Today the Metro Council voted 6-0 to add 1985 acres to the region’s urban growth boundary for future housing and jobs. (Councilor Rex Burkholder was excused.) This represents less than a one-percent expansion of the region’s urban footprint to accommodate thousands of additional households and workers over the next 20 years.
Category: urban and rural reserves
On Friday, Aug. 19, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission approved the urban and rural reserves map for Washington County, which was approved by the Metro Council and the Washington County Board of Commissioners in the spring.
Metro, the Port of Portland, Portland Business Alliance, Business Oregon and the Oregon Chapter of NAIOP are undertaking a comprehensive review of the region’s inventory of large industrial sites and assessing their readiness to support new private-sector jobs.
The Metro Council voted 6-1 Thursday to adopt the last piece of an historic 50-year plan for protecting farm and forest land while allowing for additional housing and jobs in limited areas outside the current urban growth boundary and focusing additional investment and redevelopment in existing communities. The ordinance establishes the urban and rural reserves map for Washington County in Metro’s code, along with the findings that support those reserves. This is the last product of nearly four years’ effort on the part of Metro and Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, plus citizens, land owners, business leaders, city and county officials, farmers and others, to allow for sufficient land needed to support future growth while protecting farms and forests that contribute to the local economy and define the character of the region.
On Feb. 22, Metro Council President Tom Hughes and Washington County Chair Andy Duyck unveiled a revised proposal for urban and rural reserves in Washington County. This proposal was offered in response to direction provided by the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) last October, asking the two governments to revise the map they submitted for review and approval. (At the same time LCDC accepted proposed urban and rural reserve maps for Clackamas and Multnomah counties without changes.) Specifically, LCDC rejected a proposed urban reserve north of Cornelius, 623 acres in size, citing its value to the agricultural community in northern Washington County. LCDC also asked Metro and Washington County to re-evaluate a proposed urban reserve north of Forest Grove and determine whether it meets established factors for designation as an urban reserve.
On Aug. 26, Metro chief Michael Jordan presented his ideas about a Community Investment Strategy to a crowd of more than 150 business leaders, public officials and other interested citizens that attended a forum sponsored by the Westside Economic Alliance and the Clackamas County Business Alliance. Read the questions presented at the forum and the responses given.
In what many described as a historic moment, the Metro Council today designated 28,615 acres of urban reserves around the region. For the next fifty years, when Metro considers expanding the urban growth boundary, the focus will be on these lands. Metro has worked with the counties for three years to identify lands suitable for development and to determine the region's most important farms, forests and natural areas. The four agencies reached initial agreements on a regional map of urban and rural reserves in February. Clackamas and Multnomah county commissions passed ordinances in May designating their rural reserves. The Washington County Commission anticipates designating rural reserves June 15.
After three years of analysis and planning, and months of negotiation, the decision to establish urban and rural reserves across the Portland metropolitan region for the next fifty years hangs on one parcel of property in Washington County. The Metro Council Thursday was evenly divided over whether to grant Washington County's request to add an additional 129-acre property north of Portland Community College's Rock Creek campus to its urban reserves. This leaves the future of urban and rural reserves uncertain. The Council directed President David Bragdon to explore several alternatives with Washington County Commission Chair Tom Brian and to report results of their discussions to the Council at their next regularly scheduled meeting June 10.
The Metro Council and boards of commissioners of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties approved agreements this week that will set aside more than 272,100 acres of farmland, forestland and natural areas to be excluded from urban growth during the next 50 years. The agreements also set aside about 28,100 acres of land for potential future growth needs during that same period.
After more than two years of research, study and public input, Metro and the three counties in the Portland metropolitan region are nearing the end of an unprecedented process to agree on where and how our region will grow in the next several decades.The reserves process is unique in the nation - never before has a metropolitan area mapped out a decades-long plan that identifies areas for urban growth and lands that should be set aside as rural reserves.