Some good news for fans of transportation planning, and regional planning in general.
Two bills have passed both the Oregon House and Senate and are headed to the Governor’s desk for signature.
One will give Metro an additional two years to process the next Urban Growth Boundary review. The other will give Metro the ability to establish both urban reserves (areas we expect the urban area to grow into in the future) and rural reserves (areas we expect to keep in agricultural or natural resource use permanently).
Why is this good news for transportation planning? It stops a mindless by-the-numbers expansion of the UGB next year (when we still haven’t found the resources to plan or build infrastructure for the last two cycles of expansion areas) and by doing the long-term planning to figure out future directions for urbanization, we can have a much more thoughtful long-term process to build transportation infrastructure to serve those areas.
9 responses to “Good News for Planning”
I think its funny that cities without UGBs don’t have trouble building infrastructure when an area expands. The developer builds most of the infrastructure themselves [streets, water, wiring, etc] and then pays a fee to have the major roadways expanded to accommodate the extra traffic. Look at Vancouver, WA [thats in the United States, not socialistic Canada] where they have expanded both 162nd/164th and 192nd.. development is booming, all with no subsidies or excessive planning. Each one of those new homes and businesses are paying into the tax pool now..not in 20 years.
The problem with the Portland area is that the goons at Metro think everything needs to be micromanaged– instead of just saying “here, this plot of land can be developed..have fun,” they say “we want a 5 story condo here, a organic food store here, some public art here, and etc.” Since there is little market demand for the types of developments ‘planned,’ the areas sit undeveloped until some outragous tax scheme gets concocted [like calling farmland ‘blighted’].
A very creative and fanciful description of Metro’s planning. You realize it has no relationship to reality? Metro expands the UGB, local cities set zoning and design standards. No one says “we want a 5 story condo here, a organic food store here, some public art here, and etc.” except a developer.
cities without UGBs don’t have trouble building infrastructure
Well yes, they do. For instance, Vancouver can’t provide jobs for most of the people who live there and that problem is getting worse. The result is that the infrastructure that they use to get to jobs is very heavily burdened. Thus we are talking about building a new bridge across the Columbia.
“No one says “we want a 5 story condo here, a organic food store here, some public art here, and etc.” except a developer.”
Sure they do. Metro publishes such a plan known as the 2040 concept that outlines the types of development wanted and locations of where they should be built. Then they use extortion-type tactics to force local city’s compliance [such as threating the loss of federal transportation funds].
“For instance, Vancouver can’t provide jobs for most of the people who live there”
First of all.. when did it become a city’s responsibility to provide jobs? Or should everyone get a job with the government as they do in Portland [as a planner possibly]?
Second.. I wouldn’t worry about Vancouver for too much longer as it’s the destination for many ex-Portland employers.
Finally, Vancouver residents who work in Portland still pay Oregon income tax– money that should be spent on upgrading the roadways that they use.
Then they use extortion-type tactics to force local city’s compliance [such as threating the loss of federal transportation funds].
Have you ever been to a JPACT meeting? It’s local officials acting collectively who make the call on where the federal funds go. The Metro Council gets a veto, but you’d have to look hard to find an instance where they used it.
By the way, EVERY metro area has an MPO to funnel federal dollars. We just happen to be the only one that has regionally elected officials as part of the MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization).
WHAT’S NEXT? Metro condemning people’s property, calling it “blighted” and then having the government running the farms? You know Metro doesn’t cover all of Oregon but you would think they want to.
Oh, I had another question. When is Metro going to absorb Columbia, Hood, Yamhill, Marion and Polk counties? I’m sure that’s not too far off either….
When is Metro going to absorb Columbia, Hood, Yamhill, Marion and Polk counties? I’m sure that’s not too far off either….
That would only happen if we needed to urbanize those areas, and Metro’s whole purpose is to PREVENT that outcome.
Have you actually looked at the 2040 plan? It doesn’t say “we want a 5 story condo here, a organic food store here, some public art here, and etc.” or anything like that anywhere. Those decisions are up to the developer. The underlying zoning is up to the local government. The Region 2040 vision is a satellite level view of where that growth will happen in the region. I.e. how many new housing units, for instance, are expected to be built in Lake Oswego as opposed to Damascus.
When you trash Metro and its policies, you are trashing the people of this region who have elected their Metro councilors.
Since you find Metro’s work so objectionable, I suggest you make a run for a seat in the next election. Take on Rex in the next election.
People of this region have made choices to limit development, to create real transportation options and to protect green spaces. We are the envy of the nation, attracting people like crazy. What’s not to like.
Now if we can get single payer health insurance like the rest of the civilized (or is that socialized) world.