Remand at Hood River City Council
On Monday April 8th at 6 pm, the Hood River City Council will conduct a remand hearing on the Naito's plan for a 4-story hotel, retail/office building and 230 space parking lot at the south end of Nichols Boat Basin. Last year, Friends appealed the City's approval of the project to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) because we believed it did not comply with federal, state and city law related to the floodplain, storm water management and natural resource protection. LUBA agreed with Friends and remanded the case back to the City for further consideration. These are real issues that the public should be concerned about. All of the issues are solvable. We believe with design changes the Naitos can be on their way towards constructing a project that meets their commercial goals while protecting public safety and respecting the environment.
Issues with proposal:
Port Rejects Cable Park
On November 14 by a 4 to 1 vote the Port Commission rejected the cable park. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who sent letters to the Port, City and newspaper, signed the petition, went to the Float-in, went to meetings, talked to friends and neighbors and generally supported public access at Nichols Basin. You are what makes Hood River special.
Hood River Cable Park
The Nichols Basin may turn into the Hood River Cable Park.
The Port of Hood River is considering leasing one of Hood River's best multi-use recreation sites to a Portland developer to turn into a private cable park.
The cable wakeboarding park would shut off public access to the vast majority of Nichol's Basin all summer. Currently, hundreds of locals and tourists use the Basin weekly for SUP, kayaking, windsurfing and other water fun. All of those users will be excluded if the cable park is built. If you use and love the Basin, contact the Port now to SAVE it for public use.
Alternative Plan Proposed
Port Commission President Jon Davies and Hood River Mayor Arthur Babitz have crafted a proposal to end the wrangling about Nichols Basin. Under their plan, the Naitos would drop the cable park and instead the shoreline of the Basin would be developed as a waterfront park. Their plan embraces the alternative vision for the basin that we have been advocating all along.While we like much about the plan, the challenge will be to turn it into something real and enforceable. So far the Naitos have refused to enter a normal legal settlement process. For more details: Hood River News
The September 8th Float In in support of maintaining full public access to Nichols Basin was a blast. Thank you to the 175+ people who came to float on crafts of all kinds and also to the folks on the shore cheering us on. There were lots of requests to make this an annual event if we win this fight. Sounds good to us. We'll add costumes and decorated boats and some contests, like obstacle courses and best SUP riding dog. Here's a video of the event https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7EB3efEObo
Enhance Recreation and Support Quality Development
Friends of the Hood River Waterfront are working to preserve and enhance public access and recreation in the basin. We support an alternative vision to the proposed cable park that includes infrastructure development like additional water access points, storage for SUP boards, beautifully landscaped pedestrian walkways and gathering spaces to support the kind of people-powered water sports that have made Hood River famous.