City of prosser

Other Modes of Transportation

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Other Modes of Transportation

Truck Routes

SR 221 and SR 22 are truck routes through Prosser, although neither goes through downtown Prosser. There are 40 motor freight carriers located between Yakima and Tri­Cities area.

Prosser is served by Ben-Franklin Transit. Services include flexible routes and Dial­A-Ride. The Dial-A-Ride operates throughout the City and surrounding area on a demand/response basis. Those wishing to ride call in to the transit center to make arrangements. The system uses special scheduling for community activities and events. Ben-Franklin Transit has a vanpool consisting of two vans commuting to Hanford worksites. The charge for using the Transit system is nominal, with senior citizens receiving a special fare. A park-and-ride facility is available on Stacy Avenue.


The Port of Benton owns and operates an airport in Prosser. The Prosser Airport has one paved runway and no instrumentation. Residents of Prosser have access to the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco for commercial flights to national and international destinations. The Tri­Cities Airport has three paved runways, a full instrumentation landing system, and regularly scheduled passenger services. Residents have access to the Richland Airport for business and small-plane flights. The Richland Airport is also owned and operated by the Port of Benton. It has two paved runways with a localizer instrument system. Finally, Prosser residents can use Vista Field in Kennewick. Vista Field is owned by the City of Kennewick. It is classified as a basic utility stage-2 facility serving single- and twin-engine propeller-driven general aviation type-aircraft typically weighing less than 8,000 pounds. The airport has two runways that are 150 wide and 3,500 feet long. The main runway has a partial taxiway, and is fully lighted.


Prosser is served by the Washington Central Railroad. The Washington Central Railroad operates 12 tracks (including spurs) in the Prosser area. Industries wishing to ship via rail are advised to contact the railroad for service arrangements.


Barge service is available after truck transport to the Cargo Container facilities at the Port of Pasco. This cargo-container barge facility services Pacific Rim and United States ports through connections to deep-water vessels at the Port of Portland, OR.

Pedestrian, Bicycles, and Equestrian Facilities

The Centennial Pathway runs from the Yakima River along Wine County Road, out into unincorporated Benton County. The City is in the process of developing a pedestrian bicycle plan which identifies existing and future bicycle facilities.

Other Transportation Improvement Considerations

The transportation goals and policies of this plan address a range of transportation system improvements in addition to the continued development of the street network.

Freight Movement

The City of Prosser is part of the state and regional freight transportation network and depends on this system for the city’s continued economic development. The State Transportation Plan identifies a variety of freight routes through or near the City. These routes include I-82, SR 22 from I-82 to SR-221 and SR221, and the rail routes (the State Plan does not identify the Prosser Airport as a airport that handles cargo—the nearest such fields are in the Tri-Cities and Yakima). The State plan identifies no significant present future bottlenecks for freight in the vicinity of the City of Prosser, although bottlenecks are identified along the rail route north of Yakima and in the Tri-Cities. The rail lines are operating at about half the potential capacity for these routes and no capacity problems are identified for the truck routes, although SR 221 is identified as a potential congestion point (that nonetheless is expected still to operate “efficiently”) in the year 2030.

Strategies to Reduce Traffic

As the city grows, the City of Prosser may need to explore methods for reducing traffic, especially if city streets begin to fall below the levels of service adopted in this plan. Potential strategies to reduce traffic can be grouped into two general categories, Transportation System Management and Transportation Demand Management:

  • TSM Transportation System Management: Improvements designed to improve traffic flow that are low cost and can be implemented quickly. Such strategies may include variable message signs (VMS), highway advisory radio (HAR), ramp metering and re-striping roadways.

  • TDM Transportation Demand Management: Programs and policies to reduce peak demand for transportation and to maximize efficient use of the transportation system. Such strategies may include encouraging employers to offer their workers flexible work schedules, ride-sharing and vanpooling, and congestion pricing.

Transportation system management measures such as revising traffic control measures an restriping to add additional turn lanes may be particularly effective in improving traffic flow and resolving any potential level of service problems in downtown intersections.

Because of their lower densities, rural areas tend to be particularly automobile dependent. Most trips made by personal automobile and there is often relatively little demand for alternative modes, such as ridesharing, transit and cycling. Most alternative modes experience economies of scale: increased demand can lead to improved services. TDM strategies that give automobile owners an incentive to use alternative modes for some of their trips can result in a positive cycle of improved service and further increases in demand for alternatives. For example, there may be dozens of residents who commute on the same highway in their single occupant vehicle. Under current circumstances there may be little incentive to share rides, so non-drivers have poor travel options. A TDM strategy that gives these commuters an incentive to rideshare can lead motorists to form carpools, vanpools, or justify transit service.

Since many rural communities do not accommodate non-motorized travel well, a variety of pedestrian and cycling improvements can be implemented to increase local transportation options. Such measures (as envisioned by transportation Goal TM 2) not only improves transportation options, they also allows residents and visitors to enjoy healthy physical exercise.

A particular range of traffic reduction strategies are considered in Commute Trip Reduction (CTR) programs. CTR programs give commuters resources and incentives to reduce their automobile trips. CTR programs typically include a range of TDM strategies particularly directed at reducing single occupancy vehicle trips for communing purposes including the following:

  • Commuter Financial Incentives (such as Transit Allowances).

  • Rideshare Matching.

  • Alternative Scheduling (Flextime and Compressed Work Weeks).

  • Telework and telecommuting

  • Walking and Cycling Encouragement. and Walking and Cycling Improvements.

  • Bicycle Parking and Changing Facilities.

  • Transit Encouragement programs.

Chapter IX

Providing and maintaining high quality public utilities and services as the City grows to help preserve the quality of life. The following goal and policies focus on improving deficiencies in present service and ensures that services will be available when needed.
Utility Policies
Goal UT 1- To provide utility services in an efficient, adequate and well-planned manner. Utilities Policies
Policy UT 1.1. Whenever a new public utility system is created, or an existing one expanded, it should be done so in support of the policies contained in this Comprehensive Plan. To that end, priority for utility development should be in the urban areas with deficiencies in level of utility service and such service should be steadily improved and increased to a level considered "urban".

Policy UT 1.2. The general taxpaying public of the City should not bear the direct costs of utilities associated with private developments. Residential, commercial, and industrial developers should assume the costs of utilities which are necessary to make their projects functional.

Policy UT 1.3. Utilities should be located, designed, sized and installed to meet foreseeable future needs. Utilities should be installed within, or adjacent to, existing utility or transportation corridors whenever feasible.
Policy UT 1.4. Whenever possible, utility corridors should serve multiple uses, such as transportation routes, pathways or recreational trails.
Policy UT 1.5. Utility systems should not be installed in areas of geologic hazard unless geologic stability can be secured.
Policy UT 1.6. Utilities should not be located in flood-prone areas unless adequate flood protection is provided, and the facilities are installed in a manner which does not increase the possibility of danger to someone else's life or property.
Policy UT 1.7. The location, design, construction, and operation of utility systems along shorelines should follow the policies and performance standards of the Shoreline Management Program for the City.
Policy UT 1.8. The application of innovative technology for utility systems is encouraged for various types of land use, and for different sizes of development projects.
Water Goals and Policies
Goal WG 1. – To provide an adequate supply of high-quality domestic water to residential, commercial, and industrial users.
Policy WG 1.1. Encourage water conservation through a variety of programs and incentives for residential and commercial users.

Strategy WG 1.1.2. Determine the acceptable level of service for the domestic water system by the fire-flow requirements established in the comprehensive water plan.

Policy WG 1.2. Require that new residential, commercial, or industrial development provide an on-site water system to meet the city’s comprehensive water plan, and municipal and fire district standards.
Strategy WG 1.2.1. Require that minimum fire-flow standards be consistent with Washington State standards for residential, commercial, and industrial neighborhoods.

Strategy WG 1.2.2. Maintain full metering.
Policy WG 1.3 Develop new water sources, transmission, and storage close to the areas of growth as the city expands.
Wellhead Protection
In December 1996, the City of Prosser received a Wellhead Protection Plan prepared by Shannon and Wilson at the bequest of the Benton-Franklin Council of Governments. The plan describes the aquifers and potential sources of contamination, and recommends management procedures for reducing the propensity for groundwater contamination. The following goal and policies were recommended in the Wellhead Protection Plan to be included in the comprehensive plan for protection of the ground water aquifers.
Goal WP 1. – To protect the quality and quantity of the ground water used for public supplies by means of the following policies.
Policy WP 1.1. Cooperate with agencies charged with the regulations of commercial and industrial chemicals, such as Ecology, to prevent chemical contamination of ground waters.
Policy WP 1.2. Preclude contamination of ground water from failing septic systems by continuing to require that all occupied buildings be connected to the sanitary sewer system.

Policy WP 1.3. Be especially watchful of chemical spills in the vicinity of the Yakima River, since the river corridor is Prosser’s only known aquifer recharge area.

Policy WP 1.4. Require that drainage outfalls into the river be equipped with treatment facilities if necessary to remove pollutants.
Policy WP 1.5. Encourage agencies with jurisdiction, such as Benton County, to regulate ranching and agriculture in the area around Prosser, so as to prevent wastes associated with those industries from entering the groundwater, especially wastes contributing to high nitrate levels.
Policy WP 1.6. Prepare an overall stormwater plan to guide public and private investment in stormwater facilities.
Policy WP 1.7. Maximize on-site retention in new developments, to increase the chances of runoff recharging the groundwater in a manner similar to that, which occurs in nature.
Policy WP 1.8 Establish a wellhead protection overlay zone to cover the ten-year management area for Wells Nos. 2 and 3, which have low to moderate susceptibility.
Strategy WP 1.5.1 The overlay zone should call for vigilance in granting building permits and dealing with zoning issues. Zoning changes should restrict or prohibit the presence of potential contaminant sources such as those listed in Table 15 of the Wellhead Protection Plan. The City should formally notify all industries, and particularly those within the overlay zone, of the necessity to inform the city of any chemical or hazardous materials spills at their facilities and sites.
Wastewater Disposal
Goal SW 1. – To operate and maintain an efficient wastewater treatment facility.

Policy SW 1.1. Require that developers cover any increased costs for the provision of sewer interceptors and increased treatment capacity.

Strategy SW 1.1.1. Require developers to plan and complete work in accordance with the comprehensive sewer plan.
Policy SW 1.2. Operate the sewer waste water system within state and federal guidelines.
Strategy SW 1.2.1. Ensure that personnel are adequately certified in the operation and maintenance of the wastewater treatment facility.
Existing and Future Utility Needs
Existing utilities and future needs for public and private utilities are inventoried in a variety of documents, including:

  • Telecommunications: Comprehensive Plan, City of Prosser, October 1996. pp XI-20 – XI-21

  • Electrical Service: Comprehensive Plan, City of Prosser, October 1996. pp XI-16 – XI-20

  • Natural Gas: Comprehensive Plan, City of Prosser, October 1996. pp XI-21– XI-22

  • Cable: Comprehensive Plan, City of Prosser, October 1996. p XI-20

  • Water Facilities: City of Prosser, Comprehensive Water System Plan, Huibregtse, Louman Associates, Inc., December 2001.

  • Sewer Facilities: City of Prosser, General Sewer Plan, Gray & Osborne­, Inc., July 1994.

Also, see pages XI-20 to 24 of the 1996 Comprehensive Plan for a discussion of the land use relationship to utility services and maps. The City-owned facilities are also addressed in further detail under the Capital Facilities Element.

Chapter X

Economic Development

The GMA requires jurisdictions to encourage economic development consistent with the comprehensive plan and to promote economic development opportunity for all. This element directs development into the commercial and industrial lands within the 20-year development area.

Economic Development Goals, Policies and Strategies
Goal ED 1. – To promote commercial and industrial development that creates economic diversification.
Policy ED 1.1. Support the efforts of local economic development organizations in their promotional activities to attract new industries to the area.
Policy ED 1.2. Encourage industrial development that diversifies and strengthens the local economy and is compatible with surrounding land use.
Policy ED 1.3. Limit non-industrial uses in industrial districts to those uses that complement or support industrial development.
Policy ED 1.4. Foster the retention and development of long-term working or trading activities that create or add value to the community.
Policy ED 1.5. Provide adequate appropriately-zoned land to accommodate the city’s projected commercial and industrial needs.
Policy ED 1.6. Permit residential uses in commercial areas only if they are accessory to the commercial uses.
Goal ED 2. – To ensure infrastructure support for the orderly and cost effective development of commercially and industrially zoned land.
Policy ED 2.1. Establish development standards adequate to safeguard the environment and ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses.

Policy ED 2.2. Group industrial uses to maximize infrastructure efficiency and minimize service provision.

Policy ED 2.3. Prepare a replacement schedule for all utilities recognizing each system’s design life and providing a financing plan for replacement and upgrades.
Policy ED 2.4. Combine access points to arterials to the greatest extent practical.
Strategy ED 2.4.1. Create and adopt commercial and industrial development standards that will include requirements for building bulk, heights, setbacks, landscaping, floor area ratios, open spaces, and development incentives.
Policy ED 2.5. Require that commercial and industrial development provide adequate services and public amenities.
Policy ED 2.6. Limit commercial development to areas where adequate facilities and services exist or can be provided at the time of development.
Policy ED 2.7. Encourage the infill of existing commercial centers and strips before creating new neighborhoods and community commercial centers.
Goal ED 3. – To promote renovation of existing commercial and industrial areas to enhance their appearance and function.
Policy ED 3.1. Establish design and performance standards for redevelopment
Goal ED 4. – To control development of commercial and industrial areas.
Policy ED 4.1. Limit commercial and industrial businesses to those areas large enough to be economically viable.
Policy ED 4.2. Encourage the development of open space framed by commercial or civic buildings, to allow pedestrians to rest and interact, and to improve the city’s appearance.

Policy ED 4.3. Develop and establish design and performance standards for new commercial and industrial districts.

Policy ED 4.4 Improve the appearance of existing commercial areas and create performance standards for all new developments including, but not limited, to signage, landscaping, setbacks, and buffer areas.
Policy ED 4.5. Separate commercial and industrial activities based upon land use characteristics, type of transportation corridors, amount of traffic generated and geographic location.
Economic Characteristics and Background
The Economic Development Element of the 1996 Comprehensive Plan contains a detailed discussion of the economy of the city. This discussion included a description of various economic sectors and the characteristics of the community’s labor force. Various strengths and weaknesses of the area’s economy are noted in that discussion. Various other parts of that plan and this document describe the utilities and transportation systems available to support economic development. The Prosser Economic Development Association has published a Demographic and Community profile which provides further information regarding the economy and its economic development potential.
The population data and characteristics of the labor force described in the 1996 plan was updated in the 2000 Census of population. This updated census information is available in the publication City of Prosser Census 2000 Summary File 3.
The following tables present some of the updated data available from the US Census which describes some of the key characteristics if the City labor force as compared to the State and County averages.
Table 22: Place of Work of Prosser Residents

canvas 550

Table 23: Educational Level of Prosser Residents

Table 24: Type of Employments of Prosser Residents

Table 25: Occupation of Prosser Residents

Chapter XI

Community Facilities and Services
The community facilities described in this section include municipal buildings utilized for conducting city business, public schools for the education of Prosser’s children, cultural resources, parks and recreation facilities, and essential public facilities for the location of state or federal institutional buildings. Portions of this element constitutes the Park and Recreation element as required under the Growth Management Act.
Municipal Buildings Goals and Policies
Goal MB 1. – To provide adequate public facilities for community services.
Policy MB 1.1. Provide adequate space for the provision of municipal services.
Policy MB 1.2. Provide adequate space for community interaction, fellowship, and recreation.
Strategy MB 1.2.1. Consider the feasibility of providing a community center.

Strategy MB 1.2.2. Consider the feasibility of providing a police sub-station in the downtown area of the city.
Policy MB 1.3. Cooperate with other public jurisdictions for the provision of space and services.

School Goals and Policies

Goal SH 1. – To promote planned development of Prosser public school sites.
Policy SH 1.1. Locate public schools close to existing or proposed residential areas.
Policy SH 1.2. Require improved streets and sidewalks between new schools and the nearest arterial streets.
Policy SH 1.3. Require that residential developments have a location for buses to stop and a turning radius on cul-de-sacs that can accommodate school buses.
Policy SH 1.4. Require that location, design, and construction of school facilities be compatible with existing land use, drainage, and natural systems.
Goal SH 2. – To promote cooperation between the city and the local school district to provide adequate opportunities for community utilization of school facilities.
Policy SH 2.1. Maintain open communication between the city and school district.
Policy SH 2.2. Provide park and recreation facilities adjacent to, or in conjunction with, school district properties whenever possible.
Policy SH 2.3. Encourage future development of school grounds to complement park development.
Regional Coordination of Essential Public Facilities
Goal EF 3: To promote the development of a cooperative regional process for the siting of essential public services of regional and statewide significance.
Policy EF 1.1. Participate in the implementation of the County-wide policies regarding essential public facilities which include: 3


Policy #11: The County and cities within, along with public participation shall develop a cooperative regional process to site essential public facilities of regional and statewide importance. The objective of the process shall be to ensure that such facilities are located so as to protect environmental quality, optimize access and usefulness to all jurisdictions, and equitably distribute economic benefits/burdens through out the region or county.
At the County-wide and multi-county level, the following actions should be accomplished:

a. Develop a uniform siting procedure which enables selection of optimum project sites and appropriate size and scale relative to intended benefit area.

Policy #12: Support the existing solid waste program that promotes and maintains a high level of public health and safety, protects the natural and human environment of Benton County and encourages public involvement by securing representation of the public in the planning process.

Policy #13:  Encourage and expand coordination and communication among all jurisdictions and solid waste agencies/firms in Benton and Franklin Counties in order to develop consistent and cost-effective programs that avoid duplication effort and gaps in program activities.

a. Utilize the existing Benton-Franklin Solid Waste Advisory Committee.

Policy EF 2.1. Establish an interim program until the joint program is developed,

Strategy 1: the City recognizes the following public facilities within its borders public facilities of a regional or Statewide significance:

  • State Freeways and highway routes,

  • Prosser Airport,

  • Benton County Court House and related County Facilities,

  • Prosser Memorial Hospital and ancillary facilities, and

  • Walter Clore Wine and Culinary Center (when completed).

Strategy 2: Require these facilities, and any other facilities defined as essential public facilities by state law, to comply with all critical area ordinances and regulations.

Strategy 3: Utilize the procedures of the State Environmental Policy Act to consider and solicit public review of proposals to expand these facilities and or activities, or (pending the development of regional procedures) to site in the city any other facilities defined as essential public facilities by state law.

Strategy 4: Utilize rezone and comprehensive plan procedures to consider and involve public review of proposals to expand these facilities beyond their current sites as designated in this plan or (pending the development of regional procedures) to site any other facilities defined as essential public facilities by state law.
Policy EF 3.1. Recognize the economic importance of these facilities to the City and region and give deference in considering expansion proposals which are needed to continue or enhance their role in the community and region, provided that these proposals do not conflict with other significant policies of this plan.
Cultural Resources

Historically significant lands, sites and structures, which are part of and help illustrate the collective culture of the people, are important resources for the city. The City of Prosser recognizes a number of benefits, which result from cultural resource preservation such as:

  • Economic dividends come from cultural tourism and downtown revitalization.

  • Cultural resources contribute materially to a sense of place and identity for all ages, and are important components of the civic pride found in stable, successful communities.

  • A strong cultural resources management program enables the city to fulfill its legal obligation to avoid potential harmful impacts on cultural resources, which may be caused by federal or state projects. For example, a cultural resource inventory is necessary in order to comply with the federal Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act and the state procedures for protection of archaeological resources.

Goal CR 1. To identify and encourage the preservation and enhancement of cultural resources within the City of Prosser’s Urban Growth Area.
Policy CR 1.1. Update the city’s cultural resource inventory on a continuing basis to ensure the inventory’s usefulness as an historic preservation and land use tool.
Policy CR 1.2. Coordinate the city’s cultural resource inventory with similar programs maintained by Benton County, adjacent cities and indigenous peoples of the area to ensure the comprehensiveness of the inventory.
Policy CR 1.3. Provide, consistent with city resources and based on the standards of the cultural resources inventory, technical assistance to local groups whose work can be incorporated into the city’s inventory.
Goal CR 2. To preserve and enhance archaeological, historic, and cultural resources.

Policy CR 2.1. Seek and preserve certified local government status under the 1966 National Historic Preservation Act by enacting a qualifying historic preservation ordinance and carrying out the mandates of that ordinance.

Policy CR 2.2. Meet its cultural resource management obligations under federal, state, and local regulations in an efficient and effective manner.
Policy CR 2.3. Commensurate with city resources, provide technical assistance on cultural resource matters.
Policy CR 2.4. Promote preservation of identified archaeological, historic, and cultural resources.
Policy CR 2.5. On projects under its authority, consistently seek to mitigate unavoidable negative impacts to cultural resources and to discourage demolition of historically significant structures.
Policy CR 2.6. Develop incentives to promote preservation and adaptive reuse of historic resources.
Policy CR 2.7. Undertake coordinated long-range planning to identify the best strategies for preserving and enhancing cultural resources.
Policy CR 2.8. Participate in an ongoing community cultural planning process with representatives of arts, heritage, and tourism organizations.
Goal CR 3. To recognize the value of promoting cultural tourism as an economic development tool and as a stimulus to cultural resource preservation and enhancement.
Policy CR 3.1. Ensure that cultural tourism projects remain eligible for funding assistance through its hotel/motel tax fund program.
Policy CR 3.2. Continue to cooperate with cultural groups and the organized representatives of the tourism industry to promote cultural tourism.
Goal CR 4. Ensure that the City of Prosser’s land use policies encourage the social, economic and quality of life benefits of the arts.

Policy CR 4.1. Promote communication with the city’s various cultural groups when developing policy relating to the social, economic and quality of life benefits of the arts.

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