The City of Hood River Planning Commission is considering a proposal to rezone the 5-acre City-owned property known as Morrison Park from OP/PF (Open Space/Public Facility) to R-3 High Density Residential in order to use the property for the creation of much needed affordable housing. The property, at the corner of Wasco and 20th, is undeveloped and currently being as a disc golf course. The rezone has sparked controversy as it pits two much needed public benefits against each other: the need for parks versus the need for affordable housing. HRVRC has taken a middle position, saying that it shouldn’t be “either/or” but that the property was large enough to have both a meaningful sized park and new housing units. We made that determination based on concept plans that were developed for the property in 2008 by a team of University of Oregon architecture graduate students. Their plans were compelling and show the parcel attractively developed as half park and half housing. Here is a fuller explanation of our thinking, and more here and here are the U of O plans. But, this is a controversial issue and we want to know what you think. If you want to share your thoughts, send them to our ED, Heather Staten.
The City Council will hold a hearing on May 22 at 6 pm, 211 2nd Street, Hood River to consider the proposal. All the staff reports, background information and testimony received can be viewed at the bottom of the homepage of the City’s website.