City begins designing NE Gateway
McMinnville’s city planners are beginning design work on the Northeast Gateway District, north of downtown along Alpine and Lafayette avenues, in preparation for implementation of a downtown urban renewal plan the city council will begin considering Tuesday.
The council adopted the Northeast Gateway plan in June. The aim is to renovate and revitalize an area that currently is a mixture of undeveloped land and streets, industrial warehouses and facilities, homes and commercial businesses.
Although the city wants to retain the mixed uses, it wants a better distribution and accommodation for them. It wants to make the area more attractive, and to encourage new businesses to start up, or locate there.
The staff is working in conjunction with the city’s Northeast Gateway Committee. It is starting with the area around Alpine Avenue.
“We’re going to look at the uses within the area, and how some of the changes recommended in the final plan will affect certain properties down the road,” said Associate Planner Jennifer Lynagh. A major goal of the work, she said, “is to make it very human-scale and pedestrian-friendly when it’s built out.”
That involves amending zoning designations and drafting development and design standards, all subject to public hearings prior to adoption. A number of the area’s existing businesses are represented on the advisory committee, so their views and needs will be factored in.
“Ultimately,” Lynagh said in a memo to the city council, “the plan and zone changes contemplated for the Northeast Gateway will help ensure that the area transitions into a compact, mixed-use, walkable and economically attractive neighborhood.” She said, “We expect this work to take some five to six months to complete.”