The Columbia County Board of Commissioners has approved the rezoning of Chapman Landing, a step sought by Scappoose city officials who want to transform the area into a park.
Chapman Landing, the waterfront area at the end of the Crown Zellerbach Trail, is outside Scappoose city limits, in unincorporated Columbia County, but the Scappoose city government acquired it in 2019.
The county commissioners voted to rezone a 13.2-acre portion of Chapman Landing from rural industrial to community service recreational, which will allow the property to be developed into a park.
When Columbia County transferred ownership of the property to Scappoose more than two years ago, it was already a long-awaited move toward making the site into a park.
A city contractor completed initial conceptual plans for the park, but work has since slowed.
"To date, the city's efforts with Chapman Landing have primarily been focused on the cleanup of the property by public works crews," said Scappoose's public works director, Dave Sukau. "With the recent focus on the Grabhorn parcel and limited funds, the city's efforts with Chapman Landing have mostly been labor."
The city purchased a 9.5-acre parcel next to Veterans Park in April 2020 and quickly set to work developing conceptual plans for a park on the property, and then establishing an ad-hoc committee to make plan recommendations to the City Council.
For the fiscal year that started in July, Scappoose has budgeted $50,000 for Chapman Landing. The city expects to spend another $50,000 in the 2023-24 fiscal year, $10,000 the next year, and then $1,540,000 in later years.
Sukau said the spending in the next few years will go toward "costs associated with zoning, permitting and design of the future facility."
By way of comparison, for the current fiscal year, Scappoose budgeted $150,000 for the Grabhorn property.
Scappoose Mayor Scott Burge signed the 10 Minute Walk pledge in 2019, promising that all Scappoose residents would live within a 10-minute walk of a park by the year 2050.
The Chapman Landing project doesn't bring the city closer to that goal, because Chapman Landing is just over a mile, or close to a 22-minute walk, from the nearest residential area in city limits.
But a 2017 Scappoose parks and trails master plan identified Chapman Landing as "a significant resource for the community since it provides one of the few access points to the Multnomah Channel."
Chapman Landing is also the eastern terminus of the Crown Zellerbach Trail, a 23-mile trail that stretches from Scappoose to Vernonia.
Columbia County Commissioner Casey Garrett, who previously led the county's Crown Zellerbach Trail improvement efforts as general services director, said the rezone "is probably a 20-some-year process in the making."
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