ILWACO - Looking for input from the community for Ilwaco's Comprehensive Plan, the Ilwaco Planning Commission invites the public to an open house Tuesday, Feb. 24.

According to City Planner Skip Urling, Ilwaco adopted their current comprehensive plan in 1997. Now the city is required to update the plan by fall 2010.

Urling and Planning Commission Chair Don Parsons say the planning commission wants to hear residents' ideas on what the future of Ilwaco should look like. Citizens' ideas could elaborate on infrastructure, beautification, parks and recreation, attractions, economic development, the relationship between the city and the port, economic boundaries, urban growth, and policies to guide future development.

These suggestions will help city officials evaluate where the city is now, create a vision of where Ilwaco should be, and use the plan as a guide for development. Urling says a well-written comprehensive plan will include policy statements, goals and guidelines, and an objective checklist - all of which could help the city receive more grant money.

"Public input is not only requested but required," says Parsons. "The plan defines where we're going, it gives us a frame of reference ... It's about evaluating our resources, making plans based on those resources and finding other resources for the future."

Urling agrees and says the plan will encourage and promote economic wellbeing and help solidify an identity for the city, as well as "embrace Ilwaco pride as a focal concept."

The open house will be held at 6 p.m., at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum on Lake Street in Ilwaco. Copies of the current comprehensive plan can be found at Ilwaco City Hall.

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