Why does a big re-zoning decision in Camas, a small town in the Columbia Gorge, matter so much? Find out in the newspaper coverage and commentary in these three newspapers:
- The Oregonian/Oregonlive: Camas approves 460-acre development near Lacamas Lake despite objections at packed public hearing, September 10, 2013
- The Columbian: Camas approves a 460-acre development, September 3, 2013
- Camas Post Record: Camas approves Lacamas Northshore development, Tuesday, September 10, 2013
In the Camas Post Record, I wrote:
If Camas really wants to create a “sustainable, walkable community, mixing single- and multi-family housing, businesses and commercial development with parks and bike paths,” the zoning would accommodate the kind of development shown in the Commerce Center Templates (http://www.gvmc.org/blueprint/CommerceCenters.shtml )my New Urbanist colleagues did for the Grand Valley (MI) Metropolitan Council. The Kellogg Foundation funded these templates in order to help make Michigan more competitive in attracting future industry and the young people who will work there.
To become truly sustainable and truly attractive to the market of the future, Camas should be reproducing its delightful grid of downtown streets in areas adjacent to downtown, rather than 3.5 miles away from shops and services. I have walked the Pacific Crest Trail through the entire state of Oregon, but I would not likely walk 3.5 miles along an arterial street to get to basic services on a regular basis.
Yes, they are planning a new shopping center/commercial area segregated from the housing along the shore of Lacamas Lake, but there will not likely be enough density to support that commercial. There is a far better way to zone for a walkable community!