ILWACO - City of Ilwaco Planning Commission will hold the next in a series of meetings intended to guide the appearance of town's appearance on Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 6 p.m. in the Fire Hall City Council Chambers. The public is invited to participate.

Ilwaco Planning Commission held public meetings on Sept. 9 and Oct. 1 to address what can be done to improve the appearance of the city in preparation for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial and in preparation for our future. This is a continuation of those discussions.

The commission encourages participation of residents, merchants and friends.

"There are many opportunities to manage change. Change is constant. Buildings burn down. New buildings are built. Businesses leave. New businesses start up. People pass away and leave. New people are born and arrive. Sources of income shift. The appearance of the city changes in the process and the Lewis and Clark commemoration is coming soon," the planning commission said in a release.

"Civic pride and property values hinge on the appearance of our city. Economic vitality depends on new businesses that are attracted by the appearance of our city. We can choose to make a difference. The question is how," the commission continued.

"Do we have a notion of what sort of appearance we want for Ilwaco? Will we get what we want? Will the community be well-served? Will we attract homeowners and businesses that are most likely to contribute to our vision for the city?"

Ilwaco now has very few ordinances that address appearance. Some approaches have been suggested:

• Citizen Action Groups (to work on focused projects) such as a program to plant trees

• An architectural "guide book" to describe Ilwaco's preferences.

• An Architectural Review Committee with enabling ordinances.

• Architectural Review limited to districts called "Historic Overlays" or "Restrictive Zones."

• Blanket Architectural Review that applies to the entire city.

"What do you think? Do we need more influence over appearance or not?" asks the commission. The Planning Commission invites written responses of any length.

This isn't a "gripe session" - it's a way to turn your concerns into suggestions for positive action.

"Your planning commission needs your input to set the course for the city's Comprehensive Plan and Land Use Ordinance actions we will recommend to the City Council. We have no preconceived notions on approach - except that this is an important topic."

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