Friday, March 9, 2012/lk
The City of Hood River Planning Department is continuing a public hearing from March 5 to March 19 in order to receive more information and input from associated agencies.
The hearing relates to a planned waterfront project by Naito Development on land the company owns at the south end of the Nichols Boat Basin. The project includes an 88-room hotel, a 20,000-square-foot office building and a recreational cable park within the boat basin.
Planning Director Cindy Walbridge said the meeting will be continued to March 19 to allow the department more time to take in information concerning the project from the Oregon Department of Transportation.
She also said her department has received extensive public comments concerning the proposed cable park project, which Naito Development considers a cornerstone of the development.
In brief, a cable park uses an over-the-water system of cables and pulleys to tow riders across the water in a large oval; much like a boat would pull a water skier or wake boarder. Cable parks have been popular throughout Europe for decades and are starting to spread in popularity on the west coast of the United States.
The boat basin is seen as an ideal place for such a park because of its size, shape, isolation from the wind and proximity to other world-famous water sports hotspots.
Those in opposition to a cable park cite public access as the primary issue. Although such a park is environmentally sound and structurally unobtrusive, it would require restricting public access to a majority of the boat basin during the park's hours of operation.
"It's safe to say we've received considerable public testimony in favor of a cable park," Walbridge said. "But we've also received some opposition to it. We will continue to take testimony up until the meeting on March 19."
Anyone wishing to give public testimony is encouraged to submit it in writing ahead of the March 19 meeting. Testimony will also be heard at the beginning of the meeting, starting at 5:30 p.m. at the new Hood River City Hall location on the corner of Second and State streets.
Testimony can be submitted to Walbridge in writing at: