Appeal tribune. (Silverton, Or.) 1999-current, March 16, 2016, Page 3A, Image 3

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    WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2016
City plans for more downtown appeal
Christena Brooks
Special to the Appeal Tribune
You run in to Mt. Angel
to pick up a few things at
Bochsler True Value
Hardware. On the way to
your car, you notice the
Glockenspiel is playing.
The sun is shining, so you
walk down the street to
watch the hand-carved
figures do their clock-
work routine.
Below the song and
dance, the restaurant
looks so quaint that you go
in for a fondue. And be-
fore driving away, you
stop at Mt. Angel Sausage
Company and pick up a
package of Fire Haus
Brats, extra spicy, to take
home. This kind of charm-
ing small town experience
is what city planners hope
to replicate more often by
updating the city’s devel-
opment code to require
downtown businesses to
be “pedestrian friendly”
when they build or remod-
Paid for by the state, a
two-year-long overhaul of
Mt. Angel’s development
code is nearly halfway
done. The $23,000 Trans-
portation Management
Growth grant has funded
the hiring of Angelo Plan-
ning, of Portland, to,
among other things, mod-
ify, harmonize and create
new code for the city’s
downtown and residential
Making Mt. Angel
more accessible to people
on foot is only one of many
goals, which include
blending the city’s park-
ing district with its down-
town, fixing residential
code conflicts and im-
proving connectivity for
pedestrians and bicy-
“You already have
your Bavarian theme, so
you don’t need a lot of the
design elements that a lot
of other cities need,” Se-
rah Breakstone, an Ange-
lo senior planner, told city
councilors at their March
7 meeting. “I’ve tried to
keep the design standards
simple and sort of focus
on the things that make
the biggest difference.”
For downtown, things
this could mean requiring
new businesses to locate
right up to the sidewalk,
offer a primary entrance
out front, include win-
dows liberally, screen
rooftop equipment, and
offer weather protection
to passersby.
“The proposed code
says 75 percent of a build-
ing’s frontage has to be set
to the sidewalk,” Breaks-
tone said. “Having a build-
ing set way back can be a
deterrent to pedestrians.”
The code changes are a
year away from becoming
law in Mt. Angel, as the
process won’t wrap up un-
til 2017. In the coming
months, Breakstone will
continue writing new
code and bringing it back
to the planning commis-
sion and city council for
The Glockenspiel restaurant is a Mt. Angel icon. The city is considering changes to its code which may affect downtown
businesses and require them to be pedestrian friendly when they build or remodel.
direction. Adoption will
require a council vote.
“There will be multiple
iterations I present be-
fore there’s something I’ll
present for actual adop-
tion,” she said.
As an example of the
give-and-take that will oc-
cur all year, Breakstone is
reconsidering her propos-
al to require awnings at
new businesses, after
hearing councilor Don
Fleck, former fire chief,
explain how he instigated
their removal because
they’d become safety haz-
ards. To City Manager Ei-
leen Stein, even more im-
portant than downtown
design standards is the
harmonization of the
city’s code. Some code
language is unclear and
even contradictory, she
said. That’s the result of
many years of uncoordi-
nated updates, a common
problem in cities with no
budget for large-scale
code overhaul.
“The city’s infill re-
quirements, for example,
touch two or three areas
of the code, and there are
conflicting provisions,”
she said. “It’s confusing
for applicants when, in
one section is says this,
but in another section, it
says that. This is some-
thing we’ve needed for a
very long time.”
No grant for
Pudding River
Christena Brooks
Special to the Appeal Tribune
As the Pudding River meanders across the Willamette Valley floor, it collects polluted runoff from farms, homes and cities.
The Pudding River Ba-
sin has been in the spot-
light recently as a group
of leaders from Silverton,
Mt. Angel and the sur-
rounding areas collabo-
rated to seek a chunk of a
$750,000 state grant.
But the local collabora-
tion was too new to con-
vince the Oregon Water
Resources Congress to
award funds for the study
of the water needs of
those who live and work
along the 62-mile Pudding
River and its tributaries.
“The relatively untest-
ed nature of collaborative
planning in this basin may
not make it a good fit dur-
ing the pilot phase,” read
the OWRC report.
“I’m disappointed that
we did not receive the
grant,” said Mt. Angel
City Manger Eileen Stein.
“We had a great opportu-
nity, and I was hoping we
could pull it all together.”
State lauds summer
reading successes
Christena Brooks
Special to the Appeal Tribune
The Oregon State Li-
brary honored Mt. Angel
Library for its 2015 sum-
mer reading program,
naming it as one of the
state’s top five “outstand-
ing projects.”
Eighty-two percent of
the youth who signed up
for the library’s summer
program achieved their
reading goals, as com-
pared with the state aver-
age of 33 percent, said Ka-
tie Anderson, youth ser-
vices consultant for the
state library.
Mt. Angel’s success
rate can be attributed to li-
brary staff, which “made
changes to the summer
reading program to in-
crease adult engagement
and encourage families to
participate together be-
cause parents are a child’s
first and most influential
teacher,” she said.
Mt. Angel Library di-
rector Carrie Alexandria
Caster and youth services
librarian Stephanie Laing
received the award be-
fore the City Council on
March 7.
Mt. Angel Library director Carrie Alexandria Caster and youth
services librarian Stephanie Laing received an award before
the City Council on March 7 for the library’s reading program.
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