Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Portland's Urban Growth Boundary: Battle Lines Being Drawn

Updated: 4/27/11 (update follows original post below)

When it comes to government and planning in the Portland metro area, there's possibly nothing as controversial as the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).  Some Portland residents don't like the idea of increased density that the UGB encourages.  Farmers naturally want to preserve nearby farmland, and anytime there's a proposed modification or expansion of the UGB, the fur is sure to fly.

A lot of people, like myself, believe the UGB is a very good thing, overall.  Sure - any plan needs to have some flexibility, and seldom is anything perfect, but I'm a big believer in growing up, not out.  To protect natural habitat as well as farmland from willy-nilly development, to reduce transportation costs and emissions, and to create walkable communities within the city.  I believe the UGB is essential to preserving wildlife and the natural beauty of the region - some of the very reasons so many of us choose to call Oregon home.

The latest battle on the UGB front is forming in Washington County, and the stakes are high.  You can read about this new confrontation over at OPB News.  I, for one, will be watching closely to see how this one turns out.

HELVETIA -- The emerald quilt of farms and fields blanketing Helvetia doesn't form an obvious final battleground in the region's four-year effort to determine where it will and won't grow over the next half century.

But Washington County's decision to tap a 352-acre chunk of open land north of U.S. 26 for future industrial growth has now set just that stage. 
Read the rest of this update on
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