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Monday, February 26, 2024
Feb. 26, 2024

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Camas North Shore development draws transportation concerns


As Camas city officials inch closer to implementing policies that will shape the look and feel of Camas’ North Shore area, community members continue to weigh in on what they would like to see in the mostly undeveloped, 800-acre, mixed-use area off the northeast section of Camas’ Lacamas Lake.

Around 50 Camas community members turned out to the city’s in-person North Shore Open House on Aug. 17 to give input on the land-use and transportation concepts, design guidelines and zoning designations that, if approved by the Camas City Council, will reshape the future of the North Shore, an area predicted to someday accommodate more than 8,100 residents and create nearly 1,400 new jobs.

“A lot of the feedback was based on transportation — from people who have lived along the corridor (along Northeast Everett Street) for a while and have seen it change over the past 10 to 15 years,” Camas Planning Manager Robert Maul said about the Aug. 17 open house.

Maul said he has tried to let people know the city has a plan for accommodating growth in the North Shore in its transportation master plan.

“We’ve already planned for that,” Maul said, referring to the future increase in traffic along state Highway 500 (Everett Street).

Other people were interested in seeing the area’s proposed mix of residential, commercial, open space, parks and light industrial zones.

The “preferred concept” shown at the Aug. 17 open house showed parks and open spaces along Lacamas Lake, abutting a mix of lower- and higher-density residential areas and small commercial centers. The area’s employers would be on the North Shore’s northern edge “to take advantage of flatter land and provide contiguous space.”

Taking into account that the 206 acres of wetlands in the area will not develop due to state, federal and local regulations, the planners estimated there will be 409 acres of developable land in the North Shore, including 121 acres for lower-density residential housing; 81 acres for higher-density residential housing; 77 acres for parks and open space; 67 acres for mixed-use residential/commercial developments; 41 acres for business parks; 13 acres for schools; and 9 acres for commercial uses.

The city’s latest job estimates predict this blend of uses would create 1,399 new jobs: 817 jobs in the business park zones, 177 jobs in the commercial zones and 405 jobs in the mixed-use area.

Subarea plans also show the North Shore will be able to accommodate an estimated 3,032 housing units for approximately 8,100 residents.

The city’s timeline for the North Shore subarea plan adoption shows the Camas City Council could adopt the plan in October or November of this year.

Maul said he will meet with the subarea consultants and members of the community and stakeholders committees to “debrief” and “make some additional refinements” to the preferred concept before bringing the map through the city’s legislative process, which will include workshops at the planning commission and city council levels, as well as public hearings.

“So there will still be plenty of time for folks to participate,” Maul said. “We’re really appreciative of the engagement we’ve had so far with this entire process. We know growth is challenging … but growth will happen here, so we have to manage it the best we can.”