Our city, like others in the state, has a master plan about land use that seemed to us to be pretty clear. The plan says that existing park sites will be protected from incompatible uses. We thought that meant that our existing city parks would be safeguarded.
But in early 2019 the Hood River City Council decided that, despite this plan, a park could be rezoned from being an open space public park to something entirely different. The city pledged to sell the park to a developer.
And suddenly many of us realized that every park was in jeopardy, because any park could be carved up for a variety of uses. The open spaces, fields, playgrounds, and other amenities our citizens enjoy could vanish forever.
This puts all our city parks at risk. To help protect existing parks, and to support acquisition of new parks, a group of local citizens formed Protect Our Parks as a nonprofit public benefit corporation.
One of our first projects has been to support a campaign for a city initiative measure which, if successful, will require an affirmative vote of the public before the city can dispose of any of its parks. As of now, we have succeeded in gathering in a short two-week period over 1,200 signatures of city voters to qualify the initiative for the November 2019 ballot.
We would love to have your support and energy to help us protect all Hood River parks! For more information about the initiative (including the complete text), or to find out how you can volunteer to help with our work, please see our website at www.ProtectOurParksHoodRiver.com