Vancouver’s Heights District Plan wins Governor’s Smart Communities Award

November 2, 2023

The City of Vancouver is the recipient of the 2023 Governor’s Smart Communities Award, Smart Vision Award for its continuing work on the Heights District development project. The Smart Vision Award recognizes a local comprehensive plan, subarea plan and/or specific planning policies.

The Heights District Master Plan creates a vision built around connectivity, equity, climate action and economic opportunity for the Vancouver Heights neighborhood, a 205-acre district located on E. Mill Plain Boulevard between MacArthur Boulevard and Andresen Road. Relying on years of feedback and community engagement, the goal of the plan is to avoid displacement of existing residents and businesses while revitalizing the area.

“We’re honored to be recognized for our work and to receive this award,” said Amy Zoltie, project manager with the City of Vancouver. “Some redevelopment activities in the past have done notable harm to particular communities, so part of moving forward in an equitable way is to acknowledge that and understand that we have to do things differently than we’ve done in the past. The Heights District is envisioned as a vibrant neighborhood center that is sustainable, healthy, equitable, accessible and safe.”  

The new district will be a walkable, mixed-use neighborhood with a mix of services and amenities such as mixed-income housing, stores, restaurants, parks, schools and transit stations, all within a 15-minute walk.

The awards, announced by the Washington State Department of Commerce in a Nov. 1 press release, recognize local governments for exceptional land use planning and development.

“The Smart Awards continues a long-standing tradition in our state of excellence and leadership. This year’s winners are tackling everything from housing affordability to environmental restoration, proving that our state can do anything it sets its mind to,” said Gov. Jay Inslee.

 A Request for Proposals for initial development parcels will be issued in the first quarter of 2024 and construction on initial infrastructure is anticipated to begin in Fall 2024.

Contact: Tim Becker, Strategic Communications Manager,