RIDGEFIELD — Over here, off North 45th Avenue in the center of Ridgefield, 692 homes will be built. Next to that, 453 homes.
Community development director Jeff Niten points to a color-coded zoning map of Ridgefield in northwest Clark County where residential development is exploding. Like most zoning maps, it looks like a mismatched patchwork quilt, but there’s order behind the seeming chaos.
In a county known for its suburban sprawl, planners such as Niten are trying to shape Ridgefield’s development.
“We want to make those choices now before something gets built that we don’t like,” he said.
Planning is exactly what’s needed in Ridgefield, one of Washington’s fastest-growing cities. The small city’s population grew more than 44 percent between 2010 and 2016. Although the state Office of Financial Management estimated the population to be 6,870 as of April, Niten said those figures are outdated. He believes closer to 7,200 people now call Ridgefield home.