Woodland preps for another population boom

first_imgWOODLAND — There are plans to build hundreds of homes both inside and just outside Woodland’s city limits over several years.The city’s elementary schools are packed, and Woodland Public Schools is considering building another.The city also is proposing a new Interstate 5 exit to reduce traffic in the city center.After the recession halted a spurt of early-century growth, Woodland is gearing up for another boom that is increasing traffic and converting farmland into housing subdivisions. It’s also likely to drive up taxes and may make Woodland’s population the youngest in Cowlitz County. Not everyone wants the changes, but many residents see them as inevitable.“It’s coming. There’s no stopping them,” said George Tsugawa, 96, owner of Tsugawa Nursery, who’s lived in Woodland for over six decades.“It’s inevitable that it’s going to happen, so do it under a controlled, managed program,” said former True Value owner Tom Golick, a Woodland resident since 1976. “You’re not going to stop it, so you might as well embrace it.”Others are a bit more cautious about the growth, not wanting Woodland to become a mere bedroom community for commuters to the Portland metro area.“If we build up our industry … (and) have good paying jobs, then I think it’s a good thing,” said Woodland Truck Line co-owner Darlene Johnson, a Woodland resident since 1967. “If we’re just going to have a lot more homes and become a bedroom community, then I don’t consider it a good thing.”last_img read more