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News / Business / Clark County Business

Council approves unique plan for Camas’ North Shore

900-acre area will include green space, focus on walkability

By Kelly Moyer, Camas-Washougal Post-Record
Published: August 12, 2023, 6:05am

After six years of planning, Camas’ roughly 900-acre North Shore is poised to become a unique area featuring hundreds of acres of green space, mixed-use developments, stronger protections for trees, a focus on walkability and sustainability, a more diverse mix of housing types that should lead to more affordable housing options, and a blend of zoning and design standards that will set North Shore apart from other Camas neighborhoods.

On Aug. 7, following a public hearing held in mid-July, the Camas City Council twice voted 4-2 to approve two ordinances related to North Shore-specific design manual and zoning designations approved by the Camas Planning Commission earlier this summer.

Councilmembers Leslie Lewallen and Jennifer Senescu voted no on both of the North Shore ordinances, and Councilman Tim Hein was absent.

“This has been a long and arduous task with many complexities and challenges,” Camas City Councilman Don Chaney said. “As is typical on something as big as this, (city officials) don’t always appease everyone, but I’m truly proud of the energy put into this.”

Chaney thanked the city’s planning staff for “doing the robust job necessary” to realize the community’s vision for the city’s North Shore area, a mostly undeveloped area north of Lacamas Lake.

The now-approved design and zoning standards are based on the North Shore Vision Statement approved in September 2020 by the Camas City Council. That vision — which included input from a wide cross-section of Camas residents, North Shore property owners and area stakeholders — centers on protecting the area’s natural environment; planning a network of green spaces and recreational opportunities; clustering uses for a more walkable community; providing a variety of housing options, including some more affordable housing; siting industrial parks and commercial centers to the north side of the North Shore, away from the lake; favoring small businesses, including restaurants, cafes and grocery stores that would serve residents and employees in the North Shore; planning for needed schools and infrastructure; and striving to maintain Camas’ “small-town feel.”

Camas Planning Manager Robert Maul explained to planning commission members in June that the North Shore Vision Statement was a guide for staff as they created a new set of zoning and design standards they believe will help achieve the community’s vision for the area.

The subarea plan calls for six land-use zones, or districts, in North Shore, including lower-density residential, higher-density residential, mixed-use, commercial, mixed employment and park/open space districts.

To learn more, visit engagecamas.com/north-shore-subarea-plan.