Sunday, September 19, 2021
Sept. 19, 2021

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Camas ramps up North Shore planning

900-acre area along Lacamas Lake is mostly private land

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CAMAS — Nine months after approving a vision statement that will guide future development of the city’s nearly 900-acre mixed-use area northeast of Lacamas Lake known as North Shore, Camas officials are set to kick off the second phase of the North Shore Subarea plan.

Senior city planner Sarah Fox has described the subarea plan as a tool that will allow the city to plan for what Camas residents want in the area instead of just reacting to inevitable private development.

“If a company buys 400 acres and moves forward with what zoning allows them to do today, they would have the right as a landowner to move forward, (and) maybe the current codes in place aren’t super consistent with what we imagine this area to be in 20 years,” Fox told the council in September 2020.

The North Shore Vision Statement approved by the council last year was the result of a public outreach campaign that started in August 2019 and included high school students, hundreds of community members, stakeholder groups, North Shore landowners and city officials.

Fox has said the second phase of North Shore subarea planning will allow the city to create new regulations and policies that would help the area develop in a unique and community-minded way.

Of the nearly 900 acres included in the North Shore, the city of Camas owns 238 acres and the remaining 668 acres are considered private property.

The subarea plan will guide future development with the city’s North Shore Vision Statement, which highlights a desire to preserve the North Shore’s natural beauty and environmental health; plan a network of green spaces and recreational opportunities; make a more walkable community; provide a variety of housing options for all income levels and life stages; locate industrial parks and commercial centers away from Lacamas Lake; favor local-serving businesses; plan for needed schools and infrastructure; and strive to maintain Camas’ small-town feel.

Fox stressed that the subarea planning is not a development plan.

“The city is not a developer,” she said.

Now, the council is set to approve a contract with WSP USA to create a Phase 2 plan that will guide future development in the North Shore and could come up with new design and zoning standards unique to the North Shore.

Like the Phase 1 portion of the subarea plan, the plan’s second phase will include a substantial public outreach component, Fox said.

Fox said the second phase of the North Shore Subarea Plan could kick off as soon as this summer, with a draft for council in the winter of 2022 and a completion date of May 2022.

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