King City has big dreams of growing west to Southwest Roy Rogers Road.
But big dreams require big plans. And making big plans requires a big time commitment.
City Manager Mike Weston and his staff at City Hall are in the process of putting together a master plan for King City's future growth, one piece at a time.
The master plan is going to shape how King City is going to look like in the future, as its population is expected to eventually double.
Plans are to bring 528 acres of land, now known as Kingston Terrace, into city limits for future development, after a decision by Metro in 2018 — requested by the King City government — to expand the urban growth boundary.
"The master plan basically establishes all the things that the city is going to need: sanitary lines, water lines, gas lines, power lines, transit lines," Weston said, adding the plan would also look at a network that would handle multi-modal traffic, such as electrical vehicles and multi-use pathways.
"All these things come into play, and we have to figure out how to accommodate them," Weston added. "The master plan just kind of puts an umbrella out there â€“ otherwise, it's just going to be sprawling development, and we're not going to have that tightknit community or connectivity or cultural centers that we're looking for."
Weston continued, "If you don't have a master plan in place that establishes the finance plan and all those other elements, then the developers pass the burden on to the taxpayers or prior residents of the city. That is something we have been trying very hard to avoid, so we're trying to put the burden of the development on the shoulders of the developers moving forward."
Weston isn't alone. City councilors and planning commissioners are actively involved as well.
When a plan is actually created and all the data pulled together, King City's planning commission will conduct a public hearing, which will be open to all community members — including people outside of King City's current city limits.
"They will have to review the documentations and make a recommendation," Weston said. "The transportation system plan will probably be an appendix to the master plan, so that should all get presented to the planning commission at a public hearing. The public will have a chance to weigh in, voice their concerns, frustrations — whatever input they want to provide."
City officials say the draft transportation system plan is nearing completion. The master plan for Kingston Terrace is expected to go deeper, though, considering options for east-west connectors, multi-modal paths and neighborhood street alignments in the area.
"Factors including vehicle traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access, neighborhood impacts, environmental impacts, and cost will be considered," a statement on the planning process noted Monday, Aug. 30.
Officials say they want the community to be involved.
"We've actually gotten some great public input along the way, throughout this whole process," Weston said. "We've gotten great input on parks, great input on some of the geology out there, some of the natural resource areas. We've actually taken a few site tours. All in all, residents have been very informative and very helpful along the way."
After the planning commission hears the matter and conducts a public hearing, planning documents will be submitted to the City Council for final approval. The council was originally expected to make a decision by the end of this year, but Weston anticipates a delay.
"It looks to me like the schedule is getting pushed back to 2022," Weston said. "What was supposed to be this coming December has now been pushed back at least until March, and March is optimistic. If I had my crystal ball, my guess is we're looking more at June or July before this thing is adopted and finalized."
In a recent letter to the community, Mayor Ken Gibson stressed that the desired outcome for the Kingston Terrace is to be a master-planned community.
Gibson wrote that a master-planned community has easy access to a wide range of amenities and services and a high degree of safety and security. He anticipates mixed-use development in the community — a combination of residential and commercial — but it's not going to happen overnight.
"It is important to note that future development is most likely five to 10 years away and could span 20 to 30 years to reach complete buildout," Gibson wrote.
Weston echoed Gibson in saying the final shape of the city is way down the road, emphasizing that no final decision has been rendered.
"This thing is in the process," he said. "We are a long way away from getting to the end of the document."
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.