Independence drafts transportation plan

INDEPENDENCE -- Independence leaders are drafting a master plan that will guide transportation development in the community for the next two decades.



INDEPENDENCE -- Independence leaders are drafting a master plan that will guide transportation development in the community for the next two decades.

Officials are revising the city's current plan through the growth management program of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD).

The agency awarded Independence a $60,000 grant to fund the process this summer.

"Our focus is to link transportation with land use planning," said Matt Crall, a DLCD planner who is coordinating the initiative with the city. "You can't do one of those things separately from the other.

"We're trying to look 20 years out on the decisions we're making today."

The finished plan will consider growth trends and what long-term projects the transportation system needs to accommodate population increases.

This could range from street, sidewalk and bridge projects to railroad repairs, said Shawn Irvine, community development technician.

Officials are also seeking input from residents, and will hold open forums on the matter in the coming months.

The first is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 6, in the Independence Public Library.

"We want to to review what we've talked about so far and hear about general issues the citizens think exist in Independence," Irvine said.

The $60,000 DLCD grant has been used to contract a consultant to assist in revising the city's current plan, adopted in the mid-1990s.

Since September, the consultant and a technical advisory committee, comprised of city, county and state officials have been updating information and language in the document.

"The anticipated population in the old plan was in the low-6,000 range and we're more than 1,000 people beyond that," Irvine said. "And we've done a lot of the projects the old plan listed as infrastructure needs."

Another task is to make certain Independence policies comply with state and federal regulations. For example, the city uses a different standard to measure road quality than the state, Irvine said.

"Things like that make it harder to work with other agencies," Irvine said.

The committee will submit a draft of the document for review by the planning commission and city council during the next several months. There will be an additional open house next month and public hearings in May.

The council must adopt the plan by June 30, or risk waiting to receive funding from the state's next budget cycle to complete it.

For more information: Shawn Irvine or Mike Danko at 503-838-1212.



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