Community Development



Economic Development Coordinator Planner                               
Michael DeHart
(541) 895-2531 x 304
Madeline Phillips
(541) 895-2531  x 326



Strategy & Philosophy

The City of Creswell employs a multi-faceted approach to community and economic development.  We believe that sustained economic development and job growth comes from a mixture of three strategies:

  1. Community Development - Making Creswell a better and more attractive place to live for our current and future residents. We believe that community development can occur without economic development, but that economic growth cannot occur without community development.
  2. Business retention & expansion - We focus on making our existing, small businesses successful and helping them to grow. 
  3. Business Attraction - Providing incentives and eliminating barriers to attract new business to the Creswell area.

Community Development

Creswell is a beautiful, friendly, and convenient place to live and raise a family. The City of Creswell strives to maintain our small town charm while working to improve and expand community assets that allow us to have a high quality of life.

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE)
Since 2008, the City has received technical assistance from the Resource Assistance for Rural Environments program at the University of Oregon. The RARE program provides the City with a full-time, graduate-level Community Development Coordinator, who manages several community and economic development projects and gains valuable professional experience during their year-long internship with the City. Without the assistance of the RARE program, the City would not have the staff resources to respond to pressing needs within our community.

Special Events
The City of Creswell partners with a variety of community and regional organizations to implement several special events throughout the year. These events add to our quality of life, educate our youth, build community, and stimulate businesses. For more information about these events, please visit the Tourism Information page.

The City of Creswell is working to create a cutting-edge communications system, with the idea that effective communication between the City and its residents, businesses, and organizations is vital to community development. Effective information between a variety of individuals and organizations will lead to a better informed and involved community, and a City government that is more responsive to the needs of its constituents.

Between 2010 and 2011, the City has established a variety of electronic communications tools: Social Media (such as Facebook and Twitter); a series of videos promoting the work of the City and other organizations and individuals in the community; a new online Community Calendar; a Citizen Request tool, which allows citizens to submit electronic tickets for follow up by City staff; and a new website that is more user-friendly and information-rich.

Parks & Recreation
The City of Creswell and the surrounding area offers a variety of parks and recreational opportunities for you and your family to enjoy. For information about existing parks, visit the Parks Facilities page. To learn about exciting new parks projects such as the Cobalt Building Redevelopment Project, visit the Parks Projects page. Finally, to learn about exciting future possibilities for our Parks & Recreation program, visit the Parks & Recreation home page to view master plans and other important documents.  The Coast Fork Watershed Council is a valuable City partner in our Parks and Open Space and natural resource planning and implementation efforts.  For more information on the Coast Fork Willamette Watershed Council click here.

Planning for Our Future
The Creswell Planning Department is responsible for maintaining neighborhood livability while responsibly managing growth in our community.  Planning for the City of Creswell is provided under contract by Lane Council of Governments.  Please visit the Planning & Land Use page for more information.

Get Involved with Build a Better Creswell!
The Build a Better Creswell group is a grassroots organization of citizens, elected officials, City Staff, and community members from the Creswell area who are dedicated to exploring community development from a variety of angles to make Creswell a better place to live. The group meets a couple times each month to discuss ideas and learn about community and economic development issues. The conversation began with ideas from the book 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, by Doug Griffiths and Kelly Clemmer. For more information, see the Build a Better Creswell Wikispaces page, or contact the Creswell Library.

Business Retention & Expansion

Background and Focus
Business retention and expansion is the part of economic development that does not necessarily get talked about in the newspapers, but can really have a huge impact on creating and retaining jobs. In Creswell, and in Lane County, the data shows that very small, privately owned businesses account for a high percentage of jobs. The data shows that over 90% of business establishments and 40% of jobs in Lane County come from established businesses with fewer than 10 employees.

Although our staff time for business retention and expansion efforts is limited, the outreach we are able to provide to busineses has been focused loosely on Economic Gardening theory, which values supporting existing small businesses over spending resources trying to attract new large industries. Economic gardening focuses on identifying small businesses that have high growth potential, and working with them to provide them with the resources they need to stabilize and begin growing, which creates jobs for our community. This helps us to develop the assets that already exist in our community so that we can create jobs here and keep them in Creswell for the long term.

Community Partners
Since the City has limited staff time to devote to business retention and expansion, we have begun a partnership with the organization eDev (formerly Lane MicroBusiness) to provide business development services right here in Creswell. eDev provides a variety of programs, including technical assistance, business peer groups, access to capital, and a series of courses to help your business achieve its full potential. If you are interested in taking advantage of the services eDev offers, please visit to review their programs, get in touch with them, or view course listings.

Business Attraction

While it has not been the primary focus of our economic and community development efforts, making Creswell an attractive place for new businesses to locate is still an important piece of our strategy, and can be valuable in creating high-wage jobs for our community. The City Planner is currently working to integrate Creswell into an Enterprise Zone, which exempts businesses from local property taxes on new plants and equipment for three to five years.  The City of Creswell is partnering with the City of Cottage Grove to establish this as a regional incentive for businesses to move to the area.


Vital to all three strategies is the availability of adequate infrastructure to support families and businesses in our community. The City is currently involved in several infrastructure improvement projects:


2005 Economic Opportunities Analysis