How annual industrial replenishment could work
By Nick Christensen
Metro Chief Operating Officer Michael Jordan has proposed some changes to the way the region handles large lot industrial sites, which are key for providing room for the region’s industry to expand and in attracting large employers to the region. One of those is restricting those sites to industrial uses – no big-box stores, schools or similar public facilities would be allowed.
But the biggest change would be having Metro re-examine the supply of large lot industrial sites annually. Here’s how it would work:
Say the Metro Council adds about 200 acres of industrial land to the urban growth boundary this year – four lots, 50 acres each, added to the region’s current industrial land inventory. In early 2012, a company purchases 50 acres of that land and begins to develop a large employment site.
Metro, counties and cities would then have a year to identify a new 50 acre site for another potential employer. The agency could do this a few ways:
- Through aggregation of existing smaller, vacant parcels
- Through redevelopment or environmental cleanup on brownfields
- If the above two methods don’t work, the urban growth boundary could be expanded
Every five years, starting in 2015, Metro would re-evaluate the supply of large lot industrial sites it keeps “banked.” Perhaps from 2015-2020 Metro decides to add 400 acres to the urban growth boundary for employment land. Metro would still ensure there were 400 developable acres available to potential employers until the 2020 urban growth boundary review.
Metro news reporter Nick Christensen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-813-7583. This story was not subject to the approval of Metro staff or elected officials.