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COOS BAY -- How to revise Empire design standards is again on the City Council's agenda for Tuesday's meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Coos Bay Public Library's large meeting room, 525 Anderson Ave.

Over the summer, councilors discussed a draft revision to the standards that would drop the requirement that buildings evoke the architectural style of the late 1800s and make requirements more flexible. The draft met with positive feedback, but was sent back to Public Works and Development for more revisions.

Now, the city's Public Works and Development Department is asking for the council's direction on several issues:

• Whether to continue implementation of design standards in Empire.

• Whether to remove the specific time period reference and, if so, should a different theme be used or should existing buildings be enhanced based on their own time periods and new buildings be constructed in a way compatible with nearby buildings.

• What review process to use if standards are continued.

Councilors also will discuss interim improvement options for the Lockhart and old fire station lot sites when they reconvene in their dual capacity as Urban Renewal Agency members immediately after the council meeting.

City employees are asking councilors to give them direction on what improvements they'd like to see and within what price range and timeline. Any improvements on the Lockhart site would have to wait until the city officially owns it, which is estimated to be a year.

Also on the agenda is a discussion about whether to make Second Court improvements an agency project. Design Review Committee members and city employees met last fall to come up with some concepts for making the street more inviting to pedestrians walking between Anderson Avenue and a city parking area. Ideas included improving and adding canopies on the east side of the street, improving lighting and adding landscaping to the west side. Already a 2nd Court Improvement Committee has cleaned up trash and weeds, and a mural contest for the west side of the street is under way.

Reporter Alice Campbell can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 235, or at acampbell@theworldlink.com.

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