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Hood River City Commision meeting Monday. Be heard!
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scooter_bell



Joined: 15 Nov 2006
Posts: 44

PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:18 pm    Post subject: Hood River City Commision meeting Monday. Be heard! Reply with quote

THIS Monday Night, the 16th,

Speak up for keeping Hood River's waterfront public and accessible!


Tell the Hood River Planning Commission to REJECT a Portland
developer's plan for a private "cable park" on Hood River's
waterfront!

This Monday night at 5:30 pm at City Hall (211 Second Street) the
Planning Commission will be deciding whether to approve plans for a
massive wake boarding cable park, hotel, 234 space parking lot, and
commercial building on Hood River's waterfront at the Nichols boat
basin.

Does your vision for the Hood River waterfront include: Converting
publicly owned waters from public use to private for-profit use? 7
large crane-like towers connecting a spider's web of steel cables that
would sit idle like an abandoned amusement park for 6 months a year?
Over 280 concrete anchors which each weighing 300 pounds? Over 11,000
square feet of new private docks
and infrastructure over the water?

And, most importantly, three quarters of the publicly owned boat basin
will be blocked off to all who want to continue to enjoy this area for
other uses.

While Hood River's Mayor is claiming the cable park is really an issue
to be debated at a later time, before the Hood River Port Commission
(see last Saturday's, 4-7-12, HR News Business section), this ignores
the reality that the Planning Commission has FULL LEGAL authority to
stop this project now since the developer has not even prepared basic
reports and impact studies required to justify approval by the City.
In fact, there is not even a revised site plan showing the correct
locations of the hotel and commercial buildings and cable towers.

While the City has tried to claim that the cable park is exempt from
the City's planning rules since it's on the water, there is simply NO
legal support for this claim. Would it be politically more convenient
to approve the cable park while ignoring all of its impacts and the
need to meet city land use rules? Sure. But it would be bad for Hood
River's waterfront and set a bad precedent.

Please join Friends of the Hood River Waterfront in telling the
Planning Commission that it should DENY this application. A full
debate and evaluation of a cable park should be part of a
community-wide process BEFORE the city approves building permits not
after. With so little information, questions regarding jurisdictional
authority, and a continually changing site plan there are just too
many unknowns.

To review our detailed comments to the Commission visit our Facebook
page or email Derek at scooter_bell@Facebook.com
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AirTym



Joined: 31 May 2003
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Can't Imagine Restricted Use in Basin Reply with quote

I for one would totally reject being blocked from utilizing previously-public water access down in the basin, so that they could make a buck half the year by privatizing it & building the noisy (& likely environmentally hazardous) eyesore, surely a blight on the central Gorge's stunning beauty & peacefulness in more ways than I can fathom at this time.
Show up at the meeting, stakeholders. To listen, at least, and be heard if you too have concerns &/or comments. I plan to do so.
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geohaye



Joined: 03 Apr 2000
Posts: 1355

PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Scooter for bringing this to everyone's attention.

This would definitely be a meeting worth attending.
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jsampiero



Joined: 20 Jun 2006
Posts: 676

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Hood River City Commision meeting Monday. Be heard! Reply with quote

Scooter,

While I fully respect your opinion, I think a little clarification is needed. The way you perceive this project (and the way you're presenting it to others) is off. While I appreciate your concerns for the process, it seems like you've made a decision before hearing the facts, and now you're drumming up as many possible reasons as you can to back up your position.


scooter_bell wrote:
THIS Monday Night, the 16th,


at 5:30 pm at City Hall (211 Second Street) the
Planning Commission will be deciding whether to approve plans for a
massive wake boarding cable park, hotel, 234 space parking lot, and
commercial building on Hood River's waterfront at the Nichols boat
basin.


"Massive"? Disney World is "massive". Rollercoasters are "massive". The MGM Grand in Vegas is "massive". We're not talking about a large amount of space on land, and the site plan hardly packs a TON of building/construction into it, and it opens up that area to pedestrian walkway and community use. From the land use side, this is only an improvement. As far as the cable park, do you consider power lines or telephone poles "massive"? It's a practical equivalent.

In terms of leveraging private use land for profit: How is this different from a marina? A ski resort? Many of our country's sports arenas? Wait - wouldn't the Kayak shed have been utilizing public water for profit by conducting lessons there?

scooter_bell wrote:

Does your vision for the Hood River waterfront include: Converting
publicly owned waters from public use to private for-profit use? 7
large crane-like towers connecting a spider's web of steel cables that
would sit idle like an abandoned amusement park for 6 months a year?
Over 280 concrete anchors which each weighing 300 pounds? Over 11,000
square feet of new private docks
and infrastructure over the water?

And, most importantly, three quarters of the publicly owned boat basin
will be blocked off to all who want to continue to enjoy this area for
other uses.


Does your vision include the current derelict, uncared for state of that area as is? Is that area currently teeming with people, year-round? Put in a cable park, and that 3/4 of a boat basin is going to get WAY more use in one year than it has in the last twenty.

And as far as "blocked off" - do you think they're going to erect a barrier? In hours the cable park isn't running, kayakers and boaters will be able to traverse the entire boat basin. During hours the cable is running, there's the end of the boat basin, and a half dozen other viable places for SUPing, Kayaking, fishing...

"7 large crane-like towers" and "spider's web of cable" - the cable park includes significantly less visual impact than you're describing.

scooter_bell wrote:

A full debate and evaluation of a cable park should be part of a
community-wide process BEFORE the city approves building permits not
after. With so little information, questions regarding jurisdictional
authority, and a continually changing site plan there are just too
many unknowns.


Isn't that what we're DOING right now?! Wink

I'm not sure what you know about development, but site plans/permitting is in constant state of flux. The plans express the intent.

AirTym wrote:
I for one would totally reject being blocked from utilizing previously-public water access down in the basin, so that they could make a buck half the year by privatizing it & building the noisy (& likely environmentally hazardous) eyesore, surely a blight on the central Gorge's stunning beauty & peacefulness in more ways than I can fathom at this time.


AirTym, I've said it before in this thread, but it's probably buried: It's NOT noisy (quieter than conversation) and it's NOT environmentally hazardous. This part of the river is NOT a suitable spawning habitat, it's NOT widely used by fishers, and in regards to the Gorge's stunning beauty, it's located in the heart of an already developed area. Currently surrounded by HRD and the oh-so-gorgeous 76 Gas station. Heck, I'm just happy that after the hotel is built, that place is probably going to have enough business to get a facelift.

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arthurb



Joined: 31 May 1999
Posts: 12

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A reminder: Planning Commission decisions are based on a specific list of criteria. The most effective testimony tells them how the proposal does or does not meet the criteria. You can find the list of criteria in the staff report http://centralpt.com/upload/361/15380_Naito.pdf. Time for verbal testimony will be limited by the chair (usually 3-5 minutes per person). Written testimony can be submitted up to the meeting time, though if you're submitting it on the final day I recommend making it brief, as they've already received stacks of written material which they've probably been reviewing all weekend.
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jota



Joined: 28 Feb 2001
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're entitled to your opinion Josh, and they're entitled to theirs. I realize you are respecful and try to stick to facts, so that's fine, I'm not calling you out.

But I won't quibble with the use of the word "massive" or other details - I think the main point is that many people don't think this project fits with the image of Hood River as an outdoor sports and natural environment destination.

I could totally respond to every one of your points, as you did to the prior poster, but I won't bother. (Well, okay - just because it's not the MGM Grand doesn't means it's not out of scale, and of course this isn't like the Kayak Shed's concession, and your ski area analogy is totally a red herring, and the freaking pedestrian path will not even be along the waterfront - it will be behind the hotel and office building . . . .) You're just stretching and distorting the facts to fit your desired conclusion!

Just because the area is an eyesore now doesn't mean we can't wait for a better project there. We fought a hotel on Lot 6 (an eyesore) for years, and then the Waterfront park came along, thankfully.
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Mulekick84



Joined: 18 Mar 2006
Posts: 344

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jota said:
Quote:
I think the main point is that many people don't think this project fits with the image of Hood River as an outdoor sports and natural environment destination.


I'm certainly not one of them! I think the cable park fits perfectly! Its a Great outdoor sport! One that will give kids yet another sports alternative to gaming or facebooking, not to mention honing their skills for snowboarding/kiting.

When you're riding a cable park, you cannot even hear the smooth motors. Some of you guys are totally clueless!

I think support for the project is going to be strong! I want to see it happen!

Maybe this project will keep the Columbia Queen from coming back! Could you imagine the impact to access if they dredge a route back in to the basin?

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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2417

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm just a tourist at hood river. the log jams of people in high traffic times are getting bad now. why would anyone want to add to that? if the repelling factor in the highest of traffic times leads to displeasing your base when it's there at its height, the largest number of your consumers will feel jaded. bad move. look at panama city, myrtle beach, daytona. they repel the highest demographic, and get the lowest coming back for more. i've had to deal with the traffic issue in tourist and retirement towns in florida for years. i try avoid the most annoying times. does hood river want to expand those annoying times? folks like me that want less of what they get at home while on their vacations tend to avoid traffic jams.

sight pollution, congestion, and blocking of the hood river access all seem to add to the potential liabilities. what about any fish swimming upstream up hood river, do they matter? why would a private enterprise have and block the hood river for all other users? what about canoe and kayak folks? anyone doing the white water SUP thing down hood river? what happens when another giant runoff event happens? who cleans up the mess then?

the cable park in central florida is placed in an industrial area along a major highway. to me, it looks crappy. to others, it does not. but, at least it's not adding to road bottle necks and such.

again, bingen seems to have all the same elements as the cable park area in central florida. bingen could certainly use the economic boost too.

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jota



Joined: 28 Feb 2001
Posts: 183

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your comments, jiigebritsen. Just to clarify, however, the proposed cable park will be in the old Nichols boat basin, which is completely separate from the Hood River itself.

The boat basin is a still body of water connected to the Columbia River by an increasingly small channel that comes out between the event site and the "sandbar." So this won't block Hood River access, or fish swimming upstream.

I think your comments about congestion, based on your Florida experience, are right on and very instructive for us here. We are at that critical point where congestion around the waterfront/downtown/bridge crossing are becoming unreasonable during peak months, and we should be very cautious about anything that might push us over the brink.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14157

PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were a developer or a builder or an investor, I'd be scared $#!+less about investing my money in tourism in this house-of-cards economy. At the very LEAST, I would sign absolutely nothing until mid November, and then only if the present administration, from top to bottom, is ousted before it can achieve its stated goal of ANOTHER doubling of gasoline prices. I live in the fastest-growing urban community in the U.S., but even here real estate is finally feeling some negative impact from national market forces. Even worse than an amusement park shoehorned into a small resort town is a defunct amusement park abandoned in a small resort town.

Mike \m/
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