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White Rock strategy ready for primetime

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By Katy Korkos

When the county council meets on Tuesday in White Rock Town Hall, the council will get its first glimpse of a master plan that has been several months in the making.After dozens of stakeholder interviews, several steering committee meetings and four well-attended community forums, consultants Jay Renkens and Chris Beynon of planning firm Moore Iacofano Goitsman (MIG) are ready to return to White Rock with a plan that reflects the community’s desires.Renkens said that the plan shows the beginnings of an implementation strategy for the county to pursue.Included in the draft plan are the revitalization of the arroyo that cuts through White Rock, the creation of a town plaza at the commercial core of White Rock, moving the White Rock municipal complex and library to the commercial center at the intersection of Sherwood Boulevard and SR 4, selling off county properties on Rover Boulevard for offices and creating medium-density residential areas on Longview Drive.The new commercial core would connect with development on parcel A-19. “Housing is just one piece of the larger puzzle,” Renkens said. “Not just additional housing, but housing choice. It would be a shame to create something like this, and not have the backbone of such businesses, the workforce, to keep it going.”Renkens said that places to live in White Rock are overwhelmingly single-family homes, with very few properties providing workforce housing for people who might work in offices or retail.The plan calls for catalytic development projects in the near future, which would provide a model for further development of White Rock in the more distant future.“The first few projects can really set the tone,” Renkens said. “If you can demonstrate that something is feasible, people will take note of that.”The schedule for completion of the plan shows the presentation to council on Tuesday, with the draft plan submitted to the county staff for review beginning April 4, and then posted on the Planning White Rock Center website for community review and comment.The deadline for community comments is May 6, and the County Council will review the revised draft plan on May 12, with the final plan presented for approval by council on May 20.The team creating the plan is comprised of the planners from MIG as well as Dan Guimond and Josh Birks of Economic and Planning Systems, for the economic feasibility parts of the plan and Peccia and Associates for the engineering and infrastructure components.Renkens said that the original deadline for completion of the plan was pushed back at the request of county staff, in order that more people would have the opportunity to comment on the plan.“We still need your involvement,” Renkens said. “It’s going to make the plan that much stronger with the community buy-in.”