A proposed zone change drew concerned citizens to the Wednesday evening, Jan. 5, Clatskanie City Council meeting.

Council Meeting

The Clatskanie City Council meets each month at city hall, 75 S Nehalem Street, in Clatskanie. Clatskanie City Hall may be reached at 503-728-2622.

The council listened to concerned citizens regrading a proposed zone change of property located south of Clatskanie Middle/High School.

The council held the first reading of an ordinance rezoning the property from R-10 (10,000 sq. ft. lots) to R-5 (5,000 sq ft lots) and a portion to MFR (multi family residential).

"Concerns expressed were road capacity, for Canyon Road and safety of children as it is near the high school and also the Conyers Creek Road that leads to Canyon Road and its safety," Clatskanie City Manager Greg Hinkelman told The Chief. "Concerns were also expressed about the possible density of the housing and the impact that would have on the area"

Hinkelman said the Clatskanie Planning Commission voted against the proposed rezone in December also citing safety concerns.

A second reading and vote is scheduled by the city council at the February meeting but that might change, according to Hinkelman.

"The major concern for the council members is that they would like to see some conceptual drawings of what the proposed development would look like," Hinkelman said. "At his time, the city has not received or been presented any conceptual drawings. The developer stated that he was not going to proceed with drawings until he had the zone change."

NEXT Plant issue

The city council also received an email this week from the Save Port Westward Coalition asking for a statement by the council following the coalition's presentation before the city in December. The coalition is advocating for slowing down the permitting process for the NEXT renewable energy project.

The coalition wants such a statement to be issued from the city council, prior to the January 19 Columbia County Board of Commission meeting, according to Hinkelman.

"The coalition wants to express to the commissioners the need to address the concerns that several citizens have about the project and permitting and to slow the permitting process down to allow for those concerns to be addressed," Hinkelman said. "The council voted 5-1, with Councilor Bruce Jolma abstaining, to send such a message to the county commissioners."

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