town Hall meeting to discuss future transportation needs at Sunnyside Community Church, March 16, 2013

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Residents of Damascus gathered on a cool rainy Saturday to discuss the Transportation System Plan (TSP) that will be needed to accommodate the expected growth in Damascus over the coming years. The meeting was hosted by the Committee for Citizen Involvement with help from the City of Damascus Staff and Kittelson & Associates. Representatives from ODOT, Damascus City Council, the Damascus Planning Commission, and the TSP Citizen Advisory Committee were also in attendance. The possible future road network, road alignments in the Town Center area, street cross section design, and options for pedestrian and bicycle use were the four main topics of the meeting. Information gathered at the meeting will be used by the Transportation System Plan (TSP) team in their work to finalize the plan.

To kick off the meeting, the City’s Public Works Director, Steve Gaschler, reminded people why this work is being done. He quoted from the Damascus Core Values, “We value attractive, vibrant, and sustainable communities developed in an environmentally responsible manner and where people have the opportunity to live, work, play, shop, and learn. In this community, we value an efficient, safe, convenient and financially feasible system of transportation with choices for all users.” The bulk of the meeting was devoted to small group stations focused on one of the four main topics. Attendees were encouraged to mingle between the stations and talk with the TSP team members at each station.

The team working on the TSP was pleased with the results of the meeting. Steve Gaschler, the City’s Public Works Director, said, “There was nice discussion and we received a lot of good ideas and comments on the information presented today. Now our task is to incorporate the input from the citizens into the Transportation System Plan so that when it goes before Council and ultimately back to the people, it is a plan that reflects the desires of the community.”

The meeting was the 10th in a series of regular Town Hall meetings as the City moves forward in the Comprehensive Plan development process.

The purpose of comprehensive plans is to coordinate the harmonious development of cities to meet present and future needs, making wise use of 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 is scheduled for April 6, 2013 from 1-3 P.M. at Sunnyside Community Church. The Natural Features Strategy is on the agenda. It will be preceded by a separate Town Hall from 11:30 to 12:30 focusing on the Damascus Healthy Food Plan.

Future Town Halls:
April 27 – Comprehensive Plan and Development Code
May – TBD

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

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Todd Loggan, Communications and Community Involvement Director
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