The Yakima City Council has agreed to move forward with the Downtown Master Plan. It's a plan that was put together after several public meetings held by the city and it's consultants.

The first phase of the plan is to turn the parking lot in front of the Capital Theatre into a town plaza. The plaza would be used for special events from the Farmers Market to a skating rink in the winter time.  City officials are now looking at alternative parking spaces in the area before they move forward with the plaza.

The Master Plan also includes changes to Yakima Avenue, extending trolley service to downtown, building a public market and attracting dozens of new retailers.

Representatives from Crandall Arambula of Portland and Thomas Consultants of Vancouver, British Columbia, said the plan was drafted with substantial input from the public, including residents and the business community.

What's next for the process?  The consultants could bring back to the City Council steps for getting started on the plan as soon as its Nov. 5 meeting.  Plus the city is expected to form an oversight committee composed of business, community and council members.