Planning Commission seeks input on waterfront

The Aberdeen Planning Commission is hosting its seventh and likely last public outreach meeting on Thursday focusing on the future of Aberdeen’s waterfront and its downtown areas, before introducing a series of changes to the city’s comprehensive plan.

The meeting is slated for 6 p.m. at the Aberdeen Museum of History, 111 East 3rd Street. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Community Development Director Lisa Scott said the meeting is slated to be the last in the Planning Commission’s year-long fact finding effort to figure out what changes should occur to the city’s comprehensive plan, the city’s guiding document outlining the future of the city. The plan could impact the city’s direction with zoning and other regulations.

The Aberdeen City Council is ultimately in charge of approving the changes.

“The space is reserved, the meeting planned, the topic is familiar and the issues are important,” Planning Commission Chair Brian Little wrote in a general invitation to the community. “I hope to see everyone turn out to jump into the conversation that Sam and Martha Benn started back in the 1860s. Recall that it was Sam’s dream that sometime there would be a great industrial city situated at the confluence of the Wishkah and Chehalis rivers. He realized his dream. The question on the floor is what is our dream for the future?”

The city received a grant to bring in consultant Forterra to help facilitate its last few meetings, including the one on Thursday. A few weeks ago, Forterra presented a case study to the Planning Commission concentrating on a small community in Maine and the tools that the town employed to redevelop and revitalize their home.

“The issues that faced them are the same ones that have been entertained here on the Harbor for a couple of generations,” Little said.