By Rachel Hoops, May 5, 2014, KULR News
Kennewick’s Vista Field has been closed for five months now, but just like the decision to close the airport – deciding what to do with the land has been a process.
On Monday, the Kennewick Planning Commission voted to recommend the Port of Kennewick’s request to re-zone the land from a public facility to commercial use – to city council
This re-zoning would make Vista Field in-line with much of the other zoning ordinances surrounding the property. The re-zone would also allow the land to be used for development, retail, office or residential use. The residential component of the re-zoning would help avoid a problem with similar areas when they go dark at 5:00P.M.
When it comes down to it, the Port of Kennewick says they want to make sure the area has more of a “downtown” feel to it.
“The opportunities are great, the idea – a walkable urban development. Not auto dependent, but still autos will be included. We’re going to have to get there, but we can get the people out of the car so you can walk around and enjoy this beautiful community and the weather that we have here rather than just drive from location to location,” Larry Peterson of the Port of Kennewick explained.
Now, there will be streets built across the land to help with traffic, particularly after an event at the Toyota Center or the Three Rivers Convention Center. These streets will not cost the taxpayers, as these streets can be funded by the sale of the property.
The Planning Commission’s recommendation to re-zone the land will now go to city council, and should go up for a vote at their council meeting next Tuesday, May 13th.
As for the Port of Kennewick, it’ll start a year-long process,including public input, to come up with a plan for the land, with a potential ground breaking in 2015.