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The City has worked on three recent planning efforts in the area:
- Imagine West Linn (2008), which envisions redevelopment of the area as a vibrant town center;
- West Linn OR 43 Conceptual Design Plan (2008) a multi-modal plan for much of Highway 43 in West Linn; and
- 2011 Highway 43/Willamette Falls Drive Vision and General Feasibility Assessment (Highway 43 Vision), which involved a survey, neighborhood meetings, and a community workshop attended by 150 people.
In 2011, as part of its annual goal setting, the City Council set a goal to establish a long term vision for the Highway 43/Willamette Falls Drive corridor that resulted in a broad brush, conceptual vision for the corridor that reflected how the community wanted it to evolve over the next 20-30 years. It included several discrete projects, including the Gateway.
The Vision called for walkable centers that meet the neighborhood’s routine needs and provide jobs, a range of housing types, and other amenities connected by complete streets with a protected bikeway to provide for an increase in the opportunities for residents to walk for pleasure and to meet their daily needs. In addition, the Vision sought to improve the jobs-housing balance within the City and neighboring communities. It was overwhelmingly supported by a majority of attendees at the community workshop held as part of the process. Eighty-one percent of attendees supported the Arch Bridge Center and 93% supported the Bolton Center. In addition, nearly 90% supported protected bikeways on Highway 43 and an esplanade near the Willamette River linking the Arch Bridge Center with the Willamette neighborhood.