City of Pasco nears finish line for Downtown Master Plan

PASCO, Wash. — The City of Pasco invited the community out to hear from the public on the draft for the Downtown Master Plan. There was a meet and greet, followed by an open house.

At the event, staff provided an overview of the drafted Plan, and allowed for an opportunity for questions and comments from the public.

The Plan is a plan of action, they said.

This process has been going on for more than a year, with multiple outreach sessions for public input to decide what to do with downtown.

“I think the most important part for us is really getting that community input, stakeholder engagement, making sure it’s an inclusive process, and I feel like we as a City have really gone above and beyond in terms of the inclusivity piece,” said Mike Gonzalez, Economic Development Manager.

What they’re looking to create, according to Gonzalez, is a culturally competent, vibrant and special downtown. The City of Pasco is striving to continue improving the quality of community life.

“In terms of downtown, safety is always number one, and if you don’t have a safe downtown, you’re not going to have a place where people want to come,” said Gonzalez.

About 15 engaged people showed up to the meet and greet and open house, according to Gonzalez. They had a lot of questions about the Downtown Master Plan, and where the City is at in that phase, as well as about timing, codification and all about next steps.

Themes and vision for downtown Pasco

The major themes of the vision for the downtown are a lively and authentic downtown, a district showcasing history, new connections to the Columbia River and a place for all ages to enjoy.

“They want more variety, they want more types of restaurants, they want more activities down here,” said Gonzalez. “If we can get people to downtown, we can really show them how special it is.”

The Master Plan is extensive, looking into many ways to bring people downtown.

“The Downtown Master Plan looks at things like can we bring residential uses to buildings? How can we expand sidewalks so eateries can have outdoor seating? How do we position our roadways so maybe they’re more walkable and more bikeable?” Explained Gonzalez.

A planning commission meeting is Thursday night at 6:30.

“The planning commission will look at it and recommend approval or denial, which will then be forwarded to the city council,” said Gonzalez.

He said staff is getting to the finish line, in terms of the approval process with the City Council.

If approved, the implementation phase could begin in just months. After that, the City will go into its first implementation phase.

Gonzalez explained that their consultant group, Framework, is looking at the suggestions from the community. He said there is still a lot of work to be done in terms of making those decisions.

He said he wanted to thank the community for their input. It was a very public process, he said. A lot of people have been patient, waiting for this all to happen.

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