The Uniontown Reborn Master Plan (Project) “Study Area” (Figure 1) is the portion of West Marine Dr. from Smith Point to Bond St. in the City of Astoria. The Study Area includes land adjacent to West Marine Dr. plus land to the north that is designated for commercial, industrial, and mixed-use development. The Project will consider improved connections between West Marine Dr. and residential areas to the south, but will not address the residential area beyond the homes adjacent to West Marine Dr.
Figure 1: Study Area
Lying in the northwest corner of the City of Astoria on the Columbia River, the Uniontown neighborhood serves as a gateway to Astoria and as an important center for industrial and commercial activity. The Uniontown neighborhood is the location of the Astoria Megler Bridge, which brings people across the Columbia from Washington, and the New Young’s Bay Bridge which brings people from the coast. The waterfront portion of the Study Area is dominated by Port of Astoria facilities, including Piers 1-3, the West Basin Marina, and Port offices. Several hotels are also located on the waterfront.
The Uniontown neighborhood also has historic significance and the Study Area includes a portion of the Uniontown-Alameda Historic District. The area was noted for thriving canneries and other seafood-related commercial activities during the 1875 to 1949 period, its role in commerce and trade, and its late 19th and early 20th century American commercial architecture.
Downtown Astoria is currently undergoing a transformation resulting from increased investments in new businesses and development activity. While the Uniontown neighborhood has a central location and historic character, it has not experienced the same level of investment as downtown Astoria. The lack of activity in the Uniontown neighborhood is due in part to the lack of a unifying vision for the neighborhood and a coherent set of plans, policies, and regulations to guide public investments and support private redevelopment activity.
Project Purpose and Transportation Relationship and Benefit
The Uniontown Reborn Project’s purpose is “Creating a Great Pacific Northwest Gateway to Astoria.” The Uniontown Reborn Master Plan will develop a unifying vision for Uniontown and adjacent lands to maintain the area’s distinct historic aesthetic, coordinate land use and transportation improvements, and identify economic opportunities.
The Project will recommend changes to City’s plan designations, zoning and land use regulations; develop design standards to encourage pedestrian-friendly, transit-friendly development and redevelopment; and develop a set of recommended public investments to support the vision and planned land uses, including investments in the transportation system to support multiple modes of travel.
Creation of alternative street design cross sections within the West Marine Drive public right-of-way in City to better accommodate and encourage use of walkways, bikeways, and transit is a key Project focus.
The objectives for these Services are to undertake a comprehensive analysis of the Study Area and to use that information to develop a complete land use plan and supportive transportation plan that can provide a welcoming environment for all modes of travel and support and enhance the Uniontown Neighborhood’s economic vitality and marketability.
Establish a vision for the community’s desired future for Study Area, along with specific objectives and guiding principles for the development of regulations, design standards, and streetscape improvements to help achieve the vision.
Build on previous planning and visioning work conducted for the Study Area and surrounding areas, including the Astoria Riverfront Vision Plan, Transportation System Plan, Bridge Vista Code Amendments, and other relevant efforts and plans. Create an attractive and welcoming entry to Oregon and City through the use of signage, art, landscaping, and other public improvements.
Facilitate the execution of the Astor-West Urban Renewal Plan, which includes part of the Study Area, to help fund the Project.
Strengthen the livability and economic vitality of the Study Area by identifying opportunities and removing barriers to development and re-development; enhancing walkability; improving bicycle and transit infrastructure, improving neighborhood aesthetics with landscape and streetscape elements, and enhancing access from adjacent neighborhoods.
Create a balanced and efficient multimodal transportation system that better accommodates a variety of modes to offer attractive options to driving for those who live, shop, and travel through the Study Area.
Actively engage community stakeholders in a thorough visioning process to encourage their support of the Project and its conclusions and to spur private investment in the Study Area.