WHITE SALMON — The White Salmon Planning Commission is continuing discussion on the city’s draft update to its 2012 comprehensive plan this week, the fourth workshop of its kind to occur since the review process began in January.

The city’s planning commission has been undergoing a review to its comprehensive plan, allowing public comment on each of its nine elements which outline community goals and aspirations in the areas of parks and recreation, economic development, environmental and critical areas, land use and urbanization, housing, history and historic places, transportation, public facilities and services, and capital improvements.

The city is taking written comment prior to the start of the meeting, a procedure that is meant to expedite the review process, a consequence of the process being halted in August 2020 in order to negotiate a contract extension, resulting from hearings being delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The city finalized an extension to the contract with the project management team overseeing revisions to the plan in December through to the end of May this year. According to council minutes, the contract extension cost the city an additional $25,000, on top of the $158,774 that was originally set aside for the project.

This week the Planning Commission will hear public comment and will resume discussion surrounding the transportation, public facilities and services, and capital improvement program elements within the plan draft, as well as the economics, history and historic places, and park and recreations elements. Public comment may be provided via e-mail to janb@ci.white-salmon.wa.us. by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10.

Full text of the draft elements are available on the city’s website at https://www.white-salmon.net/bc-pc/page/comprehensive-plan-update.

City Clerk Jan Brending said the point of the review hearings are to identify any changes commissioners want to make to the draft elements. Those draft elements will go to the consultant (WSP USA, inc.), who will then prepare the draft comprehensive plan, which will go back out to the public for review. A public hearing on the draft plan will be held in April. After the public hearing, a final draft will come before the city council, with a final public hearing, and a vote will be held to adopt the final comprehensive plan. “Then the work begins on updating the land use codes, or development codes to implement the comprehensive plan,” said Brending, which will involve the help of a land use planner that the city has yet to hire.