On January 9, a key bill (HB 2095) to help facilitate mid cycle UGB expansions was introduced into the Oregon State Legislature. The HBA of Portland played an important role in drafting the legislative principles of the bill as a member of Portland Metro Council’s UGB Readiness Taskforce.
The Oregon Legislature is poised to consider legislation from Portland’s Metro Council regarding the urban growth boundary as it pertains to a 20-year buildable land supply. Throughout 2016, an Urban Growth Readiness Task Force including HBA representative Jeff Smith, convened to develop ideas on how to improve the region’s management of residential growth. On January 10th, the Council passed a resolution accepting the Task Force’s recommendations. The key points in the recommendations were:
- Cities that propose residential UGB expansions should demonstrate that they are already using best practices for providing needed housing in established urban areas, as well as in proposed expansion sites.
- In addition to the standard six-year cycle for the growth management decision process, changes in state law should be pursued to allow for mid-cycle decisions. These decisions would be capped at a total of 1,000 gross acres per mid-cycle decision.
- Instead of the Council being required to asses all urban reserves, in mid-cycle decisions they should be able to choose from the concept-planned urban reserves being proposed by expansion from cities.
The 2nd and 3rd recommendations need to be implemented through changes to state law. This has come to fruition in House Bill 2095, which is in pre-session filing and was recently referred to the Agriculture and Natural Resources committee. You can find the legislation here.
Some key issues we’ve identified in the legislation is that throughout the region, net developable area is often significantly less than the overall gross acreage in concept areas, so using 1,000 gross acres as the cap is functionally limiting. We’re also hoping for clarification to the term “needed housing” and additional vague language regarding which developments qualify for amendments to the urban growth boundary. We’re working closely with OHBA to monitor and continue engagement on this piece of legislation and expect additional updates once legislative session begins on February 1st.
This article is part of many on this issue, click here for a previous update.