February 10, 2012  9:20 AM

Questions and answers about Metro's Title 13 and Troutdale

What is Title 13?

Title 13, adopted in 2005, is a section of Metro’s Urban Growth Management Functional Plan that aims to protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat throughout the region.

What does Metro require of cities and counties under Title 13?

Title 13 requires that cities and counties adopt policies in their land use codes that protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat. Title 13 provides significant flexibility in meeting its requirements. Title 13 does not prevent development, but it does require mitigation measures be taken to protect habitat and water quality where development occurs.

How many cities and counties have complied with Title 13?

Nearly every city and county in the region has policies that meet the requirements of Title 13. A few cities have not yet complied, including Damascus (whose comprehensive land use plan has not yet been adopted), Fairview, Portland (which is taking an approach for each unique section of the city) and Troutdale.

What is the issue with Troutdale, and why is it not complying?

Troutdale’s city council chose to not adopt proposed amendments to its code – which have been recommended by city staff, a citizen advisory committee and its planning commission – that would improve the processes for evaluating mitigation of future development. The city council also chose not to apply development limitations to city-owned open spaces, natural areas and parks similar to limitations that are already in place for private landowners. The city council believes it is already substantially in compliance with Title 13’s requirements, and Metro staff believes the city must adopt the proposed staff amendments to be in compliance.

Does Title 13 prevent development?

No. Title 13 does not prevent development. It seeks to establish measurable standards for mitigating the impacts of development on sensitive areas for wildlife habitat and water quality.

Does Metro tell cities and counties what standards they must adopt for mitigating fish and wildlife habitat?

No. Metro offers suggested standards, but cities are free to choose whether they adopt those suggestions or come up with their own ways to meet the mitigation goals. Troutdale has no such standards, which can make it difficult for developers to understand what requirements they must meet when developing projects that impact sensitive areas.

What would enforcement action entail?

The Metro Council directed the chief operating officer to schedule a public hearing to consider enforcement action. If the Metro Council decides to take enforcement action against Troutdale, it could enter an order that withholds regional revenues (such as community development grants and Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Project funds) from the city until it complies with Title 13. The Metro Council could also ask the Land Conservation and Development Commission to impose an enforcement order, and LCDC has various measures it can take.

What comes next?

The public hearing will occur within 90 days and the chief operating officer will notify Troutdale of Metro’s intent to pursue enforcement action.

Learn more about the region's growth management plan

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