COOS BAY—Coos Bay is working on updating its Downtown Urban Renewal Plan, which has been in effect since 1988.

At a Coos Bay City Council work session Tuesday, councilors discussed changes to the plan as well as current projects that are in the works.

One of the motivations to update the plan was to make it easier to understand.

“Our old plan had been amended 20 times and it had been rough to read,” City Manager Rodger Craddock said.

Councilor Jennifer Groth said she was hoping the council could make a document that would make sense as a cohesive plan if a developer were to look at it.

“This is good progress on this though, I know this is one of my pet projects,” Groth said, “It’s always been kind of driving me crazy.”

Beyond just making the document itself easier to read, the list of project ideas has become more concise.

“We’ve narrowed it down from $34 or $35 million worth of projects down to a range in tier one of just around $9 million,” Craddock said.

He said the projects aren’t listed in any particular order, however there are already some projects that are being planned.

One is a mural in the courtyard, also called a pedway, next to the Egyptian Theatre.

Another improvement that was discussed was addressing the problem with the brick barriers on Central Ave., which pose a tripping hazard.

Craddock talked about an idea to move the one-way driving lane onto the north side of the street and put diagonal parking on the south side.

The City Manager said that solution has an added benefit of providing more space to events like the farmer’s market and Blackberry Arts Festival.

Craddock said the next step for councilors is prioritizing the tier one projects listed.

“Having those priorities is smart, especially with limited dollars,” Groth said.

Right now, the plan lists three target areas- the waterfront, the downtown core and infrastructure.

Mayor Joe Benetti said hopefully the council can get some of the projects accomplished with the new plan.

“For the first year... you could knock three or four of these off and not even be in debt,” Benetti said.

Reach Saphara Harrell at (541) 269-1222 ext. 239 or by email at saphara.harrell@theworldlink.com

Outbrain