Waterfront park plan OK'd by hearings examiner

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West of Esther Short — The large waterfront park that will anchor a whole new multi-use development on the Columbia River has been recommended for approval by Vancouver land-use hearings examiner Sharon Rice.

Shoreline conditional use, a tree plan, a master plan and other proposals for the park were OK'd by Rice, and recommended for final approval by the city council and the state Department of Ecology. The finished park will be 7.3 acres and include a 14-foot-wide paved extension of the waterfront Renaissance Trail; performance spaces, community gathering spaces and a "festival lawn"; a multipurpose, programmable plaza; overlooks and seating with river views; an artificial beach; a fishing pier; an improved, stabilized shoreline; and public art and interpretive signs that describe the history of the Columbia River.

Construction of the park — and the overall riverfront development project, including offices, shops and housing — probably won't get underway until 2015. Take a look at www.cityofvancouver.us/community/page/reconnecting-waterfront to learn more.