local | Land

Plan For Development In Portland Metro Derailed By Court Ruling

OPB | Feb. 20, 2014 12:15 p.m. | Updated: Feb. 21, 2014 9:43 a.m. | Salem, Oregon

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An Oregon Court of Appeals ruling announced Thursday derails a regional plan for future development in the Portland metropolitan area.

The plan outlines areas for growth in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties over the next 50 years.

Some areas called urban reserves would be open to future development. Other areas would be off limits in rural reserves.

The court struck down three parts of the plan – including all the reserves proposed for Washington County.

Tom Hughes, president of Metro Council – the regional government that oversees development in the region – says the court also upheld many parts of the plan.

“The good news is about 80 percent of what we’ve worked on the last few years in terms of establishing urban and rural reserves has been confirmed by the court,” he said. “They’ve confirmed the basics, and now we’re down to working out the details – the last 20 percent.”

Mary Kyle McCurdy, policy director for the advocacy group 1000 Friends of Oregon, said the ruling affirms the group’s legal complaint about Washington County’s proposed urban and rural reserves.

“Washington County overreached in claiming land for future development, undermining certainty for both industrial land and farmers,” she said. “Washington County knew it was going outside of the law, and could not justify it. As a result, they put the entire reserves map in jeopardy.”

The regional plan will be on hold while planners address problems with Washington County’s reserves, an urban reserve in the Stafford community of Clackamas County and a rural reserve in Multnomah County.

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