Ask the City a Question

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Register using the link in the upper right corner of the page and submit your questions about any City-related topic . We will respond as quickly as possible (usually within a few days). If your question is about something the City doesn't directly manage or work on , we will provide you with contact information for the agency or organization that does.

You will receive an email notification when we've posted a response. Your question and our answer will also be posted on this page.

You can sort previously asked questions by topic keyword or search them by specific keywords if you don't feel like scrolling through them to find topics you're interested in.



Register using the link in the upper right corner of the page and submit your questions about any City-related topic . We will respond as quickly as possible (usually within a few days). If your question is about something the City doesn't directly manage or work on , we will provide you with contact information for the agency or organization that does.

You will receive an email notification when we've posted a response. Your question and our answer will also be posted on this page.

You can sort previously asked questions by topic keyword or search them by specific keywords if you don't feel like scrolling through them to find topics you're interested in.



Q&A

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    I am looking for a house in a neighborhood that has sidewalks. I see so many that don't have them. Are there more likely areas in Vancouver where I should look? Thanks.

    BA Guitar asked 23 days ago

    Greetings! Vancouver has many great neighborhoods. To find sidewalk locations in specific neighborhoods, try our online gis mapping tool at www.cityofvancouver.us/sidewalks. Click on either the desktop or mobile option (button) at the top right to open the map webpage. Then use the tabs on the side of the map to select and zoom into specific neighborhoods.  Best wishes on finding the place of your dreams!

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    The sidewalk in front of my building is broken up and falling apart. I have been seeing people tripping on it and getting hurt. I'm concerned and wanted to know who do I contact and whose responsible? I appreciate the help.

    carachiro asked 24 days ago

    Thank you for your interest in keeping walkways safe! 

    In almost every situation, maintaining and keeping sidewalks free of obstructions is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. Sidewalk (repair) construction requires a permit and includes regulations for working in the public right of way. You can report a problem with a sidewalk using the online form at www.cityofvancouver.us/servicerequest. Be sure to provide an address and other details. Please allow additional time due to COVID-19 impacts for staff to inspect the site and follow-up with the property owner as needed.

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    Why did the on call yard debris program change? I understand that you are trying to implement an organics program but I don’t see many people using this service in my neighborhood. I tried it but decided I don’t generate enough waste to justify the added expense. Also I’m worried that bins filled with food will attract ants or rats.

    Anonymous20 asked 5 months ago

    Thank you for the question. Here is some information we hope will be helpful:

    The former yard debris service, which had included an option for on-call collection, transitioned to the new Organics service this past fall in the City of Vancouver. Currently, about 60% of residential Vancouver customers subscribe to this service, which now allows them to include food scraps along with yard debris for every-other-week collection. Putting food scraps into your organics cart instead of your garbage cart is completely voluntary and up to the customer. Other cities with this service have not reported concerns with attracting insects/rodents. Both Waste Connection’s and the City’s website offer tips on how to add food scraps for the best results and successful experience.

    The City has heard from some customers who objected to the on-call option being discontinued. However, including organics in the cart requires that collections occur regularly. In addition, the true cost of providing the on-call yard debris service was more than on-call customers were paying, resulting in those services being subsidized by all regular yard debris service customers. To help those who don’t need a large cart regularly, optional smaller Organics cart sizes are now available at lower costs. Customers who need Organics service only for seasonal yard debris also have the option of the free fall disposal coupons for leaves, the spring free disposal coupons for yard debris, and neighborhood cleanups and chipper events. For more information about these changes and the new service, please visit: www.cityofvancouver.us/organics.  


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    There is not enough parking spots for apartment residents now and apts are being built left and right around Columbia street where you want to take out parking spaces for a bike lane. Please respond. Thank You

    Yohaun asked 5 months ago

    Working with a Community Advisory Committee, the City has identified six different options for a north-south bike route on the west side of town. Some, but not all, include sections of Columbia Street. A final decision about what route(s) will move forward has not been made.

    We are inviting residents to provide feedback on these options right now. An open house was held on Jan. 8, and there are two informal coffee talks happening on Jan. 14 and 15 where you can learn more about the project, review and provide feedback on the six options and speak directly with City staff. You can also participate in an online open house on the Westside Bike Mobility Project page right here on Be Heard Vancouver right now. Just visit: https://www.beheardvancouver.org/westside-bike-mobility

    Additional information about the project is also available on the City's website here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/westside-bike-mobility-project 

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    Why do city sidewalks and streets take a back seat to a new bike lane? The sidewalks and streets are in much needed repair in the area you are focusing on for a bike lane.

    Yohaun asked 5 months ago

    The City works to improve our street system for all users. In Vancouver, maintenance of existing sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. Our new Sidewalk Management Program helps with this by responding to concerns from the public about sidewalk conditions and working with property owners to get damaged sidewalks repaired. You can learn more about this program here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/sidewalks

    New Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant curb ramps are being added throughout the city as part of our Pavement Management Program--183 curb ramps were added in 2017; 189 in 2018; and 147 this past year. We'll be installing more this summer, as well.

    Every summer, our Pavement Management Program also preserves and resurfaces city streets in order to extend their life and improve pavement conditions. This past summer, we spent $11 million on street preservation across the city. You can view a map of the streets we worked on in 2019 here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/public_works/page/3005/2019pm_map_081219.pdf 

    We're working on the preservation plan for this summer now. You can learn more about our Pavement Management Program and how we determine which streets to resurface or pave each year here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/pavement-management 

    And, finally, with the help of a Community Advisory Committee, the City is also working on developing a safer north-south travel route in west Vancouver with improvements that benefit pedestrians, transit riders and drivers, as well as bicyclists. You can learn more about the options being considered for this project and provide feedback on the project here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/westside-bike-mobility-project.  

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    Why are the streets where the street cleaners are working not marked in advance of said work? In our neighborhood, Arnada, the cleaners are forced to work around parked cars, which means they have to make multiple trips to clean the leaves.

    kurtvo asked 6 months ago

    Unlike some cities that restrict parking on certain sweeping days and enforce these with towing and/or fines, the City of Vancouver has relied upon sharing weekly neighborhood schedules as a way of informing/helping residents who are able and willing to move vehicles somewhere else. Currently, neighborhood streets here are swept about every 8-9 weeks. The schedule for neighborhoods where sweeping will occur is posted each week on the City’s webpage at www.cityofvancouver.us/streetsweeping, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/VancouverPublicWorks), and on NextDoor.

    On any given week, there are typically 2-3 sweepers out covering residential streets throughout about 4-5 neighborhoods, as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. In general, crews avoid sweeping on garbage/recycling collection days, so as to reduce conflicts with carts and collection trucks. Meanwhile, factors such as weather, debris/leaves, parked vehicles, vegetation, and miscellaneous obstructions vary by neighborhood, and even within a neighborhood, by week. During the fall, it’s not unusual to make more than one trip to a ‘leafy’ neighborhood, such as Arnada, whereas some neighborhoods may not experience that level of leaves. As a result, it’s difficult to pin down sweeping of a specific street to a specific day, adding in our current equipment/staffing levels. Posting signs on each street for sweeping would add time to the schedule and may not be able to be met with certainty, depending upon the changing factors mentioned. So while we very much appreciate the idea of reducing parked vehicles and giving sweepers an open space to work, it does not appear to be a practical, efficient option at this time. Please know that we will continue to do our best to help reduce debris and improve stormwater quality with our dedicated crew of street sweepers. Thank you.


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    Why is my sewer bill $80 a month when I use less than $30 of water over 2 months????????????????????????????? $160 for two months of what????????

    Mostlycalmandquiet asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The City of Vancouver Utility bills single-family residential customers every two months. You indicated that your two-month bill is $30 for water and $160 for sewer, is that correct? If so, this seems unusual. We encourage you to contact our Utility Services and speak with a customer service representative, who can help identify possible issues and provide suggestions for your individual account.  

    Please call 360-487-7999 or email utilitiescs@cityofvancouver.us. Office hours are 8 am-noon and 1-5 pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and 9 am-noon and 1-5 pm, Wednesday.

    Here is some more background information: Vancouver’s sewer charge for each single-family residential customer is based upon that customer’s winter water usage, either in the previous November/January or December/February billing periods. The average single-family customer living inside City limits pays $32 per month for water ($64 for two months) and $44 per month for sewer ($88 for two months.) Customers who live outside of City limits pay slightly more. Please note: There is a minimum volume base rate of 3 CCF per month or 6 CCF over two months. (1 CCF = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons). The City offers a waiver to the minimum sewer flow rate for qualifying low-income senior customers.

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    Hello- I live in the Fisher's Glen neighborhood. When heading east on 20th St at the light at 192nd there is 4 stop lights but only 3 lanes. There is no longer a right turn lane. If there is a car going straight in the right lane, all of the traffic has to wait if wanting to turn right. Why was the lane eliminated? Any chance on getting this changed? Terry S

    TerryS asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The eastbound lane configuration at SE 20th Street/192nd Avenue was revised to better serve the area in light of recent nearby development and other changes. Based on traffic evaluations, it was determined that the volumes of right-turn movements did not warrant a dedicated right-turn-only lane. At the same time, there was a need for eastbound dual left-turn lanes. As you've noted, this revision may result in a brief delay at times, but changing it back to the previous configuration is not anticipated at this time under current traffic patterns. City staff will continue to evaluate this intersection and potential for future changes, as needed, as part of the overall transportation system. 

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    Why do the majority of traffic intersections have no paint or road reflectors to distinguish lane boundaries for single or dual left turn lanes? 136th Ave & Mill Plain Blvd is the only intersection that I can find that has these vital features.

    Vanc360 asked 6 months ago

    Thanks for your question. In addition to 136th Ave/Mill Plain, there are a few other signalized intersections within the City of Vancouver where you’ll see these features: Mill Plain/Chkalov, Andresen/SR 500, and Thurston Way/SR 500.

    Several factors/best practices are taken into account when applying pavement markers/reflectors to left-turn lanes in signalized intersections. Sufficient space to avoid turning conflicts/confusion is a critical one. For that reason, pavement markers/reflectors are generally installed in large intersections that have two left-turn lanes, and not in narrower intersections with only single left-turn lanes. Maintenance is also a concern, as reflectors do not tend to last long due to traffic, sweeping, and – in wintry weather – snow plowing. In addition, reflectors/striping in busy intersections must be installed/replaced at night when traffic is minimal to assure the safety of workers doing this by hand and to reduce congestion. The overall result is that the City looks at whether to apply these on a case-by-case basis, where it makes sense to do so, when other improvements are being made or when issues arise with vehicles inadvertently turning into appropriate lanes.

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    I've been living here in this wonderful city a little over a year now. One of the first things I noticed driving around at night, is how incredibly dark it is. Why doesn't the city get more street lights? Fix broken ones? Install more? I don't know what you need, but it's incredibly dark on some streets. Yes I have head lights, but what we need is more street lamps. I read an article in The Columbian once, and it was acknowledging the darkness issue, but nothing was planned on actually addressing it. What about now? This is a potential safety issue, perhaps it should be pushed a little higher up the priority list. Thanks for reading.

    Rob asked 6 months ago

    Welcome to Vancouver! Here is some more information:

    The City of Vancouver maintains approximately 18,000 street lights throughout the community. A project is underway now to convert roughly 13,500 lights - the ‘cobra-style’ ones - from high pressure sodium light fixtures to energy-efficient LEDs (light emitting diode) using a low-interest loan from the state Public Works Board. The new LED fixtures are expected to last longer, meaning less maintenance and lower frequency of burned out lights. And resulting energy savings – currently estimated at $500,000 per year – will be used to pay off the loan and set aside reserves to cover future fixture replacements. We encourage you to visit www.cityofvancouver.us/streetlights for details about this project. 

    We are hopeful that energy savings from the new LED street lights may also help with replacing other fixtures and providing some additional lights in the future. In the meantime, if there are specific neighborhoods/streets of concern to you, we would welcome your input for consideration and future planning efforts. Email betterstreets@cityofvancouver.us. Thank you!

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    Why are there streets that are basically gravel roads because of the neglect by the city that are not tied into the downtown area which gets priority? Do not say it is funding with all the waste the city spends money on such as bike lanes and busses to nowhere.

    Sinvanc asked 6 months ago

    The City of Vancouver maintains about 1,900 lanes miles of paved streets. Pavement management is a way of protecting this community asset and maximizing the life of our streets. Each year, as part of Vancouver's Pavement Management program, staff evaluates pavement conditions and determines the most cost-effective methods to extend pavement life and improve the driving surface.

    The 2019 Pavement Management Program put approximately $11 million to work preserving and improving our street system. Nearly half of the City neighborhoods saw some type of pavement work this past summer, thanks to funding from vehicle license renewal fees received through the City’s Transportation Benefit District (TBD), which was formed in late 2015 to help improve street conditions citywide. (Note: With voter approval of I-976 in November and subsequent legal challenges, that funding is on hold.) Here's a snapshot of 2019 Pavement Management:

    • Resurfacing (paving) of portions of E Mill Plain Blvd, E 18th Street, NE 162nd/164th Avenue, and SE Evergreen Hwy.
    • Rehabilitation (grinding & paving) of an additional 6.2 lane miles of residential streets that were in poor or failing condition, including in Burton Ridge and Ellsworth Springs.
    • Pavement preservation – microsurfacing, slurry seal, chip seal type treatments – which alternates each year between east/west Vancouver. In 2019, the work was west of I-205 and included portions of E 5th Street, Columbia Way, Nicholson Rd, Stapleton Rd, Vancouver Plaza Drive and NE 98th Avenue, to name a few. (Preservation work will be east of I-205 in 2020.)

    In regard to major street improvements, current projects underway include but are not limited to E Mill Plain, between 104th and Chakalov; 1st Street, between 164th to 192nd avenues; and NE 137th Avenue, between 49th Street and Fourth Plain. The City has a Complete Streets Policy to improve conditions for all users. However, the City does not operate the transit system.

    If you have questions regarding a particular street, please email specific location details to betterstreets@cityofvancouver.us. Thank you.

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    Do we have a graffiti hotline for quick reporting and removal to keep our city graffiti free and as a deterrent to crime?

    SusanLTripp asked 6 months ago

    Thank you for your question! If the graffiti is on City of Vancouver (public) property, a quick way to report this is by using the MyVancouver app on the web or your smart phone or tablet (www.cityofvancouver.us/myvancouver). Be sure to provide a detailed location so Public Works Operations crews can respond and clean it up. If you prefer to report by phone, call our Operations Center service line at 360-487-8177 during regular business hours. 

    Please visit the website at www.cityofvancouver.us/graffiti for more information, including details on how to report graffiti that is on private property, bus stops or highway overpasses. 

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    What can we do when train speed is consistently increasing even in mix use cars that include oil cars that can cause fire sparks and causes increased noise with train bordering our property on Evergreen Hwy?

    SusanLTripp asked 6 months ago

    The rail line along Evergreen Highway is owned and operated by BNSF (a private railway company)

    However, in Washington State, the railroads are also regulated by the Utilities and Transportation Commission. There might be an opportunity for you to to connect with the UTC staff to express your concerns about safety (safety is one of their priorities).

    You can file a formal complaint at this link: https://www.utc.wa.gov/publicSafety/railSafety/Pages/default.aspx

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    The people across the street have junk (furniture, boxes etc) on their front lawn and it stays there for months. It is a rental property. What can be done to get it cleaned up? They are unapproachable by any neighbors.

    Grouchosdad asked 6 months ago

    Thanks for your question. Please submit this issue via the City's online complaint form here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/webform/file-code-compliance-complaint

    Once we receive the complaint we will verify its location is within Vancouver City limits then assign it to a City Code Officer for follow up. 

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    What is the current "area median income" that is referred to with housing development projects that receive a property tax exemption from the city for providing "affordable" housing?

    GalaxyGirl asked 7 months ago

    Currently, the area median income is $61,600/year for a 1-person household; $70,400/year for a 2-person household; and $87,900/year for a 4-person household. The median income is established by the federal government through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area.

    The City's Multi-family Tax Exemption Program provides the following property tax exemptions to housing developers that offer more affordable units:

    • 8-year tax exemptions are given to projects where 20% of the units are affordable to households earning up to 100% of the area median income
    • 10-year tax exemptions are given to projects where 20% of the units are affordable to households earning up to 80% of the area median income
    • 12-year tax exemptions are given to projects where 20% of the units are affordable to households earning up to 60% of the area median income
    You can learn more about the Multi-family Tax Exemption Program online at www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/multi-family-tax-exemption-program

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    Why do our public schools not have options for teens who are so behind in their academic abilities due to homelessness or abuse as home? Why are they left behind?

    Magnolias33 asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Challenges stemming from homelessness are a top priority for the City of Vancouver. You can learn more about the City’s ongoing work to address homelessness at: www.cityofvancouver.us/homelessness

    Regarding youth and the school districts, Vancouver Public Schools has a program called HOPE that works to address the issues you mention https://vansd.org/hope-foster-care/

    Janus Youth is another non-profit the City supports. Information about their youth homelessness outreach and prevention programs can be found here: http://www.janusyouth.org/programs/washington-state

    A list of all Clark County homeless resources can also be found here: https://www.councilforthehomeless.org/needhelp/at-a-glance-one-page-of-resources/


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    Thank you for creating this site, it will help. My question is about Portland's PDX airport noise. I am woken at 0515 in the morning by a stream of outgoing planes. This will continue until after 7am. I am in ZIP 98683 and live at the end of Mill Plain where it hits 192nd. I am very familiar with the noise planes make. I am a USAF Vietnam veteran and the noise I hear at these early hours reminds me of the B-52's I worked near during my enlistment. The noise is getting worse and I need to discuss this with someone familiar with the airport's noise policy, etc. Can you tell me what Vancouver, WA is doing about it and what information the general public gets about the noise. Thank you for setting this up.

    Voter asked 8 months ago

    The City of Vancouver does not have any input on how the airport is operated, flight patterns or scheduling, but we do have representation on the airport's Citizen Noise Advisory Committee. Their next meeting is in November and our staff representative, Guy Lennon, said he would bring up your concerns. You are also welcome to attend the committee meetings, which are open to the public.

    Here are the details of the next meeting:

    Thursday, Nov. 14 | 5:30-8 p.m.
    Portland International Airport
    St. Helens B Conference Room
    7000 NE Airport Way, Portland, OR

    In addition, PDX has a noise hotline you can call to report problems or concerns (503-460-4100) and you can also make online noise complaints on the advisory committee's website here: www.portofportland.com/Committees/CNAC. You can request that someone contact you back to discuss further with either reporting tool.

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    What is going to happen to mac high and Marshall. Will the public get a chance to have a brick for a keepsake.

    resident 1954 asked 8 months ago

    All public schools in Vancouver are owned and operated by either the Vancouver or Evergreen school districts, not the city.

    The two schools you mentioned (McLoughlin and Marshall) belong to Vancouver Public Schools. You can call their Planning Office, which is overseeing the construction of the new schools, at 360-313-1040 to learn more about what will happen to the old school buildings.


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    My question is more of a suggestion for the intersection at NE 76TH St and NE 107TH Ave. I pass through this light once a week going south and am continually annoyed by it's design and frustrated by the lack of adherence to posted traffic signs by other drivers. There are two lanes when you stop there; the left lane is designated a straight and/or turn left while the right lane is marked right turns ONLY. The numbers of cars that actually utilize the right turn only lane for that purpose is probably equal to the amount of drivers who ignore the sign and drive straight through the signal because we are all backed up waiting in the left turn lane to go straight BEHIND a left-turning car. It's not uncommon to sit through two cycles of this light if you want to continue south into 107th. Why isn't the right lane for straight AND right turns only and the left lane for left turns only? It makes ZERO traffic sense as is and obviously instigates the impatient to break laws while making the law-abiding angry for doing the right thing. That intersection is a disaster that I wish the city would remedy. Thanks for listening.

    Jenn Gwartney asked 9 months ago

    This intersection is located outside the city limits and within the unincorporated urban area of Clark County. All streets in this area are managed and operated by Clark County Public Works. You can reach them by email at pubwks.cservice@clark.wa.gov or by calling 564-397-2446.

    An easy way to tell if a street or intersection is managed by the city or in the county is by looking at the color of the street signs. If the street signs are white with black text, they are county roads. If they are green with white text, they are Vancouver city streets.

    To view an interactive map of the Vancouver city limits, visit: www.cityofvancouver.us/ourcity/page/do-you-live-or-work-city-vancouver 

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    Has the City considered banning recreational fires in neighborhoods? It seems to me that most of our homes are way too close to permit such fires. I have a neighbor who has such fires frequently during the spring, summer and fall, and I have closed up my house and even turned on my AC (when I did not need it) to try to prevent it from becoming inundated with smoke, but nothing works. I can't imagine how uncomfortable it is for people with COPD or asthma, as I don't have a disease, but their smoke makes me cough quite a bit and my throat is scratchy for about 24 hours after an evening and night of breathing their smoke.

    Froggie asked 9 months ago

    The City's Fire Marshal does occasionally ban all recreational burning when there is a high fire danger, and the Southwest Clean Air Agency will also implement burning bans when the air quality is so poor that can become a threat to the health of our residents. 

    However, to date, the City has not considered a full ban of all recreational fires, year-round. This is primarily because it has not been raised as a community-wide concern before. 

    The City and the Southwest Clean Air Agency do prohibit recreational fires from becoming a nuisance to neighbors, though, especially if the smoke is impacting the air quality in your home or causing any respiratory distress. You can report a nuisance fire by filing an air quality complaint on the Southwest Clean Air Agency's website here: www.swcleanair.org/burning/complaints.asp, or by calling 360-574-3058 or 1-800-633-0709.

    You can learn more about outdoor burning on the Vancouver Fire Marshal's website here: www.cityofvancouver.us/fire/page/outdoor-burning-vancouver 

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    What has happened to the concerns I've heard from other neighbors about the off road bicycle clubs use of David Douglas Park? I was told there might be an investigation for unauthorized use of the park. Is that true? If so I would like to add information I have witnessed.

    Jimi asked 9 months ago

    We think you may be referring to the Cyclocross event held at David Douglas Park on Aug. 31. If you weren't referring to this particular event, please let us know by posting another question and include specific dates/times when this activity was observed in the park.

    If it is related to the event on Aug. 31, Vancouver Parks and Recreation granted this group a permit to hold this event in the park. This is something we do regularly for public events in our parks. All event organizers pay a permit fee, park usage fee and damage deposit as part of this permitting process.

    As is common with large events of this type, the park experienced some minor turf damage as a result. Our grounds maintenance staff deal with this sort of thing often and the damage deposit paid by the event organizer is used to offset any expenses incurred as a result.

    If you have any concerns about safety or conduct during public events in our parks, you can contact the City's events manager, Stacey Donovan, with specific details of your experience by emailing Stacey.Donovan@cityofvancouver.us. City staff will then follow up with the event organizers and be sure issues are addressed in the debrief meeting before any future events are permitted.

    You can also call the City's non-emergency line, 3-1-1, to report any activities that are against posted park rules.

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    What can the city of Vancouver do to save VanGolf? This is a huge asset to this community! Every visitor we have had visit has gone over to VanGolf to hit balls. We enjoy going after work. Many of our neighbors also frequently go!

    Jl asked 9 months ago

    We understand that, for many people, Vanco Golf Range is a valued community asset. However, it has always been considered a temporary use of this City-owned property and the owner was notified several years ago that the City would not be renewing the lease.

    Fortunately, the Heights District has many recreation options currently, with more coming in the future. There are five neighborhood parks adjacent to the district, 88 acres at David Douglas Regional Park and access to open green space at Blandford Canyon and Burnt Bridge Creek Trail. And more than 6 acres of additional open space will be included as part of the redevelopment of the Tower Mall properties.

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    How about putting metal arm-rests in the midpoint of city benches. Too many homeless sleeping on benches are scaring residents from enjoying parks! Also, more sweeps of illegal.camping. It's getting out of control.

    asked 9 months ago

    The City currently installs center arm rests on benches in the downtown area, where we have the greatest homeless population (Esther Short Park, Waterfront Park, etc.). We can add them to benches in other parks if we are made aware of problems. 

    It's important to note that sleeping on a park bench during regular daylight operating hours is not a crime. However, if it's turning into a significant problem in a particular park, you can contact Terry Snyder with the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Department directly to report it by emailing him at Terry.Snyder@cityofvancouver.us. He will investigate the situation and, if warranted, have center arm rests installed on the benches.

    With regard to illegal camping, the City’s new Homeless Resource Manager is currently reviewing our policies related removal of illegal camps and is working on developing a more comprehensive approach. 

    Although sleeping on a park bench during daylight hours is not a crime, camping in a public park is. Currently, the Vancouver Police Department responds to complaints of homeless camps on public property within city limits and will post them for removal after verification. The residents of the camp are given 24 hours to clean up and move before City staff come in and clean up the site. We don’t have the ability to patrol the entire city looking for camps and rely on reports from citizens who observe them. To report an active homeless camp on public property, please call 9-1-1.

    You can learn more by reviewing the City’s Homeless Legal Issues fact sheet here: https://www.cityofvancouver.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/police_vpd/page/1167/unlawful_camping_fact_sheet_21aug19.pdf

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    When do you plan to repave First Street west of Hearthwood? It has been in a seriously deteriorated condition for well over a year.

    Froggie asked 9 months ago

    A portion of Southeast First Street, between Hearthwood and Southeast Olympia Drive, is currently scheduled for resurfacing next summer, as part of the 2020 Pavement Management program. However, please keep in mind that these plans are subject to change, depending upon funding availability and needs/costs.

    Each year, Vancouver's Pavement Management staff evaluates street conditions and determines the most cost-effective means to extend pavement life and improve the surface. In general, this falls into two categories: resurfacing and preservation treatments. 

    Preservation – microsurfacing, slurry seals, etc. – helps to keep good streets in good condition. Resurfacing (grinding and paving) is typically done on busier streets or streets that have fallen into poorer conditions. 

    With the help of the Street Funding Strategy, including the Transportation Benefit District vehicle license renewal fees, the City is steadily continuing to make progress on its goal of improving pavement conditions throughout Vancouver. For more information, please visit www.cityofvancouver.us/pavement.

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    Do you think the I-5 bridge handle alot more traffic?

    Tommy 54 asked 9 months ago

    The City of Vancouver doesn't own, operate, manage or maintain the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River, so we are unable to answer this question for you. 

    However, you can contact Kimberly Pincheira with the Washington State Department of Transportation's SW Region Office here in Vancouver with any questions about the existing bridge or the planned bridge replacement project. Her email address is pinchek@wsdot.wa.gov and her phone number is 360-905-1564.


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    Why are there multiple school bus stops on Ne 72nd between Van Mall and 63rd but no consistent sidewalks? Or Street lights? Vehicles speed up and down 72nd all hours of the day/night, how many more people have to be hurt or killed before safety measures are put in place?

    Time4Change asked 9 months ago

    Northeast 72nd Avenue between Van Mall Drive and 63rd Street was just annexed into the City of Vancouver two years ago (2017). Sidewalks, subdivisions, streets and other development completed before then were built to Clark County standards and requirements, not the City's. Now that this area is part of the city, builders will need to meet City standards for any new street, lighting, stormwater facilities, sidewalks and other urban amenities.  

    The City’s new Sidewalk Management Program has evaluated sidewalk and mobility needs throughout the City, including this area, and found that there are nearly 495 miles of streets needing sidewalks within the city limits. As funding becomes available, the first priority will be to add sidewalks in high pedestrian traffic areas, based on the deficiencies and severity of each specific location. The City is actively seeking grants to help with this effort.

    To help slow traffic in your neighborhood, we would encourage you to tap into the City's Neighborhood Traffic Calming Program. The City, working in conjunction with the Neighborhood Traffic Safety Alliance (NTSA), offers tips and possible project funding opportunities for residents seeking to slow local traffic while creating a more livable community. The first step in proposing a traffic calming project, such as speed cushions or radar feedback signs, is to attend an NTSA meeting and present information on the problem and possible solution. The NTSA meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month, September-May, at Vancouver City Hall (415 W. Sixth St.). The next meeting is Tuesday, Sept. 17.

    Another option is to call the Vancouver Police Department's Traffic Complaint Hotline at 360-487-7402 and leave a recorded message about your specific speeding concerns. Your detailed message should include your name, address, phone number, location of problem and any details such as time of day when you observe the most speeding, if it’s a repeated issue, and type of vehicle.

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    When are you planning on repaving north garrison heights roads? How about ne 9th between 98th and 104th avenue?

    SEA asked 9 months ago

    The City's Pavement Management team tracks pavement conditions of our streets and is aware of the needs on North Garrison Road. At this time, North Garrison Road is anticipated for repaving in 2021. This will be a fairly major project, with grinding of the existing surface followed by a hot mix asphalt paving.

    Currently, NE 9th Street isn’t anticipated for pavement management work in the next 1-2 years. However, keep in mind that future program plans are subject to change as City staff continues to evaluate pavement conditions and costs, to address streets as effectively and efficiently as we can.

    Your concerns about both streets have been passed on to the City's Pavement Management team.

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    Why are you in the property development business? Remaking the downtown is not your problem either. The property owners in that area ought to be fixing it. Why didn't you have any citizens or tax payers on your committee who came up with all of these ideas and then want us to pony up $30 million to fund all this? Did you ever think that maybe you should start slow and show you can be successful, then we will give you more money. I would suggest that if you go to the voters for all $30 million, you will not be successful. Taxpayers are getting over taxed and frankly tired of not being able to make ends meet!

    Eastside asked 10 months ago

    The City’s Comprehensive Plan identifies centers and corridors where new development will occur as the city grows. In order to facilitate redevelopment in these key areas, the City has invested in infrastructure and public open space that attracts new investment, and has also contributed to the development of public facilities that the private market will not deliver on its own.

    In downtown, a key employment and residential center, the City has contributed to redevelopment at the Waterfront and properties around Esther Short Park by doing the upfront planning work to identify community needs and priorities for redevelopment and by building streets, utilities and public parks. As part of this, the City has purchased vacant and underutilized land and then sold it to private developers with agreements to ensure that redevelopment of these properties achieves the community’s vision; however, the City generally doesn’t lead or manage the construction of new buildings beyond our own public facilities, like fire stations and community centers.  

    All the new development you currently see downtown--including on the Waterfront, the Vancouver Center Fourth Tower, and the new office building at Fourth and Columbia streets near the railroad berm--are private development projects.

    The members of the Executive Sponsors Council that created the Stronger Vancouver recommendation are Vancouver residents and taxpayers. Some of them are business owners, work in healthcare or for nonprofits, and others represent diverse communities or neighborhoods. Their work started back in May 2017, when they spent almost a full year taking a deep dive into the City’s budget, finances and operations. 

    Before making their recommendation to City Council early this year, the council presented their initial ideas to the public for community feedback. This community outreach included an online survey, stakeholder interviews, a social media awareness campaign, meetings with community and neighborhood leaders, presentations to neighborhood, community and business organizations, and discussions with focus groups.

    City Council has not made any decisions on the recommendation and are currently seeking public feedback on the elements included in the recommendation. This feedback will help inform City Council’s decision on what the final package will be. City Council will also take a look at funding options, and may decide to put capital (buildings, infrastructure) projects on a ballot for a public vote, in addition to deciding on other funding methods to pay for non-capital projects (programs, services), but again, they have not made any decisions yet. City Council will be taking the public feedback it receives into consideration as they deliberate on this issue throughout the end of the year. There will be additional opportunity for public comment at Council meetings in November and December when any decisions will come up for public hearings.

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    what are you guys doing to lower the taxes and fees for all property owners? How are you making it easier owner to build and have more freedom from regulation?

    Israel asked 10 months ago

    Property taxes is one of the three major sources of revenue that pays for services related to police, fire, parks, recreation, transportation and land use. The tax was allowed to increase by 6% annually here in Washington state prior to 2001. Since then, outside any voter-approved increases, it has only been growing by 1% per year plus any new construction, which is taxed at the previous year’s rate. In effect, the tax rate has been decreasing for all property owners in the city. In 2013, the City's property tax rate was $3.17 per $1,000 in Assessed Value. It is currently $2.11 per $1,000 in Assessed Value. 

    Other fees collected by the City are increasing at the approximate rate of inflation in an attempt to cover the increasing costs of providing city services. More information about the taxes we collect and how we use them is available in our online annual report here: www.cityofvancouver.us/vansoc (see pages 7-13).

    The City is always exploring new ways to make the property development process more efficient and cost effective. This past June, we became the first jurisdiction in Southwest Washington to implement a 100% electronic development plan review process, called ePlans and ePermits

    This process saves our customers time and money by eliminating the need to print multiple sets of plans and make a physical trip the Permit Center. They can submit plans, make payments, respond to comments from review staff and track progress 24/7 from anywhere. 

    The City also annually reviews our development fees to ensure they align with industry standards and allow us to sufficiently address workload demand that comes with a booming development climate like the one we’re enjoying right now.

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    Why is it the city has a difficult time maintaining parks, yet propose still more in the Stronger Vancouver plan? I mean even small parks like Fircrest Park are filled with invasive weeds (instead of the grass), blackberry vines, a fountain that was removed yet gifted by Royce Pollard (the plaque is still there), and shoddy fencing. Why are we not focusing on our existing parks and bringing them back to their glory instead of all these new parks?

    torvan asked 10 months ago

    The overall Stronger Vancouver proposal does include increased park maintenance funding as part of the recommended service and program improvements, which will help improve the overall level of maintenance in all our existing parks. These programs and services are not listed in the online survey because City Council primarily wants to know how residents would prioritize the capital improvement projects contained in the package. However, all the services and programs will be presented for review and ranking at the three open houses we’re having about the Stronger Vancouver initiative starting tonight (Aug. 21). A list of the open houses is available on the right sidebar of the main Stronger Vancouver page on Be Heard Vancouver (www.beheardvancouver.org/StrongerVancouver). We hope that you can attend one. You do not have to stay for the entire time. You can just drop in anytime between 4 and 7 p.m. to do the ranking exercise if your time is limited. Alternately, you can post an idea to the “Submit an Idea” tool on the Stronger Vancouver page explaining your preference that the City focus its resources on maintaining existing parks.

    Regarding the drinking fountain at Fircrest Park that was donated by former mayor Royce Pollard: unfortunately, drinking fountains are often the targets of vandalism in public parks, and because it was an older model fountain, replacement parts were no longer available when it was last damaged by vandals, so it was removed.

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    All of the Mom and Pops are slowly disappearing due to overhead imposed by the City and greedy Landlords, lack of adequate parking is a problem as well. The way I see it, you will end up with bars galore, large corporations disguised as Mom and Pops which fool no one. When is the City going to address concerns of the micro Mom and Pop businesses that are NOT bars or Marijuana Stores?

    Shinnston asked 10 months ago

    Thank you for your question. The City is very invested in making Vancouver a welcoming place for small businesses. We recognize that small businesses make a large contribution to our local economy -- 95% of businesses in Vancouver qualify as small businesses with 50 or fewer employees, and nearly 63% are micro-businesses with six or fewer employees -- and help make Vancouver a unique and interesting place.

    The City of Vancouver has a number of programs aimed at helping small business owners, including funding technical assistance and connecting entrepreneurs to community resources, such as storefront improvement programs, business assistance workshops and business district associations. The City’s Pre-lease Program helps prospective business owners understand regulations and requirements for opening a new brick and mortar business within the City, and gives them a point of contact that can help them navigate the permitting process.

    Current or potential small business owners with questions or concerns regarding Vancouver’s business assistance programs can find more information at the City’s website (https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/doing-business-vancouver) or by contacting our Economic Development Planner Andrea Pastor at Andrea.Pastor@cityofvancouver.us.

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    I'm thrilled you are creating a Homeless Assistance Resource Team. Other cities have experimented and found viable solutions we could explore and implement. Thanks!

    Carter Park Resident asked 10 months ago

    Thank you! We will be launching this new program very soon, so stay tuned.

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    Is there a plan for a sidewalk to be put in on East 5th st between grande and reserve?

    maco55 asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your message. The City has inventoried sidewalks throughout Vancouver. However, there is not a current project to add sidewalks along East 5th Street between Grand Boulevard and Reserve Street. Traffic calming measures were installed in previous years to slow vehicles and make it safer for bikes and pedestrians. We will be updating the City’s Transportation System Plan and can include your suggestion for consideration as part of that process.

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    I live in the Fourth plain village area and we have neighbors who when have friends over instead of having them park a little ways down the street have them park right next to our mailbox so if mt wife comes home has no where to park as they had there friends park there who are not visiting me but next door We tried to explain this to our neighbor but refuses to listing and says too bad this is a public street I heard on a court a law called right of passage and they can not park in front of your home unless they are visiting the person in that house that the car is in front of Do you have that law it would make it easier and less cars parked all over unless they live there Thank you

    jamest asked about 2 months ago

    The City of Vancouver doesn't have any codes or laws restricting who can park where on public streets, so yes, although it's not very neighborly of them, your neighbor's friends do have the right to park on the street front of your house. What they can't do is block your driveway or park too close to your driveway (less than five feet from the edge). They also can't park too close to an intersection or crosswalk or next to a fire hydrant. To report violations of that sort, you can call 3-1-1 (our non-emergency law enforcement line). If you own your property and have room to add an off-street parking pad, carport or garage, that would be another solution.

    For more information about parking laws within neighborhoods, visit https://www.cityofvancouver.us/ced/page/parking-your-neighborhood .