Despite an eloquent plea from Carolyn Foster, one of Camas’ own high school graduates, to grow in a more sustainable manner for the sake of her “Millennial generation,” Camas City Council passed a Comprehensive Plan amendment on Sept. 3 that will allow property owners to develop their land on the north shore of Lacamas Lake. Their action will widen the hole in the Portland metro area’s urban growth boundary and allow large-lot single-family homes and 313 acres of business park.
Part of the plan calls for multifamily housing, but developers may be creating townhouses without the town. While property owners may claim that they plan a walkable neighborhood, the concept of “business park” was created for the automobile. The planned arterial separating housing from business belies that fact. So does the separation of the small area along the lake zoned for retail.
As I said at the hearing, there are better ways to do office and light industrial in “employment neighborhoods” with a well-developed grid of streets and mix of uses that will be attractive to the workforce of the future.
Instead of choosing to grow in small blocks with a mix of uses extending from its delightful downtown grid of streets, Camas has chosen further sprawl. Unfortunately, that sprawl will affect all of us.