St. Helens Waterfront Redevelopment Project
What’s Your Waterfront?
 Community Vision Workshop


What is the SDAT?

The Sustainable Design Assessment Team (SDAT) program, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), is an interdisciplinary community assistance program that focuses on principles of sustainability by bringing multidisciplinary teams of professionals (such as architects, urban designers, landscape architects, planners, hydrologists, economists, attorneys, and others) to work with community decision makers and stakeholders to help them develop a vision and framework for a sustainable future.  These nationally recognized professionals are DONATING their time and expertise.

The SDAT program upholds the AIA design assistance team values of:

● Multidisciplinary approach

● Objectivity of all participating team members

● Use of public process and forums

What is the SDAT process?

During the initial visit, the SDAT project manager and AIA staff met with local leaders and representatives of stakeholders organizations to pool as much information – data, ideas, suggestions, comments, preferences, etc. – as possible.

Based on this initial scoping visit, the project manager invites other discipline experts to join the SDAT project.  The SDAT experts will be studying the St. Helens Waterfront Redevelopment materials submitted in the City’s application and will return on May 12 – 14 to conduct a series of inclusive public workshops to assist in developing the City’s waterfront plans.  The progress and implementation of the SDAT recommendations will further monitored by the AIA post visit and report.

How did this come about?

The City of St. Helens Staff, with the assistance of AmeriCorps volunteers assisted in the preparation of the SDAT application. The AIA, Communities by Design, SDAT program typically selects a handful of projects throughout the country each year and St. Helens was fortunate to be among the select few. The selection was based upon the catalytic nature of the opportunity and the sense of community’s readiness to proceed with implementation of the SDAT recommendations.

What is the St. Helens Waterfront Redevelopment Project?

The St. Helens Waterfront Redevelopment Project has two focus areas for consideration by the SDAT process.  The primary area will involve the former Boise Veneer Mill site property adjacent to the Historic Olde Towne. This 17 – acre waterfront property adjacent to Historic Olde Towne presents a unique opportunity to expand access to the waterfront, create connecting transportation linkages and expand the downtown area. The City’s involvement with the Veneer property will be to ensure development decisions are made in the public’s interest.

The second focus by the SDAT will be to provide a more global assessment of the neighboring Boise White Paper site.  The City is currently in negotiations with Boise White Paper to obtain all or part of the 200+ adjacent waterfront acres.  This expanded acreage opens up a host of possibilities for assessment.

What is the goal of the SDAT?

The goal of the SDAT is to assist in developing a community based vision for the waterfront. The SDAT will further offer recommendations and guidance toward implementation strategies.

What is the cost to the community?

The SDAT is a volunteer effort by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The SDAT professionals donate their time at no charge and the AIA will contribute up to $15,000 for travel and related team member expenses.  The City will be responsible for event coordination, promotion, facilities and related costs.

SDAT Presentation

See the St. Helens SDAT presentation here.

See the St. Helens SDAT report here.