Port of Camas-Washougal proposes park on waterfront

By Aaron Corvin, September 29, 2014, The Columbian

The Port of Camas-Washougal has filed a request with the city of Washougal seeking preliminary site plan approval to build a 5.73 acre waterfront park along the Columbia River.


It’s the port’s latest step in a larger effort to transform a 40-acre parcel into a mix of recreational, commercial and residential spaces.


As part of that effort, the port wants to create a 5.73 acre waterfront park with several park amenities, including restrooms, a picnic shelter, fishing pier, two parking facilities, a community event plaza and lawn area, water-access locations and a 12-foot-wide paved trail that “meanders along the waterfront for a distance of 0.7 miles,” according to the port’s application. “Other improvements include trail and parking lot lighting, benches, native landscaping enhancements, river viewpoints, a 24-foot-wide access roadway and various utility improvements.”


The city of Washougal will examine the project’s potential environmental impacts, as required by the Washington State Environmental Policy Act. As part of that review, the city is collecting public comments on the port’s proposal.


The deadline for written comments is 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27. Written comments may be submitted to the city of Washougal, 1701 C St., Washougal, 98671 or by email to jessica.herceg@cityofwashougal.us.


David Ripp, the port’s executive director, said he expects the proposal’s environmental review to go smoothly. “I’m excited,” he said. “I can’t wait to get to construction.”


To help pay for construction, estimated to cost $2.3 million, the port is pursuing grant funding from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. If all goes as planned, construction of the park and trail could launch in either late spring or early summer of 2015.


The park and trail improvements would complement a longer-term initiative: redeveloping a 40-acre waterfront site that’s 1.5 miles west of Washougal’s downtown and bounded by Highway 14 and the Columbia River.


The waterfront site includes a former lumber mill parcel. The port owns about 67 percent of the overall site, while Killian Pacific, the Vancouver-based commercial real estate developer, owns 33 percent of it through its affiliate, Parkers Landing LLC.


Together, the port and Killian Pacific hope to transform the entire 40 acres into a focal point where people may live, work and play. As the port puts it in its project application to the city of Washougal, “by attracting people to the waterfront, the park and trail will function as an economic development catalyst and help revitalize the surrounding area.”


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