RO/RO TRANSPORTATION - Port of Vancouver kickstarts development efforts at former Rufener Farm

By: | at 08:00 PM | Channel(s): Ports & Terminals  

Port of Vancouver Board of Commission approved two actions recently that mark the start of the planning and development efforts at the former 265-acre Rufener Farm property, purchased in 2004. Each of the site’s three sections, Parcels 6, 7 and 8, has its own unique characteristics that will potentially allow for industrial development and wetlands mitigation.
Development planningPort Commissioners authorized a $1 million contract with Berger/ABAM Engineers Inc., selected as the most qualified of the six firms who submitted proposals, to assist the Port of Vancouver with the development process of Parcel 8, a 58-acre light industrial-zoned section of the former Rufener Farm.
The contiguous 50-acre agriculture-zoned site, Parcel 7, is currently being evaluated for possible rezoning to light industrial. This will further supplement the 58-acre Parcel 8 for a total of 108 acres available for light industrial development
Berger/ABAM’s primary responsibility is to provide engineering and permitting services to turn Parcel 8 into shovel-ready status for industrial tenants. The scope of work ranges from all aspects of infrastructure engineering and design to site permitting. The permitting process is expected to begin immediately to ready the site for actual construction by early 2007.
“Industrial land is a prime contributor to family wage jobs,” said port facilities director, Curtis Shuck. “This property has been earmarked for short-term industrial development, and we are confident that Berger/ABAM has the technical expertise and experience to partner with the port’s efforts in providing jobs and fueling the economy of Clark County.”
Berger/ABAM had been previously involved with various major port development projects, including structural renovation at Berths 1, 4 and 5 at Terminal 2; dredge disposal site at Columbia Gateway; and development of Parcel 1C at Terminal 4 which is currently occupied by TriStar Transload PNW.
“With the scarcity of industrial land in this community, we are excited to participate in an economic development project that will provide job growth in the near term,” said Berger/ABAM project manager, Monty Edberg. “We believe that providing high-quality shovel-ready industrial land is a real benefit to the local business community.”
Wetland mitigationPort Commissioners also authorized Port of Vancouver to partner with Habitat Bank, LLC, in the proposed Clark County Mitigation Bank, joining an overall wetlands mitigation effort in Southwest Washington. Habitat Bank will include a port-owned site in an application to federal, state and local regulatory agencies for the multi-site mitigation bank project in Clark County.
Specifically, the port and Habitat Bank will negotiate a partnership agreement for the use of wetlands credits on a 157-acre agriculture-zoned section of the former Rufener Farm property, now known as Parcel 6. The plans are to create, restore, and enhance wetlands, potentially providing for mitigation credits for Port of Vancouver projects and other Clark County permitted impacts. Mitigation credits are anticipated to be released in the next two years.
“Designating property for wetlands mitigation demonstrates the port’s commitment to environmental stewardship,” said port environmental director, Patty Boyden. “Balancing economic development with the environment is crucial to the port’s mission of providing leadership, stewardship and partnership in port development.”
Wetland mitigation banking has become the preferred solution for off-site mitigation across the United States. It consolidates mitigation on large sites to compensate for unavoidable impacts to sensitive areas and wetlands from residential, commercial, and public utility and transportation development.
“Mitigation banks are better long-term solutions to the unavoidable impacts of development. This prevents generating a patchwork of small isolated on-site mitigation that are often of little overall ecological value in the larger watershed perspective,” said

American Journal of Transportation