By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Planning commission approves transit center

The first hurdle was cleared Thursday, when McMinnville Planning Commissioners unanimously approved a conditional use permit for the center.

The county is proposing to build on the former YCAP site on Northeast First Street. Plans call for an approximately 1,100 square-foot building to house offices, a break room, dispatch office, private and public restrooms, storage and a covered bicycle parking area. It also will include a covered waiting area for passengers.

There will be six bus bays, intended to serve both existing routes and future ones.

Next on the schedule is a meeting on August 6, with the city’s design review process, to seek a waiver for certain downtown design standards the project will not meet, followed by application for a building permit.

Currently, the transit center is located along Fifth Street, next to the county courthouse. The county underwent a feasibility study in 2011 to select a new site, choosing the county-owned YCAP site from among nine other possibilities.

The county recently demolished the building that had stood on the site, to make way for the transit center.

Plans call for the new building to be constructed on the northern half of the site, facing Second Street, with bus bays located on each side of the building, to accommodate buses entering from both the south, to exit onto Second Street, and from the north, to exit onto First Street.

The county hopes to have the new center built and operating by January, with buses running from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Security cameras will be mounted in the area, and the site will be staffed from 5:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

One of the conditions of the site requires all exterior lighting to have fixtures directing light downward, to avoid causing annoyance to neighbors.

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