Planning Commission Appoints Committee

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Seven members of Hillsboro’s Planning Commission met Tuesday, Jan. 19, with one primary goal; in the age of Zoom, two of the members were far from Hillsboro - one in Florida, the other in Arizona.

The most important item on the agenda was naming committee members to build the Future Land Use Plan for the city which will become a part of the already-existing Strategic Plan. Twelve names had been submitted by commissioners prior to the meeting; Barb Hewitt, secretary of the commission, said the submitted list needed more females and more age diversity, so the list grew to 16.

City Planner Jonathan Weyer said the number wouldn’t be unwieldy because much of their work will be done in four subcommittees – dealing with zoning, the Eagle Zinc property (including finding a name not reminiscent of its past), marketing tracts of land the city already owns (dealing with parcels like the former scout camp) and with possible annexations. The commission gave Chairman Tom Gooding the power to name the committee members, with the names to be approved by the city council. At that time the names will be made public.

Weyer estimates the committee has at least a year’s worth of work in front of it.

The rest of the meeting dealt with committee reports. Don Karban said the HUD project administrator, Tom Dunham, anticipates having two different houses under contract for repair by Feb. 1; the problem slowing activity down is the lack of contractors working with HUD. Gooding asked if it would help if the program received more publicity, feeling too few people are aware of it.

Karban also reported that the Parks and Recreation Committee of Imagine Hillsboro is working with Jim May on a trail on site south of the Haunted Forest site at the campgrounds. He also said co-ordination is planned at the Hickory/Oak Street duplex site. The question revolves around whether to install utility lines first and then do foundation work or to reverse the procedures.

Weyer said there was little to report regarding vacant downtown/business district store fronts; he feels work has been slowed by COVID 19 and by the holiday season. The Coop hopes to have a soft launch in May

The commission will meet next on Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 12:30 p.m., most likely by Zoom.

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