By the Herald editorial staff
We're big fans of public input regarding big projects in the region, especially when it comes to the limited and priceless resource of waterfront property.
So we're glad to see Kennewick inviting residents and business owners into the process as it looks to revive a plan for the waterfront district between the blue and cable bridges.
The Bridge-to-Bridge and Rail-to-River Revitalization Plan is a $154,000 study to produce some ideas for the area that are agreeable to all the stakeholders.
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It picks up where a similar study left off about six years ago. Not a lot of action came out of that effort, and this time organizers are hoping to spur some activity.
Brainstorming sessions begin today and are scheduled by neighborhood. Residents and business owners should have received a letter telling when their neighborhood will meet. If you're unsure of your time, you can look it up on the city's website at www.ci.kennewick.wa.us/Community_Planning/NhoodMeetings.asp. All sessions take place at the Clover Island Inn conference rooms on the fourth floor.
There is also a citywide ses-sion for any resident at 6 p.m. Nov. 18.
It sounds like the city and the consulting firm it has contracted with have covered all the bases.
The Port of Kennewick has already kicked off revitalization efforts with its projects on Clover Island. The new port building and yacht club facility are the most visible but are likely to be upstaged by thenew lighthouse project that recently got under way.
The port also made a big move with its purchase a couple of years back of one of the trailer parks along the river. It has worked to relocate residents and remove outdated trailers with the hopes of developing that pocket of waterfront.
We'd like to see the city and other stakeholders follow the port's lead, with innovative and attractive improvements to the area.
Waterfronts can be big business and big draws for tourism and residents alike. We need a good mix of living units, recreational activities and retail to attract and keep people at the waterfront.
The consulting firm says nothing is off the table as it gathers ideas and input. Some key things to consider, the firm says, are:
w How to link the riverfront to downtown Kennewick.
w What kind of housing should be along the waterfront?
w Should railroad and warehouse activities continue to be allowed in the district?
w Who should lead the improvement efforts?
w How to finance the projects, which will be a mix of public and private developments.
Those are tough questions to answer and have proved to be hurdles in the past. But with the port paving the way, the city and area business owners have a good lead to follow already.
The city is giving citizens every opportunity to provide input. If you don't participate in the process, we have this to say to you: You're not allowed to complain about what is eventually done with the district.