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American Shipper

Port of Vancouver acquires land for future development

Port of Vancouver acquires land for future development

   The board of commissioners of the port of Vancouver, Wash., has authorized the purchase for $5.9 million of 265 acres of light industrial and agricultural zoned property from a neighbor farm owner to accommodate future business development.

   The Rufener Farm property is located on the north side of Lower River Road, adjacent to the port’s terminals. About 58 acres of the land is zoned light industrial, and 207 acres zoned agricultural.

   “Land continues to be a scarce resource in the maritime industry,” said Arch Miller, port commission president.

   The Pacific Northwest port said it expects some infrastructure improvements to the industrial-zoned property, including water, power and sewer connections; internal roadways; and some fill to bring the land above the flood plains.

   Until development occurs, the entire property will continue to be farmed by the current three tenants involved in ranching and berry farming activities.

   The board authorized port executive director, Larry Paulson, to sign the purchase agreement upon the amendment of the port’s Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements and Industrial Development. Required by law, the port’s comprehensive scheme describes marine and industrial concepts, and shows possible future expenditures for improvements or expansion. Amendments to the scheme also require a State Environmental Policy Act non-project review.

   A public hearing on the comprehensive scheme amendment is scheduled for July 28.

   The port said its proposed “Columbia Gateway” project is undergoing a strategic master planning process. The final environmental impact statement and a revised sub-area plan are scheduled to be completed in early 2005. The port will begin work shortly on transitioning into the National Environmental Policy Act process, which is anticipated to take at least another three to five years before any development can begin.