City seeks input from area businesses on how to remove obstacles, barriers

by: SUBMITTED GRAPHIC - The city of West Linn is looking to reduce the amount of red tape local businesses must work through.The city of West Linn has initiated its Cut the Red Tape project, which will eliminate unnecessary and inefficient regulatory barriers associated with doing business in the city and instead provide incentives that encourage more positive economic development.

The information received will guide the city in making changes to existing development regulations and processes, an effort that aims to result in a more streamlined process that will provide greater predictability for property owners and the community.

According to Mayor John Kovash, “For the last few years, staff and council have worked on making our government more efficient, effective and responsive to the needs of the community. This project is a continuation of those efforts.”

The Cut the Red Tape project is being led by West Linn Economic Development Director Chris Kerr, who encourages local business owners to share their thoughts online at

“Feedback from local business owners and developers is critical in ensuring that changes to development regulations respect the quality of life West Linn residents demand,” Kerr said.

If you operate a business in West Linn, have done business in the city or just have ideas to share about the city council’s goal to reduce barriers, you are encouraged to visit the website, take a short survey and provide feedback.

Assisting Kerr in this effort is the West Linn Economic Development Committee. The EDC is a seven-member group of citizen volunteers, appointed by the city council, whose purpose is to help further bridge the gap between the business community and city government. The EDC has assembled a five-member working group to engage individually with local business owners to discuss in greater detail the difficulties in navigating West Linn’s development regulations and to recommend solutions that will promote a more business-friendly environment in the city.

Recent articles in the Tidings have highlighted another component of the city’s outreach efforts, which involve direct one-on-one visits between city council members, city staff and targeted local business; recent examples include Dahlgren Footwear and Polar Systems.

These illustrate the city’s ongoing attempts to engage and listen to the concerns of the business community at large.

City Councilor Thomas Frank said, “These visits help to strengthen these important relationships and provide direct feedback to the city on potential reforms and policies to make it easier to do business in the city. This (project) is an important step to identify unnecessary barriers and take meaningful action to address them. We want businesses and entrepreneurs to consider West Linn as they open, expand or relocate.”

After completing the public outreach process, reviewing the results of the online survey and drafting recommended amendments, public hearings on the proposed reforms are expected to be heard by the planning commission and city council this summer.

For more information or if you have questions about the project, contact Kerr at 503-723-2538 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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