It is the first in a series of meetings to talk about the future of downtown Yakima and it is set for tomorrow night at the Howard Johnson Hotel. The meeting, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will give a chance for Yakima residents to tell city leaders what they did like to see in downtown Yakima and give input on the development of both a comprehensive master plan for the downtown core and an approach to attracting new retail businesses to downtown Yakima. Earlier this year the City hired two consulting firms to help develop strategies for downtown. "Public participation in the workshops will play a key part developing a successful approach that will lead to redevelopment and make downtown Yakima a vibrant destination for both residents and visitors alike," says City of Yakima Economic Development Manager Sean Hawkins. "The workshops will provide community members with the chance to share ideas, to ask questions, and to gain a better understanding of the master plan process."

The downtown master plan will provide guidance on a variety of issues including parking, traffic, pedestrian and bicycle access, artwork, the Yakima Farmers Market, new retail development, public safety, and additional public gathering spaces.