Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



A new city group hopes to set the city's future as continued population growth is expected

Between now and July, a citizens' advisory group will look to chart the vision for Newberg for the coming 20 years.

As one of its goals to be completed this year, the Newberg City Council asked for the completion of a community visioning process. Community Development Coordinator Doug Rux said the city then went to the University of Oregon and were provided a participant from the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program to serve as a visioning coordinator.

According to a packet provided to members of the Community Visioning Citizens Advisory Committee, Newberg is the second largest city in Yamhill County, and its population has "greatly grown because of a high standard of living; a clean, green environment; and a strong economy. Large agriculture and manufacturing sectors; education, health care and social services; and tourism lead to a household median income of over $53,000. To prepare for the growth expected to continue to happen, the city has created plans to meet the housing and business needs. This will help Newberg keep the small-town feel that makes it such a great place to call home while keeping a strong, local economy."

Rux said the RARE visioning coordinator has drafted a community profile, which the committee will provide feedback of to the city.

Right now, he said a project website is being construced as well.

"We've done stakeholder interviews," Rux said. "As we move into 2019 we'll starting engaging the broader public for what their vision is."

According to a timeline in the packet, following the stakeholder interviews, the next steps will be to engage the community with public events, which should run through June. A third step is an action plan, which will gather all the data and put it into a plan to finalize the vision and its action plan.

An outreach timeline suggests public surveys, in the forms of forums and workshops, be held from January through June, with recurring advertising also slated to start in January. There will also be community events throughout the year, such as Halloween, the annual tree lighting and the Camelia Festival, to serve as opportunities for outreach. The goal in the packet is to have final documents due to the City Council by July 31, and the project ends Aug. 19.

The packet states Newberg's population is estimated to grow 56 percent by 2040, which would bring it to roughly 36,700 residents, and notes the city is growing at a faster rate than both Yamhill County and the state as a whole.

According to the packet, 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.

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