Here in Washington, we're entering our third week of the governor's Stay Home, Stay Healthy order to prevent the spread of coronavirus in our communities. While everyone is stuck at home, we're going to be sharing weekly dispatches from our staff and partners around the state. First up, Alison Cable, our Tri-Cities Program Manager.
General background on the Tri-Cities:
Benton and Franklin County Land Use Updates:
- City of Richland Downtown Connectivity Study to advance the City Council’s vision for a pedestrian-friendly waterfront and downtown, while maintaining or enhancing the vehicular travel flow through downtown. The project team will develop, evaluate and prioritize street improvements in the area. Ultimately the findings and recommendation will be presented to City Council and Planning Commission for selection of a preferred approach. Futurewise and community partners continue to advocate for traffic calming practices and a bikable, pedestrian friendly downtown.
- Franklin County Comprehensive Plan Update
- City of Pasco Comprehensive Plan and UGA Expansion Update
- City of Pasco received HB 1923 funding to make code changes that will increase residential building capacity, authorize duplex, triplex, or courtyard apartments in one or more single-family zoning districts; authorize cluster zoning or lot size averaging in all zoning districts that permit single-family residences; authorize accessory dwelling units (ADUs) on all parcels containing single-family homes.
- Port of Kennewick Vista Field Plan
- Update on Open Public Meetings Act: Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-28. This proclamation bans in person public meetings that are subject to the Open Public Meetings Act. It also requires that any meeting subject to the Open Public Meetings Act must allow the public to access the meeting telephonically or through other means of remote access that “provides the ability for all persons attending the meeting to hear each other at the same time.” Proclamation 20-28 limits the business that can be transacted at public meetings to “necessary and routine matters or are matters necessary to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak and the current public health emergency, until such time as regular public participation under the Open Public Meetings Act is possible.” This proclamation applies to city council meetings, county council or commission meetings, planning commission meetings, and most local governments’ advisory committee meetings.
Community Education Programs:
- Tapteal Greenway is a nonprofit organization with the missions to preserve the rustic character of the lower Yakima River, protect native habitats and species through conservation enhancing recreational opportunities throughout the corridor, provide outdoor education programs, and promote public access to an understanding of these resources.
- Benton and Franklin County Conservation Districts encourage wise stewardship of soil, water, air, plant and wildlife resources in Benton County, WA by providing education, technical and financial assistance to landowners.
- Pasco Riparian Demonstration Project is a partnership between Futurewise and our partner Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group to create a Riparian Demonstration Project, develop educational materials, and host events to showcase the importance of riparian planting to stabilize shorelines, reduce soil erosion, and protect water quality and fish habitat. Additionally, the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) will support this project by including education about the cultural significance of riparian, native plants. Additionally we are coordinating with CTUIR, the City of Pasco, and the Army Corp of Engineers to find an appropriate planting site. The target planting date is October 2020 but this may need to be extended and all community events are on-hold.
- Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring wild salmonid populations and their habitats through restoration, protection, education, and community involvement throughout our region.
Tri-Cities Specific Covid-19 Response:
- Flatten the Curve - Community Group to Support Covid-19 Response: is a local Facebook group to share resources, educational ideas, scientific information, and other materials that focus on Social Distancing.
- Pandemic Needs and Volunteers is a sister Facebook group for the Tri-Cities to share immediate requests and offers to help one another.
- Volunteer Sign Up Form set up by community partners and local board members have been helping to develop a database of volunteers who want to help where they can while maintaining best practices in physical distancing.