PORT OFFICIALS UNVEIL FUTURE DEVELOPMENT PLANS
January 19, 2001 11:00 pm
The port master plan can be seen at the Feb. 20 meeting. ().
The port master plan can be seen at the Feb. 20 meeting. ().

A bike path. Retail shops. A resort hotel. A new public fishing dock.

These are just some of the projects included in the Port of Brookings Harbors Master Plan for 2001.

But before port officials make their final decision, they want input from residents.

We want everyone to come in, look at the displays and give us their comments, said Port Executive Director Russ Crabtree.

Crabtree said the report and recommendation made by a research and marketing company are on display at the port offices in the Harbor Sanitary District Building on Lower Harbor Road.

The harbor Board of Commissioners is expected to approve the master plan at its Feb. 20 meeting.

At the commissions Jan. 17 meeting, Larry and Lynn Goodman, Premiere Marketing & Research of Brookings and North Bend, gave a presentation on suggested future economic development of the port.

In preparing the report, they asked 22 questions from people from all walks of life in the area.

Residents were asked if they liked what the Port has been doing over the last 10 years. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, the Goodmans reported.

When asked whether they thought some things should have been different, some people brought up safety in regard to tsunamis and storms. But overall, most felt the port had done an exemplary job.

Incorporating a walking and cycling path throughout the port area was suggested, as was the use of gazebos as an identifier of the port area.

Many residents suggested a business direction toward the tourism industry should be pursued versus relying on the unstable commercial fishing industry, unless it too was geared toward tourism.

In response to suggested areas of growth over the next 10 years, most responses again highlighted a move toward tourism.

The retail industry carried strong appeal as did the proposed hotel and events center, the report stated. The idea of using both sport and commercial fishing as an attraction to the tourist was evident.

All of the respondents were in favor of using grant money, borrowing and third party sources to fund future projects.

Respondents rated the port recreational vehicle park low and suggested more landscaping, upgraded public facilities and possibly outsourcing park management.

Many respondents said signage within the port and Highway 101 signage was inadequate. Some suggested that Benham Lane be renamed Harbor Loop Road which would give the port more highway appeal, identify the port and the fact that its a loop road a comfort factor for RV drivers.

Many of the participants said the port plan should include more public fishing and crabbing areas.

When asked about additional retail or commercial development in the port, most respondents were against commercial construction unless it was port or tourist related (an example was a cheese factory) and kept away from any retail complex.

Many said the current retail complex should be expanded. Overall, the idea was for more shops and more boardwalk.

Results of the survey were incorporated in the proposed Master Plan 2001.

Included in the master plan is upgrading of the port RV park, relocation and rebuilding of the port shops building, development of an all event center, construction of two two-story commercial and professional buildings on Lower Harbor Road with an elevator for handicap access. UPS would be relocated to one of these buildings.

According to the study, while commercial fishing is on the decline, it is imperative that the commercial fishing basin be maintained, not only to serve the local commercial fishermen (but) to maintain the tonnage necessary to qualify for the federally funded dredging of the channel.

Without the commercial fishing industry it would be easier for the federal government to close the Coast Guard station, which would not only be a tremendous loss as a safety factor, but as an economic factor due to the loss of their $55,000 monthly payroll, the study states.