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  • Charles Kelley AIA

City of Yachats Civic Campus Resilience Plan

Updated: May 11

The Community considers how their Yachats Civic Campus can become a refuge and support recovery during a hazard event.


Green Urban Design and Forage Design + Planning have assisted in securing a Community Renewable Energy Planning grant from the Oregon Department of Energy for the City of Yachats. This grant has facilitated an assessment of the Civic Campus's role within the community, its energy usage, design, and the importance of power, communication, and access in serving as a refuge during hazardous events.


The City of Yachats has a breathtaking location on a bluff between the Pacific Ocean and the Siuslaw National Forest. Its Civic Campus is the center of the community.


The City of Yachats initiated a Civic Campus planning process to explore how renewable energy could bolster preparedness for hazardous events and contribute to community resilience. Funded by an Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) Community Renewable Energy Planning (CREP) grant, this process involved comprehensive community engagement and facility assessments to determine community needs, priorities, and strategies for emergency response, renewable energy, and resilience. The resulting plan offers recommendations for resilience at the citywide, civic campus, and building levels. It outlines key projects to improve resilience, along with a community vision, goals, objectives, guidelines, and criteria developed through public input. Additionally, the plan suggests ways to strengthen the city's organizational capacity and community partnerships to ensure successful project implementation.


During a six-month engagement process, Green Urban Design and its consultants Forage Design + Planning, Solarc Energy Group, and Paradigm Engineering performed extensive building energy and site assessments of Yachats’ Civic Campus and “Essential Facilities”, made recommendations about potential projects, as well as identified opportunities and improvements for renewable energy and energy resiliency. During this time, the planning team worked closely with the City of Yachats and community through a series of public engagement events, advisory groups, a vision and needs survey and other public engagement.


Assessment

Through engagement with the community and assessment of the Civic Campus buildings, the City Hall, Commons, and Pavilion were identified as critical locations where a command center and refuge are high priorities and where backup power can be supplied with renewable energy.  It is also a place where investments can support economic vitality downtown and enhance cultural events that are critical to community cohesion which supports community resilience.


A resiliency framework was developed that identifies renewable energy projects in the North and Southeast edges of the campus to support resilience.  Assessing how community goals, design opportunities, site features, and building functions providing everyday uses are supported by the Civic Campus edges demonstrates where deficiencies in resilience may be overcome.


A resiliency framework that connects the north and southeast edges of the Civic Campus creating a focus for civic life while providing a refuge following a hazard event along La De Da Lane. 


During the public workshop the community located solar panels on building roofs and in the landscape that reinforced their social and economic activities.


Role of the Priority Renewable Energy & Resiliency Project

 

With guidance from the Yachats Resilience Civic Campus Plan Advisory Committee, the plan identifies a priority project that establishes the electrical infrastructure needed to connect the Pavilion, City Hall, and Commons and to share renewable energy generation and back-up power up to 87% of the power need for these buildings on a yearly basis.  This project addresses gaps in back up power on the Southeast edge of campus and aligns with essential service buildings that are most able to provide for refuge and recovery services in an emergency event.  The priority project includes batteries and diesel generators to support power demand during the winter, when access to solar energy is limited. Citywide investments that anticipate power outages, communications, access to caches, water, medical care, and hygiene facilities were identified for subsequent resiliency planning beyond the scope of the initial project. Emergency caches were discussed frequently during the process, and a concern is ensuring these are located outside of landslide areas to maintain safe access. Further discussions have included connection to durable power and improving environmental conditioning to preserve the useful life of contents.

 

The implementation of this plan advances a network of improvements that enriches the community and provides resilience and refuge in hazard events.


Resiliency is not a single point in time, but an ongoing process to establish foundational infrastructure, and build capacity through people, plans, projects, and partnerships.  The Civic Campus is one vital element of the City’s emergency preparedness and resilience. As there are many demands for Capital funds for projects in the City, using this plan assures that the full value of the Civic Campus is returned to the community as a resource and refuge during a hazard event.  The value of the projects that comply with this plan can be compared with other priorities in the City during successive budget planning activities. This plan identifies and recommends an initial priority project, and a number of possible subsequent projects to realize the resilience plan’s purpose. It also provides a roadmap and process framework to navigate changes in budgets, grant funding opportunities, and community goals.


Plan Documents

Civic Campus Resilience Plan


Appendices


Priority Project


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