As the Chehalem Cultural Center was being developed into an arts and culture center, discussion took place regarding the outdoor space between the Center and the Newberg Public Library. A circular plaza had been put on preliminary plans, but it hadn’t been decided upon or vetted thoroughly with the community or all the property owners in the area. It was just an early idea.
In summer 2010, the City of Newberg, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District (CPRD), the primary landowners in the district, and the Newberg Downtown Coalition (NDC), hired Project for Public Spaces (PPS) to help develop a plan for the outdoor areas surrounding the Library and Cultural Center. PPS is a design firm that specializes in encouraging communities to develop public spaces that are comfortable, have a good image, are accessible, engage people in activities, and are sociable spaces. PPS was charged with developing a conceptual plan for the area.
The City, CPRD, and NDC facilitated a number of community meetings with PPS in fall 2010 and spring 2011. The resulting document from PPS was a conceptual vision that was used as a basis for the final plan. The PPS process brought out a variety of ideas to make the Cultural District a destination as well as a neighborhood resource and expanded the vision of what the area could become.
CPRD and the City furthered the process by hiring Hennebery Eddy Architects, Mayer/Reed Landscape Architects and Larry Anderson Engineering to develop a Master Plan to guide development of the District. That Master Plan was accepted by the City and CPRD in March/April, 2012.
Citizen groups developed the Inter Govermental Agreement (IGA) for the CPRD and the City to sign for the management of the area and the Parking Management Plan for parking issues, which were done in late 2013.
The City, Library, CPRD and Cultural Center appointed Ryan Howard, Leah Griffith, Don Clements and Rob Dailey respectively to the Executive Board. The neighborhood residents selected Robert Soppe as their representative on the first board.
Report of Activities through 2013: Reports of activities from 2013 and beyond are located with the minutes of the NCD Executive Board
October 28, 2013 The Executive Board held its first formal meeting and the residents of the area selected Robert Soppe as their representative on the Board.
Early October, 2013 The City, Library, CPRD and Cultural Center appointed Ryan Howard, Leah Griffith, Don Clements and Rob Dailey respectively to the Executive Board as outlined by the IGA. The residential neighbor will be selected at the October 28th public meeting.
September 30, 2013 The Parking Committee met and finalized the Parking Management Plan. It will be presented to the City Council, Newberg Traffic Safety Commission and the CPRD Board for their information.
September 16, 2013 The Newberg City Council approved the IGA
August 22, 2013 The CPRD Board approved the IGA
Summer, 2013 The IGA committee finalized the IGA and made plans to bring it to the CPRD Board and City Council for approval.
Winter and Spring, 2013 The IGA and Parking committees met during the spring and summer to discuss the documents.
October 10, 2012 A third community open meeting was held to share the activity on the parking management plan and the intergovernmental agreement to manage the cultural district. About 20 people were in attendance and heard about the parking efforts with the Oktoberfest and ideas for future events and when a parking action plan would need to take effect. The committee is continuing to work on it.
September 12, 2012 A community open meeting was held to share the progress made on the parking management plan and the intergovernmental agreement to manage the Newberg Cultural District. About 40 people were in attendance.
August 13, 2012 The Cultural District Advisory Group (CDAG) met and established two subcommittees. The CDAG is a group of neighbors, stakeholders, property owners and community members interested in the Cultural District. One committee will work on the parking management plan and the other on the intergovernmental agreement that will establish a number of policies for the District. Dave Miller served as chair.
August 9, 2012 The Newberg Planning Commission approved the variance for construction to begin on the ballroom at the Cultural Center. The variance requires the land to the west of the center remain a gravel parking lot for 22 spaces for a total of 77 on site spaces, which is a variance from the 99 required. Click Here for more information.
August 8, 2012 A group convened at the Cultural Center to continue work on developing the parking management plan for the Cultural District.
July 12th The Newberg Planning Commission reviewed the proposed Chehalem Cultural Center: Master Plan design review, parking variance, historic review/design review for ballroom remodel. Click here for more information.
April, 2012 The Newberg City Council and the Chehalem Park and Recreation Board have both accepted the Newberg Cultural District Master Plan. The City Council instructed staff to develop a parking management plan and form a neighborhood advisory group. These activities will have to occur before authorization is provided for the development of the Cultural Center forecourt, the area to the west of the Cultural Center and and the Library’s Carnegie Court. An intergovermental agreement between the City and CPRD will also be developed to establish processes and procedures for managing the District, including coordination of events.
January, 2012: A public meeting with updates to the Cultural District master plan was held on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm at the Newberg Public Library. Everyone who attended learned more about plans for the Cultural District and the next steps in the process.
The parking area behind the Cultural Center has been completed and is open for use.
November-December, 2011: Work is progressing on the parking area located behind the Cultural Center.
About 30 neighbors, community members, and officials from the City of Newberg, Chehalem Park and Recreation District and the Newberg Downtown Coalition, listened to Carol Meyer-Reed and Tim Eddy as they described the various areas and activities for the four block area at a public meeting on October 12, 2011. Their firms had taken the ideas from the People for Public Spaces conceptual plan and plotted them in the district. Highlights include making a more defined entrance at Howard and Hancock streets and having other design devices on the perimeter of the District to define the boundaries.
Concern was expressed by a number of neighbors about the area to the west of the Cultural Center being shown as event space rather than parking. The plan as developed by Hennebery/Eddy and Meyer/Reed does add parking on Sheridan and Howard Streets that the PPS plan had removed, but concern was still expressed by a number of people that while the conditional use permit requires 93 spaces for the CCC, that a 250 person event, with event staff, would quickly overwhelm the spaces and impact neighbors, including public access to the library. A number of people at the meeting would like to see the area marked as E3 on the plan become parking and the area marked E2 become part parking and part outdoor/garden room for the Center’s ballroom.
Other ideas expressed included plantings and art that would be educational in nature and also use sustainable practices. The idea of a “Culture Wall” replacing the Library Annex, to provide a backdrop to events as well as a timeline of the culture of the Chehalem Valley was brought up. Some kind of water feature was discussed, with the idea that it would need to be small and able to be turned off to provide space for events. It was a general consensus that a large splash pad might be too big for the four block space, but that a small water feature could be a plus.
A number of people expressed appreciation for the large trees in the area and the shade they provide. Some expressed they would like to see the landscaping be unique and not just the average landscaping found at many public buildings.
The architects shared that pavers on Sheridan Street would be designed to slow traffic and remind drivers they were in a more pedestrian area. It was suggested Sherman Street also get some type of treatment to slow traffic on those streets, perhaps in conjunction with the design elements to designate the boundaries of the district.
A number of people asked about the next steps and who makes the decisions. The City of Newberg and Chehalem Park & Recreation District are the primary property owners in the area. The architects will be taking the information from this meeting and in conjunction with the City and CPRD will be refining a master plan. (See attachments in the box below for Nov. 2011) It will have more public comment time and will eventually come before the City Council and CPRD Board for adoption. The City and CPRD will be putting together a timeline for that process and it will be added to this web site.
Architects from Hennebery Eddy and landscape architects from Mayer/Reed developed conceptual plans derived from input from the community and ideas and concepts from the Project for Public Spaces workshops held in recent months. These plans will be shared at a community and neighborhood meeting on Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm at the Newberg Public Library. Topics will include potential for land use within the four-block district, district identity, festivals and events, parking and circulation.
The Chehalem Park and Recreation District received funding to put in a 55 space parking lot at the rear of the Cultural Center and they will be breaking ground in fall of 2010 on the project. They contracted with architectural firm Hennebery Eddy (HE) to design the parking lot. Two neighborhood meetings (August 10 & 13) and a City Planning Commission hearing (August 11) on a variance needed for the parking lot were held. The City Planning Commission approved the variance which allows for 55 spaces in the rear of the Cultural Center. HE is working on a parking plan for the rest of the Cultural District. They will be meeting with City and CPRD representatives in September and October.
The CPRD Board and Newberg City Council reviewed the Project for Public Spaces (PPS) plans at their meetings. Neither group took formal action.
April 25, 2011
A public meeting was held to provide an opportunity for community members and neighbors to see the PPS plans. No formal action was taken.
The report from PPS was delivered to the City of Newberg, CPRD and the NDC.
October 21, 2010
PPS staff developed a preliminary plan and brought it back to Newberg for a second public meeting.
September 15, 2010
A placemaking workshop, facilitated by PPS staff, attended by 50 people, discussed, walked around and dreamed about what they would like to see in the Cultural District. This formed the basis for the PPS report.
The City of Newberg, Chehalem Park and Recreation District (CPRD) and the Newberg Downtown Coalition (NDC) contracted with People for Public Spaces (PPS) to develop a conceptual plan for the area surround the Chehalem Cultural Center and the Newberg Public Library.