A large crowd is expected at tonight’s meeting of the Columbia County Planning Commission, where they’ll be considering a comprehensive plan amendment and zone charge for a large parcel of land at the Port Westward industrial site near Clatskanie. The Port of St. Helens says that they want to get 957 acres of land rezoned, with the intention of having that land available for large-scale industrial users. Citizens in the area are fearful that the zone change is intended to facilitate the location of a coal export facility; several environmental groups and the City of Rainier are opposing the zone change, fearing the impacts of increased rail traffic. Columbia County planning staff says that the proposed rezone is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan, and they’re recommending its approval. The Planning Commission won’t make the approval, but they will forward a recommendation to the Columbia County Commissioners. This evening’s meeting starts at 6 pm in the circuit courtroom on the third floor of the Courthouse Annex in St. Helens.