Hermiston to Create Urban Renewal District Plan

Release Date: 

Link to Urban Renewal Information Page:  HERE

The City of Hermiston will soon begin forming an Urban Renewal District Plan in hopes of stimulating new development in the city’s downtown core.  The creation of a plan met with the unanimous support of City Council members at their December 10 meeting.

“You look at other cities around Oregon who have done this, and it really transforms how the whole town looks,” said City Councilor Rod Hardin.

Creation of an Urban Renewal Plan also received the unanimous support of the City of Hermiston Business Advisory Committee at its November 29 meeting.

“I think this is a very positive thing, and I haven’t heard anything negative about it from the people who I’ve talked to,” said City Councilor George Anderson.  “It’s a win, win, win.”

The decision to form an Urban Renewal Plan comes on the heels of an Urban Renewal District Feasibility Study which was undertaken throughout the Fall.  The study, conducted by planning firms Johnson-Reid, Stiven Planning, and Foster Consultants, utilized very conservative growth estimates in analyzing whether projects to be built would pencil-out financially. 

The planning consultants recommended that most cities use property value growth projections of 3% per year.  City of Hermiston administration requested that the feasibility study be conducted using projected growth rates of 1.5% and 2.5%.  The feasibility study shows that the resulting revenues of between $3 million and $5 million could pay for the draft list of potential projects valued at approximately $1.5 million.

Creation of an Urban Renewal Plan is expected to take approximately six months to complete.  Once that process of collecting public input and identifying final boundaries and projects is complete, the City Council will vote on whether or not to implement an Urban Renewal District.

The City of Hermiston has created a special place on its website to provide information about the formation of an Urban Renewal Plan.  This Urban Renewal Page features access to the full Feasibility Report, simple explanations of tax-increment financing, a display of how Urban Renewal affects property tax payers, and answers to frequently asked questions.  This information can be found at www.hermiston.or.us/ura.

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