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News Releases
Up to $4.5 million in city community development, housing grants available - 09/30/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver estimates there will be up to $4.5 million in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships Program, HOME American Rescue Plan (HOME ARP) and Affordable Housing Fund (AHF) funding available for local projects in 2023. 

Detailed grant application guidelines and a link to the online application are available at www.cityofvancouver.us/cdbg. Pre-applications will open Monday, Oct. 3 and are due by 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 31. Final applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16.

This funding supports projects and programs benefitting people who are homeless and those with low to moderate income. Types of eligible activities include homeless supportive services, affordable housing, business assistance, public facilities and other public services. Local governments and nonprofit organizations and agencies may apply.

The City will host a virtual information session about the application process and funding requirements Monday, Oct. 10 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. using Microsoft Teams. Participants can access the meeting at this link or view additional details on the City’s CDBG website. This is an opportunity to ask questions and is particularly helpful for new applicants. The meeting will be recorded and made available online and staff is available to help throughout the process for those who can’t attend. 

Funding decisions will be made by Vancouver City Council in April 2023. Funding awarded through this process will be made available approximately July 1, 2023.

For more information, visit www.cityofvancouver.us/cdbg. To request the application guidelines in another format or language, please contact Samantha Whitley at (360) 487-7952, TTY: (360) 487-8602, WA Relay: 7-1-1 or by email at Samantha.Whitley@cityofvancouver.us.

Keep leaves out of storm drain with free leaf disposal coupons - 09/29/22

Vancouver, Wash. – With the arrival of autumn and leaves falling and covering the ground, the annual Fall Leaf Coupon Program, courtesy of City of Vancouver and Clark County public works, can assist with proper disposal of leaves. The popular program allows residents to bring leaves to designated drop-off sites for free disposal. Keeping leaves out of streets helps prevent clogged stormwater drains and localized flooding.

From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, Vancouver and Clark County residents can drop off up to five cubic yards of leaves at one of the four designated sites shown on the coupon, at no charge. Loads of leaves must be covered, and all bags of leaves must be emptied out at the disposal site. Branches and other yard debris, including loads with a mix of leaves, are not covered by the coupon and will be charged at the regular disposal price. Coupons are intended to be used by individuals, not businesses.

Coupons are required and must be filled out with the name of an individual on the coupon, not a business, to be valid. Some drop-off sites may have a few spare coupons on hand this year, but residents are strongly encouraged to print, clip or get coupons in advance, before making the trip to drop off leaves. Coupons in Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese are also available.

Here’s how to get your coupons for free leaf disposal:

- Print out a coupon from City of Vancouver Solid Waste webpage: www.cityofvancouver.us/leafcoupon

- Print out a coupon from Clark County Green Neighbors webpage: www.clarkgreenneighbors.org

- Clip a coupon from Waste Connections’ annual Recycling newsletter, which will be sent in October to all residences in Clark County. Coupons are also available on Waste Connections’ webpage: www.wcnorthwest.com/leaves

- Call Vancouver Solid Waste at 360-487-7160 or email solidwaste@cityofvancouver.us to have a coupon sent to you by mail

- Pick up a printed coupon from Vancouver City Hall, City of Vancouver Utility Services and other City and County offices

There are four participating designated leaf disposal sites this year, shown below and printed on the coupon. 

- H & H Wood Recyclers, 8401 N.E. 117th Ave. Phone: 360-892-2805. Hours: 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday in October, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in November/December, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

- McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 N.E. 117th Ave. Phone: 360-892-6125. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in October/November; closed Sunday in December.

- Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union St, Camas. Phone: 360-834-7253. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

- West Van Materials Recovery Center, 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road. Phone: 360-737-1727. Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Check webcam for real-time lines before going: www.columbiaresourcecompany.com/west-vancouver-material-recovery.

In Vancouver, property owners are responsible for managing the leaves from their trees. Deliberately raking or blowing leaves into the street and leaving them there is unlawful. Street sweepers are generally no match for big, wet, heavy piles of leaves. The free leaf disposal program is intended to provide options for Vancouver residents with a lot of trees, while also protecting our stormwater system and streets from flooding.

Other resources for leaf disposal include on-site composting or subscribing to Waste Connections’ optional Organics service, available within the City of Vancouver and parts of Ridgefield, or optional yard debris service, available in portions of Clark County. Visit www.wcnorthwest.com to learn more.

View our video showing how the City of Vancouver and residents can work together to manage fall leaves: https://youtu.be/jr3ogvYlY6E.

City of Vancouver seeks applicants for lodging tax grants - 09/27/22

Vancouver, Wash. – City of Vancouver Lodging Tax grant applications for projects or events that will increase overnight and day-visit tourism  

An optional grant overview and orientation meeting for those interested in applying will occur at 3 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13 at City Hall (415 West 6th Street). The meeting will also be hosted online for those who wish to attend virtually. A recording of the meeting will be posted on the city’s website at Lodging Tax Grant Program | City of Vancouver, Washington, USA. The orientation meeting will include training on Foundant Technologies, the city’s new grant application software.

Lodging Tax grants are available to non-profit and tourism organizations with projects, events or activities that increase visits to the city or help increase tourism-related revenues for future events that will occur after March 1, 2023. The grants are funded through a four percent lodging tax on hotel, motel and bed and breakfast stays. 

Applications are available on the city’s website at Lodging Tax Grant Program | City of Vancouver, Washington, USA and the deadline for submission is 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18. 

For more information, contact Deputy Director of Economic Development Teresa Brum at teresa.brum@cityofvancouver.us.

Old Apple Tree Festival
Old Apple Tree Festival
Trees, apples and cider! Vancouver celebrates the Old Apple Tree on Saturday, Oct. 1 (Photo) - 09/23/22

Vancouver, Wash. – Vancouver’s popular Old Apple Tree Festival returns Saturday, Oct. 1, at Old Apple Tree Park, 112 S.E. Columbia Way. Strongly rooted in our community, the legendary Old Apple Tree makes its comeback. Planted in 1826 at Fort Vancouver, Vancouver’s venerable Old Apple Tree is the oldest apple tree in the Northwest and is considered the matriarch of Washington State’s apple industry. Despite the tree trunk failing in June 2020, a new tree from the original root system has grown to take its place.

The festival will take place between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 1, at Old Apple Tree Park, directly east of the Interstate 5 Bridge in the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. The family-friendly, free event offers live music, Vancouver Land Bridge tours, hands-on arts and crafts, and apples and food for purchase.

Urban Abundance, a nonprofit organization in Clark County, will host a free apple pressing station. Community members are encouraged to bring clean apples and containers to participate. Apple harvesting at the Historic Orchard will be coordinated by Urban Abundance; these apples can be pressed at the event or will be donated to the Clark County Food Bank. Volunteers are needed at the event to assist with cider pressing, outreach and apple orchard harvesting. Visit www.urbanabundance.org for volunteer opportunities.

Local musical groups The Juleps, Ottomatics and Bobbie, Joe, and the New Guy will be providing live music throughout the day. The City’s Urban Forestry Commission will give away a limited number of tree cuttings from the Old Apple Tree during the festival.

The Old Apple Tree Festival is presented by the Urban Forestry Commission in partnership with the City of Vancouver’s Urban Forestry, a division of the City’s Public Works department; Bartlett Tree Care; Urban Abundance; and the National Park Service.

For more information about the Old Apple Tree Festival and Vancouver’s efforts to enhance the community’s urban trees canopy, please call Urban Forestry at 360-487-8308 or visit www.cityofvancouver.us/urbanforestry.

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Attached Media Files: Old Apple Tree Festival
City of Vancouver asks community to weigh in on web redesign - 09/22/22

Vancouver, Wash. – The City of Vancouver is developing a new website designed to enhance the user experience, making it easier to understand, navigate and find information. 

To help inform the design of the future site, the City is asking community members and those who use the website to take a short, anonymous user experience survey they launched this week. A survey invitation also appears as a pop-up when visiting the City’s homepage.   

“The City’s website is more than a decade old, and it shows,” said Communications Director Laura Shepard. “Between changes in technology and evolving public expectations around accessing information, a redesign of the City’s website is long overdue.” 

On average the website has about 5,000 visits per day and 600,000+ page views per month. It is an important tool for the public to find information, do business with the City, or get involved.  

“Over a recent six-month period our website had more than 3.5 million page views,” said Shepard. “It is important that we hear from the public to understand what they value in a municipal website to ensure we can provide an accessible, user-friendly experience.” 

The new site is expected to go live in 2023. 

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Council meetings hit the road: community visioning roundtable Sept. 26 - 09/21/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On Monday, Sept. 26, Vancouver City Council will host its regular meeting and community communication forum at Educational Service District 112 (2500 NE 65th Avenue). During the communication forum, participants will listen, learn and talk together about the type of community they’d like Vancouver to be in the future.

“From transportation and water use, to housing and climate action, Vancouver is developing a wide range of plans that will guide the City’s future,” said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “As we prepare to update Vancouver’s comprehensive plan in 2023, we want to hear your ideas for how to improve our community.”

Through small-group discussions, community members will be able to share their ideas, hear from other community members and directly engage councilmembers in conversation. Participant input will help inform the creation of a community vision for 2045 that will guide the City’s next comprehensive plan. 

City Council Meeting Schedule

  • Council Workshop: 4 p.m.
  • Break: 6 to 6:30 p.m.
  • Council Meeting: 6:30 p.m.
  • Community Communication Forum: starts immediately following completion of council business, the forum is slated to run for up to 90 minutes. Scheduled council business prior to the community forum will be conducted in accordance with regular council meeting rules.

All community members are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided. If you need interpretation services or accommodations with a disability, please contact the City Manager's staff at (360) 487-8600 (Voice/TTY 487-8602). Every attempt at reasonable accommodation will be made.

The Sept. 26 community communication forum is the third in a series of summer Council meetings held outside of City Hall. The series is piloting new ways for community members to communicate and connect with the City Council. Previous forums were held on July 25 at the Vancouver Community Library and on August 15 at Clark College. 

C-TRAN offers multiple bus routes serving ESD 112, which stop on Fourth Plain Blvd. and Andresen Rd. Route information and schedules are available online at c-tran.com

Vancouver City Council approves resolution to place Affordable Housing Fund levy replacement on February 2023 ballot - 09/20/22

Vancouver, Wash. – On September 19, Vancouver City Council unanimously voted to approve a resolution to submit a ballot measure to voters that, if approved, would replace the City’s current Affordable Housing Fund Levy that expires at the end of 2023. 

“We’ve had tremendously rewarding and positive results over the last six years with the voter-approved Affordable Housing Fund," said Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle. “The levy has supported well over 1,000 units of affordable housing, provided rental assistance and services to prevent homelessness for more than 1,400 households and created or supported hundreds of temporary shelter beds, but our work is not done. With a continued housing deficit and rising costs, our housing emergency is still very real, and we are asking voters to consider a replacement levy to provide continued funding.”

The replacement levy will be on the ballot for the special election scheduled for February 14, 2023. The proposition seeks voter approval to replace the expiring levy with a property tax levy of approximately $0.30 per $1,000 of assessed value per property owner. The proposed levy replacement would raise $10 million annually, totaling $100 million over a period of 10 years starting in 2024.

If approved, the levy would provide dedicated funding for housing and housing services for people with low and very-low income, including those with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and families with children. The replacement levy, if approved, is projected to assist 2,500 households with rent assistance and housing services, help 150 households with home ownership, preserve or construct 2,400 affordable units, and support 550 shelter beds over the life of the levy.

Over the seven-year lifetime of the current levy that will expire in 2023, $42 million will have been raised. To date, the current levy has awarded $36,041,884 to support 52 projects related to the construction, acquisition, and preservation of affordable housing as well as rental assistance, and temporary shelter for Vancouver residents earning less than 50% of the area’s median income. Over the lifetime of the current levy, 1,064 units of affordable housing have been produced or preserved with support from the Affordable Housing Fund, 1,409 households have received rental assistance and services to prevent homelessness, and 405 temporary shelter beds have been created or supported with operating costs. Funding generated in the final year of this levy has been allocated to housing production and preservation as well as ongoing rental assistance programs and temporary shelter for people who are homeless.

“The burden of the affordable housing crisis is very real for many Vancouver residents,” said Councilor Diana Perez. “Many households with low and very low income are at risk in their current living situation, struggling to keep pace with housing and other cost of living expenses. The City is committed to continuing and strengthening its work in supporting safe, affordable housing and services for those most vulnerable in our community." 

Read the Affordable Housing Fund Report to learn more about the City’s work to address affordable housing and homelessness in Vancouver. Visit the Affordable Housing Fund website to learn more. 

 

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Map showing two construction phases for the Fourth Plain Blvd and Fort Vancouver Way Safety and Mobility Study.
Map showing two construction phases for the Fourth Plain Blvd and Fort Vancouver Way Safety and Mobility Study.
Vancouver seeks input on design options to make travel safer on Fourth Plain, Fort Vancouver (Photo) - 09/16/22

Vancouver, Wash. – This September and October, the City of Vancouver is seeking community feedback on proposed design options to improve travel safety and comfort on Fourth Plain Boulevard (from F Street to Andresen) and Fort Vancouver Way (from Fourth Plain to Mill Plain) whether you drive, walk, bus, bike or use a mobility device. Once a design is finalized, repaving and construction to implement safety improvements will take place in 2023 and 2024.

“Over 300 crashes occurred on Fourth Plain Boulevard between 2018 to 2020 alone, making it one of the most unsafe corridors in the City,” said Emily Benoit, City of Vancouver senior planner. “The Fourth Plain Blvd and Fort Vancouver Way Safety and Mobility Project aims to address some of the top transportation needs identified by community members, including a lack of safe crossings, speeding vehicles and unsafe conditions for people walking and riding bikes along these streets.” 

Based on community input and traffic analysis, the city has developed draft design options to repave the street and fix potholes, make pedestrian crossings safer, improve bike connections, and make C-TRAN’s The Vine bus system run more efficiently. Proposed design options would repurpose a travel lane to install new or buffered bike lanes and/or bus and right-turn-only lanes along the corridor. Lane reconfigurations such as this have been implemented in many communities across the northwest and have proven benefits such as a reduction in crashes, increased business revenue, and increased numbers of people walking and biking.

The City is conducting in-person and online outreach to connect with those who live, work, play or go to school on Fourth Plain Blvd and Fort Vancouver Way. The online open house and survey will be open through the end of October and is available in English, Spanish and Russian. To request other formats, contact Emily Benoit at emily.benoit@cityofvancouver.us

Staff will also be available to chat with community members at two free community events on Saturday, Sept. 17:

  • Grows Mercado fresh, local food market presented by the League of United Latin American Citizens SW Washington Chapter from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at River City Church, 2400 E. Fourth Plain Blvd.
  • Multicultural Resource Fair presented by Fourth Plain Forward and the Latino Community Resource Group from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Clark College’s Gaiser Hall, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way

This project is part of the Vancouver Moves Complete Streets program – a citywide initiative to increase safety and mobility for all community members and all the ways we travel. 

Learn more sign up for project updates and find future in-person engagement opportunities at www.BeHeardVancouver.org/Fourth-Plain-Fort-Vancouver-Mobility

City hosts Heights District Open House October 6 - 09/15/22

Vancouver, Wash. – After completing demolition of the Tower Mall earlier this year, work on the Heights District is entering a new phase. Please join the City of Vancouver for a project open house from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 at McLoughlin Middle School (5802 MacArthur Blvd.).

The project team will share updates on current planning efforts and the latest designs for the Heights District, a 205-acre area in the heart of Vancouver. Community members will be able to ask questions and share feedback with the project team.

Team members will also share updates on the Heights Equitable Development Strategy, which will help ensure that the development benefits all residents and businesses. The City is working with consultants at ECONorthwest to identify equitable development models adopted throughout the U.S. that have created wealth, economic opportunity and access for all residents and businesses, while minimizing displacement.

The strategy builds on Reside Vancouver, a citywide anti-displacement plan developed in 2019. The strategy will also incorporate recent input on affordable housing and an explicit focus on the needs of historically marginalized community members, who have been traditionally excluded from the redevelopment process. The Equitable Development Strategy is expected to be completed by early 2023.

About the Heights District

Vancouver City Council adopted the Heights District Plan in August 2020, marking the culmination of more than two and a half years of public engagement and participation in the planning process. The plan also resulted in a community vision for how the district will develop over the next 20 years.

The Heights District is envisioned as a new destination in Vancouver for the community to live, work and play – a vibrant neighborhood center that is sustainable, healthy, equitable, accessible and safe. The district will include public parks, retail and commercial space, and diverse housing options affordable to a wide range of community members. Innovative street designs will make it easier for residents to safely walk, bike or access public transit. 

The district is a 205-acre area, generally located between East Mill Plain Boulevard to the north, MacArthur Boulevard to the south and west, and Andresen Road to the east. It includes several city-owned properties including the former Tower Mall shopping center, a water facility, fire station and Park Hill Cemetery, plus three public schools and commercial and residential areas.

To sign up for updates or to learn more about the history of the Heights District project, please visit our public engagement platform, Be Heard Vancouver. If you have questions about next steps for the Heights District, please email Real Estate Project Manager Amy Zoltie or Economic Development Director Patrick Quinton.

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