One of our key objectives for 2017 has been working with Metro to advocate for a more certain process for potential expansions of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB).
Earlier this year, we worked with Metro and our region’s cities and counties to develop and advance a proposal that allows for potential mid-cycle UGB expansions of up to 1000 acres to address local housing needs. This proposal culminated in House Bill 2095, which passed through the legislature during the 2017 session. The bill had a broad base of support and this type of partnership can help the HBA and its members as we begin to outline our strategic efforts for the next Urban Growth Report (UGR) in 2018.
The next legislative (full) expansion cycle for the Urban Growth Boundary will happen on a more compressed timeline than usual, and cities will have to declare if they’re seeking expansion by December 2017. Cities must submit their formal applications by May 2018, and in June 2018 Metro will release its updated UGR.
The Metro Technical Advisory Committee (MTAC) has met to help develop new standards for the mid-cycle process. Metro has determined that some of these standards should apply to the legislative cycle as well. The Metro Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC) will consider the recommended language and make recommendations to the Metro Council for consideration in October. HBA is working closely with cities to help form these policy considerations.
Recognizing the compressed time period and a process where Metro Council will decide among a series of policy alternatives, the most recent Council Work Session reflected the unknown and uncertainty in this cycle and confirmed the need to have strong partnerships moving forward.
In addition to working with cities and other interested stakeholders, the HBA will also be working to better understand and ensure the data used for the Urban Growth Report is accurate and reflective of the housing needs and market realities of the region.
To date, the dialogue with Metro staff has been positive. We hope to continue that moving forward in the process as we work to further the housing wants and needs of our region.