Request to Rebuild River St
Update Dec 12 2022:
Moving the road might open up some great opportunities for Blue River as a community. Not only will it provide a safe and easy access point for locals, it could also solve some problems with recruiting new businesses to Blue River. Make sure to Read the update and the bottom of this post!
Some of our neighbors have been vocal about wanting to keep the road open to access the Highway. In response to that we have been looking at options to get they road rebuilt to meet normal safety guidelines and having it maintained by the county to ensure it stays in good condition (and is plowed for snow, etc.)
As we continue to look for options to rebuild our property and find solutions for Blue River, we have been engaging the county and the state on what are the best options for moving forward.
A good win/win option could have the road moved west of the existing structures on our property.
- Moving the road is looking more and more important for your ability to create a viable rebuild strategy for the resort property.
- The area of the current road is too narrow being next to the riparian area, to widen the road
A visual example of a possibility is shown in the image below with yellow representing the new road.
It would serve to provide easement access for buried infrastructure, such as electrical, water and sewer.
For those who want to look at this and just say “that road won’t work there because….” or find another negative issue just to be negative, this image was simply me drawing a line one a map saying we have options and I am open to all great options. When the road is vacated and we can start getting planning and engineering looking at options for where a replacement road could be best siting to meet everyone’s needs.
The fire hurt a lot of us and some compromises will need to be made to bring back a healthy Blue River.
Until the current road is vacated we cannot engage in any serious work with feasibility studies or design work on moving forward. This includes what to do with the empty lots next to us. What we can build, what business would be viable – depends on siting and our orientation to the river.
Earth Quest Partners. LLC dba Mckenzie River Mountain Resort
Update Dec 12 2022:
As many of you may already know, I have been a huge supporter off helping Blue River get better and put the welcome sign out for new businesses. I have been volunteering with McKenzie Community Partnership (formerly known as Blue River Community Development Corporation) for almost 15 years to help solve problems and make Blue River better.
I care about our town a lot and want to see it come back to life and be a great place to live for all of us.
I’ve spent a lot of time trying to research and figure out the roadblocks to getting businesses open – especially in our downtown core. I spoken to a number of property owners who have tried to open businesses here during that time.
There are many reasons why Blue River has struggled to get businesses to open:
- Wastewater issues on business lots (can’t get building permits)
- Visibility – lack of highway signage
- Lack of strong business loop
- Empty lots and according to outsiders, a feeling of decay
- Lack of street lights and sidewalks (curb appeal/safety)
One of the key challenges on Blue River Dr (downtown) was wastewater – the business lots were too small to build on and meet septic guidelines (so owners couldn’t get building permits.)
As part of fire recovery, Mckenzie Community Partnership advocated with state and county leaders and the State gave us 15 million to put in a community sewer!! In addition, the funds will be used to make improvements to our water system and possibly street lights and maybe other improvements like this road.
The sewer project is something many of us in the community have worked on for almost 15 years.
Rebuilding and adjusting the road might open up some great opportunities for Blue River as a community.
Not only will it provide a safe and easy access point for locals, it will also help create a focused business loop.
- Traffic Flow
- Potential for smarter development of Blue River
- Potential to add workforce housing
- May help improve visibility and traffic flow to support new downtown businesses
- Minimize non-local traffic flows on Blue River Dr between the new road and the High School.
It appears that many of the things that McKenzie Community Partnership (formerly known as Blue River Community Development Corporation) has been pushing for regarding land use rules, are already acceptable by the State and that Lane County just needs to update its code to allow those uses.
MCP is working with state and county leaders to help direct recovery efforts, advocate for the community and coordinate with our other local non-profits, community groups and community centers.
Good things are coming along with some great updates on community visioning. The MCP expects to be working with the county to reach out to property owners to get feedback and make improvements.
As part of this process, I want to hear from you, our neighbors about what’s important to you as Blue River works on recovery and improvement. What would you like to see in our future road map for Blue River and for your property.
Let’s find common values and advocate together on a general shared vision.