City officials says the Feb. 5 event is a way for the public to engage in planning the city for next 20 years
To begin envisioning what the city will look like two decades from now, Newberg will host a community event Feb. 5 to kick off the process.
The event, titled “A NewBERG,” will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Chehalem Cultural Center. Community members, businesses and local organizations are invited to participate in the visioning process for the city’s next 20 years.
Charting the next two decades was a goal of the Newberg City Council and the city went to the University of Oregon for help and were provided a participant from the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments Program to serve as a visioning coordinator. That coordinator, Bayo Ware, drafted a community profile for the Community Visioning Citizens Advisory Committee.
The city has already conducted earlier stakeholder interviews and now is transitioning into a more involved stage for the public to be part of. Public events should last through June. The following step is an action plan, which is gathering all the data and putting it into a plan to finalize the vision.
An outreach timeline suggests that public surveys, in the forms of forums and workshops, be held through June, with recurring advertising also slated to start this month. There will also be community events throughout the year to serve as opportunities for outreach, as well as committee meetings, and residents are invited to share their thoughts with Ware at firstname.lastname@example.org. The goal in the packet is to have final documents due to the council by July 31; the project ends Aug. 19.
According to the city’s website, “Oregon in general, and the Portland Metro Area specifically, has seen huge growth over the past 10 years. Newberg has seen and felt this growth first-hand. In this rapidly changing time, Newberg has the great opportunity to decide what it wants to be. A Community Vision is a tool that will provide goals for the next 20 years and a roadmap to get us there.”
According to committee documents, Newberg’s population is estimated to grow 56 percent by 2040, which would bring it to roughly 36,700 residents, and states the city is growing at a faster rate than both Yamhill County and the state as a whole.
According to the committee, a visioning project “is a way for the community to participate in planning Newberg’s future.” The community is rapidly growing, “and if we don’t plan for the future, then it will become something that no one wants.” It states the benefit of the plan is it creates a roadmap to a preferred future, and at the end of the project there will be a completed document outlining specific goals providing that roadmap.
The plan would also provide a “clear picture of the city’s resources so we can identify priorities” and unify different city sectors to accomplish the vision.
Originally published in The Newberg Graphic