Mayor to deliver state of the city speech

By on Tuesday, June 28th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

COLLEGE PLACE – The College Place City Council meets tonight (Tuesday) at 7 p.m. Mayor Norma Hernandez will present her state of the city address. Some of the things Hernandez will touch on in her presentation is the city’s strategic plan, organization recovery from COVID-19 and the city’s major challenges going forward.

The council will also consider a motion to amend the city’s municipal code as it pertains to the downtown catalyst incentive program. Created in 2020, the intent of the catalyst incentive is to diversify residential housing options (townhouses, condominiums, and apartment units) within the downtown core; promote development adjacent to College Avenue and Walla Walla University; increase public space, encourage redevelopment of nonconforming or underdeveloped sites; increase art in the public space; and support the assemblage of small lots that cannot be efficiently redeveloped on an individual basis.

However, according to city staff, the existing code is a deal breaker to getting participation in this program. This is due to the bizarre shape of tax lots throughout the College Avenue downtown business district. The proposal is to alter the code and change a requirement to either five residential dwelling units or 3,000 feet of commercial space – not both. City staff said it believes that if the municipal code is changed, it will spark the interest of developers to put invest in projects throughout the College Avenue downtown business district.

Also on the agenda, the council will consider a resolution support a $3.6 million dollar transportation improvement board urban arterial grant application to reconstruct Southwest Mojonnier Road between South College Avenue and Bluvue Lane. The reconstruction project will include repaving, replacement of sidewalks, and bike and pedestrian infrastructure. The city would then pursue other federal infrastructure grants to install water and sewer within the project boundaries.

Tonight’s meeting will be held at College Place City Hall, 625 South College Avenue and electronically. For those not attending in person, the meeting may be viewed on the city’s YouTube channel or via Zoom. The meeting ID is 883 9652 8042.