As of Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Bill Morris has been appointed to fill a vacancy on the Dallesport Community Council.
At its Sept. 8 meeting, Morris was chosen to join the nine-member council.
“Bill will be filling the seat of Art Mengert, age 93, who resigned this past June,” said Renee Briggs, treasurer of the council. “He served our community for five years as a council member.”
Morris will serve on an interim basis until the November council elections.
He had considered joining the council for several months, but because he has been a leader in an effort to halt the proposed rezoning of a residential area in Dallesport, Morris wanted to keep that work separate from the council’s work.
“As facilitator of the fight we’re in right now, this argument has taken a lot of time, and I might not have had the time to do so had I been on the board,” Morris said. “But things have changed and we’re moving into a different phase.”
The proposed rezoning plan would alter the zoning in Dallesport’s “Block C” parcel, which is bordered by Third Avenue to the south, Sixth Avenue to the north, and Central Boulevard to the west.
If approved, it would alter zoning from “suburban residential” (SR) single family parcels with 20,000 square foot minimum lot sizes, to “R2,” which would allow multi-family residences on either 6,000 square foot or 7,000 square foot parcels.
The change would allow for an additional 20 lots beyond the 22 that currently are allowed under existing zoning. In July, the Dallesport Community Council voted unanimously to oppose the rezoning plan. A final decision is currently pending before the Klickitat County Board of Commissioners. Morris said opposition to the Block C rezoning proposal will remain an important part of his focus.
However, he pointed out that he is generally supportive of development projects for Dallesport.
“Responsible, managed growth is what I’m looking for,” he said.
Morris said another priority of his work on the council will reflect his concern about drug abuse in the community, especially with young people in the school district.
Morris said anti-drug programs are “near and dear” to his heart, and he wants the council to do whatever it can to support programs that combat drugs. Although he hasn’t made a final decision yet, with the community council elections coming up in November, Morris said he will “probably” ask voters for the opportunity to continue to serve on the council.