SEASIDE - A room full of people met at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center Wednesday to discuss their vision of how Seaside should look in the year 2020.

"We're looking for visioning out aways," said Seaside Planning Commission member and 20/20 Vision Committee co-chairman Bill Hubbard. "We all have a tendency to look at our street and say, 'I want this fixed.' We're looking at a bigger picture."

Hubbard and fellow co-chairman, Seaside City Council member Gary Diebolt, presided over the meeting which was, in essence, a brainstorming session. The assembled group, which included city employees, council members and the mayor, business owners, members of the tourism advisory committee and residents interested in directing the vision of the city, discussed nine broad categories earmarked for improvement.

"We want to develop a vision for this city that is flexible enough to change," said Hubbard. "We want the plan to work, no matter who is here."

The nine categories focused upon during the meeting included building and planning, health care, safety and security, arts and culture, tourism and business, religion and social services, education, parks and environment, and city services and government. Some of these categories generated a barrage of answers, all of which Hubbard and Diebolt worked diligently to keep general. Diebolt repeatedly reminded the group these ideas were not about addressing "pet peeves."

With lists of ideas ranging from zoning changes to walking trails, affordable housing to child care, performing arts centers to ecotourism, Hubbard and Diebolt said they would sort through the lists and dole them out accordingly, with one exception.

"One of the things we're not going to cover is the transportation piece," said Hubbard. The city has been assigned an Oregon Department of Transportation consultant who will direct a transportation study covering everything from pedestrian accesses to the flow of traffic through the city.

At the next meeting of the committee, planned for March, the committee will create smaller focus groups to research ideas within each of the larger categories. According to Hubbard's outlined plan, the focus groups will have two meetings in which to present their ideas to the assembled group and smooth out the kinks in their plans.

"If you sign up to be a team leader, you've got to be a team leader," said Hubbard. "In forming these teams, we want people with a passion for it."

Hubbard and Diebolt will give teams a deadline of Oct. 1 to complete their research and hope to present the completed vision package to the City Council during its November meetings.

"We want to have it completely finished by Christmas," said Hubbard.

After the meeting, Diebolt expressed pleasure at the turnout for the meeting.

"We didn't expect that many," said Diebolt. "We were very happy about the turnout. We think we're off to a great start."


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