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Shelton Mason County Journal
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Mason County Journal
January 30, 2014     Shelton Mason County Journal
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January 30, 2014

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2 visions fc,r pedestrian-friendly downtown Shelton city will host third forum in late February By GORDON WEEKS gordon@masoncounty.com Shelton city planners offered two paths toward a" pedestrian-friendly Downtown Zoning District at an open house Jan. 21. Alternative one uses a "form-based code" that focuses not on specific uses, but on creating a mixed-use environ- ment with diverse neighborhoods and colorful streetscapes. The second option alters the down- town district's boundaries to incorpo- rate the west side of First Street south of Grove Street into the general com- mercia] zoning district. At the end of the two-hour forum at the Shelton Civic Center, Steve Goins -- the city's director of community and economic development -- acknowl- edged that he wasn't hearing a prefer- ence between the two options. "No one is pleading with us one way or another," Goins said. He added that he realizes the city needs to better ex- plain the concept of form-based code. A third forum will be scheduled for late February. The city will then for- mulate a proposal to present to the Shelton City Commission. The downtown zone is bordered by Franklin Street to the north, Seventh Street to the west, First Street to the east, Cota Street to the south, and also south of Cota Street between Third Street and First Street to Goldsbor- ough Creek. The features of the downtown zone include low traffic speed, wide side- Journal photo by Gordon Weeks A pedestrian takes advantage of sunny skies Friday afternoon to shoot some photographs on Railroad Avenue. The area is part of the city's Downtown Zoning District, which is being considered for zoning and boundary changes to create a pedestrian-friendly district. walks, ample vegetation, eye-catch- ing architecture and an environment where pedestrians feel safe. Land uses allowed in the downtown zone include most types of retail, fi- nancial institutions, barber and beau- ty shops, restaurants without drive- throughs, churches, offices, dells, drug stores, laundromats, florists and social services. Not allowed in the zone are auto repair and reconditioning business- es, restaurants with drive-throughs, auto sales, auto service and gasoline stations, and retail lumberyards. Along with presenting the two plans, the city planners reminded open "No one is pleading with us one way or another." Steve Goins, city of Shelton's director of community and economic development house attendees of a third alternative: do nothing. With the form-based code plan, the city would not control uses, but control the environment to meet objectives, in this case a pedestrian-oriented area, Goins said. Under the form-based system, his- toric buildings can be revised rather than torn down, Goins said. "I don't think it's a fix-all, but in this case, I think it's a good idea," he said. To better understand the form- based code, go to YouTube and type in "Roswell's Guide to the Future." Option 2 is a "simple alternative" and "an old school form of zoning," which allows for uses are more "condu- cive" to the area," said Jason Dose, the city's senior planner. The zoning would allow an automobile business to con- duct business in the now-unoccupied Mell Chevrolet building, he said. At the forum, city planners also summarized and followed up on com- ments from the Nov. 6 gathering. Some attendees said downtown Shelton lacks sufficient parking, while others say it is not an issue, Goins said. Dose later added, "In a successful downtown, you might park eight blocks away from your destination, but you walk past 40 shops." Attendees at the first forum made clear they don't want the historic Tollie train engine to be moved from Railroad Avenue, and that the exit sign that simply reads "City Center" on U.S. Highway 101 doesn't direct anyone to- ward the historic sites or businesses downtown, Goins said. "We think that was a valid point," he said. At the Jan. 21 forum, Scott Bar- nard, whose downtown properties include the 1912 building, said he op- poses a suggestion that Railroad Av- enue be rezoned to allow only retail stores on street-level storefronts be- tween First and Fifth streets in an ef- fort to draw more tourists and locals downtown. Barnard said he would lose tenants through such a rezoning. "Retail is phasing out for the Inter- net," he said. "There's big box business- es and struggling small businesses ... I don't want to be told what to do to pay my bills." Conducting business is "tough" be- cause of the transients walking around, Barnard said. "It's not fun to be a business owner downtown... I want to do what I'm able to do," he said. The workers in downtown office buildings go out for lunch, and spend money at nearby businesses, Barnard said. "To just limit it to retail -- I want less government control, not more," he said. www.edwardJones.com Life Doesn't Stand Still and Neither Should Your Investments. Time can affect you as much as your investments. While you can't stop change, you can help ensure your investments match your current circumstanc- es and goals. Fortunately, doing that may be as easy as meeting with your financial advisor. A complimentary portfolio review from Edward Jones can help identify where your investments stand in relation to your goals and how to get them moving in the same direction. To schedule a complimentary portfolio review, call or visit your local financial advisor today. Armin C Baumgartel, AAMS Financial Advisor 821: W Railroad Avenue SuiteA P.O. Box 1908 Shelton, WA 98584 360-426-0982 Vote Y-ES for kids / Strong Schools mean Strong Community Look for your Replacement Levy in your mailbox Election Day is February 11 th Paid for by Citizens for Shelton Schools, PO Box 1577, Shelton, WA 98584 Page A-2 - Mason County Journal- Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014