Phase 3 is Nearing Completion
The Phase 3 Final Preferred Design draws heavily on the Alternative #3, “Hybrid Option”, that was favored during the public engagement portions of Phase 2. This final Preferred Design was unanimously approved by the Urban Renewal Advisory Committee and Urban Renewal Agency Board. A copy of the final draft of the Heights Streetscape Plan is available by clicking HERE. The final report with executive summary and appendices is expected in early December, 2023. It will be posted to this webpage and presented to the Urban Renewal Agency Board for formal inclusion in the Heights Urban Renewal Plan. Please sign up to receive Heights related emails to receive these meeting packet materials by clicking HERE.
This Streetscape Plan is the product of several years of public engagement as well as several additional technical and design studies requested by the Urban Renewal Agency Board after Phase 2. The Heights Streetscape Plan includes project sequencing plan. The ultimate timeline for implementation will depend on negotiations with the Oregon Department of Transportation and funding availability. Bookmark this webpage for future updates on Heights Streetscape projects.
Phase 2 is Complete
Using the project goals and information from Phase 1, the project team developed streetscape alternatives that demonstrate urban design elements centered around the community’s goals and priorities identified in Phase 1. The project team completed several technical analyses of the alternatives (e.g., traffic, parking, connectivity etc.) and gathered community input during a multi-day open house. Over 250 people attended the open houses on April 22nd and 23rd. Many stayed for dinner, talked with staff and friends from the neighborhood, and enjoyed a community gathering. Hundreds of people also completed the online survey.
Phase 2 also included discussions with agencies like the Oregon Department of Transportation (who own and maintain 12th and 13th) and the Urban Renewal Agency Board to discuss technical analysis and community input. The Urban Renewal Agency Board approved moving forward with a hybrid design for additional study, including the design of key intersections at 13th/May Street and 13th/12th/Belmont Avenue, the design of east/west streets, and the review of 12th Street south of the study area for opportunities to provide a bicycle connection to Pacific Avenue that works with the hybrid design approach.
Phase 1 is Complete
In Spring and Summer 2021, Hood River told us about its vision for the future of how we should be able to move around the Heights. Safe street crossings and better sidewalks for pedestrians, safe bicycle facilities, adequate parking, and access for vehicles to local businesses are all priority elements of a future streetscape design in the Heights. With that information, project goals are now established to guide the project, but there is much more work to do.
About the Project
The Heights is a Hood River destination, filled with unique homes and diverse local businesses. It is also an important gateway to Mount Hood and the historic family farms and outdoor recreation in the Hood River Valley. As the Heights grows, we need to create a safe streetscape for the pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists traveling to and through the area every day.
The Height’s central transportation spine is OR 281, linking downtown Hood River with the Hood River Valley. The corridor serves many public amenities, such as Providence Hospital, May Street Elementary School, Hood River Middle School, Jackson Park, and Indian Creek Trail.
The Heights Streetscape Plan focuses on the commercial core of OR 281 between May Street and Belmont Avenue, which has a mix of office, restaurant, and other retail uses, with single and multi-family housing located next to the commercial core. Both the local business district and surrounding neighborhoods are culturally and socially diverse, with a strong Latino community presence.
If you want email updates and reminders about upcoming meetings, sign up for updates via Hood River Connect and select ‘Urban Renewal Heights District’ under “Current Issues”. You may also leave us a comment via the form below.
Heights Streetscape Project - We’d Like to Hear from You!
Your valuable input and participation throughout the process is critical to identify and prioritize improvements to make the Heights District a safe, vibrant, and economically successful district for the community.
As stated in the Heights Urban Renewal Plan, “the purpose of urban renewal is to improve specific areas of a city that are poorly developed or underdeveloped. These areas can have old or deteriorated buildings, public spaces that need improvements, streets and utilities in poor condition, a complete lack of streets and utilities altogether, or other obstacles to development. The Area has infrastructure needs, lacks adequate streetscape and parking, and does not have a program for assistance to business owners.”
The Heights Urban Renewal District was established in 2011 and covers approximately 96 acres centered around State Highway 281. Using tax increment financing, it has a total indebtedness of $8.5 million. In 2011, the Urban Renewal Agency adopted the Hood River Heights Business District Urban Renewal Plan, with input from the Heights Business District Association and the Hood River City Council. The Plan encompasses goals, objectives, and projects relating to economy, district identity, recreation, traffic and transportation, public utilities, public involvement, and housing for the Heights Urban Renewal District.
The boundary of the Heights Urban Renewal District as shown in the Urban Renewal Plan is shown in the figure on the right.
Planning to date has included:
- Blue Zone, LLC Walkshop (6/6/2018 Presentation)
- Blue Zone, LLC Walkshop (9/24/2018 Final Presentation with Recommendations)
- Heights Community Meetings
- URAC Project Recommendation Report May 2018
- URAC Thoughts to date on Proceeding with Heights Urban Renewal
- Executive Summary – Hood River Heights Urban Renewal Area Public Input from November 2017 meeting and online survey.
- DOWNLOAD Powerpoint presented at the October 26, 2017 Meeting
- Information 101 about the Heights District and Urban Renewal
- StreetsAlive! Traffic Demonstration Review
- Hood River Heights Urban Renewal PLAN
- Hood River Heights Urban Renewal REPORT