Over the past two years, we’ve tried to keep you up-to-date on the Urban and Rural Reserves process for the Metro region, which will determine how rural lands are protected at the edges of our Urban Growth Boundary. As the final votes on Washington County Reserves quickly approach, we share this message from our partners at 1,000 Friends of Oregon, urging you to take action and let the Metro Council hear your voice.
This Thursday, the Metro Council will make its final decision on Rural and Urban Reserves for the Metro region, and it looks like it will be business as usual. Instead of embracing the opportunity to protect farm and forest land and natural resources for the next generation, it looks like a majority of the Metro Council may vote to make land available for sprawling urbanization for the next land development.
We need you there.
The Reserves process is supposed to protect the heart of the region’s farm land and significant natural resources for the next 40-50 years, while also providing some areas for urbanization over that same period. Clackamas and Multnomah counties, and the cities in those counties, conducted a thorough analysis of their future urban needs and balanced them with the needs of food and fiber production and natural resources. Both urban and rural reserves in those areas reflect that balance.
Washington County did not. Urban reserves are slated for thousands of acres of the region’s – and indeed the nation’s – most valuable farm land, in the heart of the Tualatin Valley. The proposed urban reserves in Washington County represent a noose of urbanization slowly tightening around the Tualatin Valley - north of Cornelius; north, west, and south of Hillsboro; and around North Plains. Washington County has taken a very short-sighted view of economic development – as though more land is all it takes.
A majority of the Metro Council stands poised to approve this.
Please email Metro Council and your County Commisioners (emails below) or attend the final Metro hearing and testify or to show support for local agricultural and natural resources. We will have stickers for you to wear showing you care about local farms. If you plan to attend the hearing, please contact 1000 Friends Field Organizer, Tara Sulzen, to let her know so she can keep an eye out for you or answer questions regarding testimony.
Those wishing to testify will have 1 minute to do so. Let the Metro Council know that this is their “Senate Bill 100 moment.” That’s the bill that established Oregon’s land use planning system – it’s why this is a place we all want to call home today. Will our children?
Date: Thursday, February 25
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Metro Council, 600 NE Grand Ave, Portland, OR
Tom Brian – Washington Councy Commissioner firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Cogen – Multnomah County Commissioner email@example.com