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Metro Committee Passes High Density Requirement

A committee of Portland-area elected officials has asked that any new urban areas be far more densely populated than most existing neighborhoods.

Portland Mayor Sam Adams was the driving force behind requiring 20 units per acre for areas in the upcoming expansion of the region’s urban growth boundary.

That’s roughly the density of Portland neighborhoods with attached row houses.

Two-thirds of the Metro Policy Advisory Committee voted for the idea.

The level of support surprised Metro Councilor Carl Hosticka. “It surprised everybody. It might have even surprised Sam.”

The mayors of Beaverton and Hillsboro sit on the advisory committee. Both cities could see their borders expand, and both mayors opposed the higher density requirement.

Hosticka’s Metro district includes Beaverton. He says Metro isn’t required to follow the committee’s advice.

“No, I wouldn’t take it as a mandate, and I wouldn’t predict that the council will require 20 units per acre,” Hosticka said.

Hosticka says the committee’s vote may be heard as a general statement against sprawl. The council expects to vote on an urban growth expansion in about three weeks.

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