PENDLETON - Establishing diagonal parking on South Main Street and building a covered structure for the summertime Farmers Market generated the most discussion Tuesday night at the second meeting of the Urban Renewal Board.a

Jerry Lewis, Pendleton insurance agent and restaurant owner, liked the idea of changing South Main Street to one-lane traffic each way and returning to diagonal parking. It now is two lanes in each direction with parallel parking.

"Main Street is not a main street, it's a thoroughfare," Lewis complained. "Make it congested so people slow down."

Chairwoman Marjorie Iburg said a covered structure along South Main Street near the Chamber of Commerce office would be relatively inexpensive. She circulated three potential designs prepared by David Byrd, city parks and recreation director.

Those two ideas were among several listed for consideration by Iburg. She, Mayor Bob Ramig and other members of the City Council comprise the Urban Renewal Board. The board will meet against on July 13 after talking with Main Street business owners and other residents to gather opinions about the proposed projects.

The district generally encompasses the area between the Union Pacific Railroad tracks and the Umatilla River from Southeast 21st Street to Southwest 20th Street. However, the district extends beyond the tracks from Southeast Third through Southwest First streets.

Some of the other ideas on Iburg's list, which she compiled with help from several others, included:

•Creating a traffic circle on South Main Street at the bottom of the South Hill.

•Establishing downtown corner and mid-block highlights with planters.

•Promoting downtown facade reconstruction.

•Improving streetscapes.

•Developing underground parking, or more street-level parking.

•Creating a theme town.

•Establishing a Pendleton Woolen Mills store on Main Street.

•Developing second-story offices and residential space downtown.

•Creating a native plant park.

The Urban Renewal District has no money for projects now, but it should have money to work with beginning in November 2005, explained City Manager Larry Lehman. The district was established in July 2003. Taxes from any property value increases over the July 2003 level will go toward urban renewal. The district probably will receive about $30,000 its first year and more each year thereafter as construction and improvements occur in the Urban Renewal District, raising property values a projected 3 percent to 5 percent, Lehman said.

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