Columbia County Courthouse

Columbia County Courthouse.

Columbia County urge residents to become more involved in representing their neighborhoods by running for election to Citizen Planning Advisory Committees (CPAC), a press release from Columbia County stated. 

CPACs are volunteer organizations led by people who live or own property in their communities, and their neighbors elect committee members.

According to the press release, the committees provide advice and recommendations to the Columbia County Land Use Planning program on land use matters being considered by the Planning Department, the Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners.

Land use topics can include applications, comprehensive plan amendments, zoning changes, design review, home business occupations, cannabis operating permits and land divisions, according to the statement. 

Columbia County has seven CPACs; each CPAC with the exception of the Mist-Birkenfeld committee is divided into seven neighborhoods, with one committee member representing each neighborhood. To be elected to a seat on a CPAC, a candidate must receive five votes from the neighborhood in which they live. 

Elections take place in April for the communities of Scappoose-Spitzenberg, St. Helens-Columbia City, Tide Creek, Rainier-Fernhill, Clatskanie-Quincy and Upper Nehalem. The Mist-Birkenfeld election will take place at a later date to be determined. 

“Being involved in a CPAC allows people to come together to learn about and discuss issues important to their neighborhoods,” Columbia County Chair Margaret Magruder said.

“This is an excellent way to interact with decision-makers and have an impact on community activities and interests.”

To be eligible to vote, residents must show photo identification proving they are at least 18 years old and that they live in the CPAC neighborhood where they will cast their ballot.

Neighborhood property owners who don’t reside at their property must show a tax statement proving they own property within the neighborhood where they are voting. 

CPAC elections will be held from April 24 – 26 at 7 p.m., in the following locations:

Scappoose-Spitzenberg: April 26 at 7 p.m. in the County Courthouse, room 351.

St. Helens-Columbia City: April 26 at 7 p.m. in the County Courthouse, room 351.

Tide Creek: April 26 at 7 p.m. in the County Courthouse, room 351.

Rainier-Fernhill: April 24 at 7 p.m. at Clatskanie PUD in the Community meeting room.

Clatskanie-Quincy: April 24 at 7 p.m. at Clatskanie PUD in the Community meeting room.

Upper Nehalem: April 24 at 7 p.m. at Clatskanie PUD in the Community meeting room.

For more information about the boundaries of the CPAC or the election process, email county Planning Manager Glen Higgins, or call him at 503-397-1501.

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