Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Metro leaves neighborhood density to the cities

A little-publicized measure on the ballot that prohibits Metro from requiring higher density in single family neighborhoods.  This does not protect neighborhoods from increased density.  The entities that can break low-density zoning codes are local jurisdictions - mainly cities.  City codes matter!

New Platform District buildings at Orenco Station in Hillsboro. (Luke Hammill/Oregonian)

Metro measure, keeping regional government out of neighborhood density plans approved

The Oregonian, November 4, 2014

The Metro regional government will continue to be restricted from requiring housing density increases in neighborhoods after voters extended an existing ban on Tuesday.

Metro Councilor Craig Dirksen, who represents sections of Washington and Clackamas counties, said he was pleased that voters took the time to understand the measure and vote accordingly. "I think this shows that the people by and large are satisfied with the process that we have," Dirksen added.

Metro sponsored that measure as an alternative to a more extensive proposal from an opposition group that called for barring density requirements on any pieces of land zoned for residential use.

Measure 26-160 applies to just single-family neighborhoods in the tri-county area. City and county governments are responsible for setting and establishing density requirements in neighborhoods.

The regional government promotes density along major roads and in neighborhood centers throughout the Portland metro area, part of the long-held vision and planning tied to the area's urban growth boundary.

Dirksen said nobody on the Metro council wanted the prohibition to expire, saying if the measure had failed, "our policy would not have changed."

In his op-ed, [Tom] Hughes said Metro would continue to protect the urban growth boundary. "The real growing pains will be felt at the local level as cities, in particular, work with residents to determine how to accommodate development and improve and maintain the great communities that make up our region,"

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