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Illustration of a deer standing in a forest on a south facing hill, overlooking the Oregon and California border. Dense suburbs populated the California side of the border.

Inside the fight between Oregon leaders to create a revolutionary growth management system

In the 1970s, Oregonians looked to California and didn't want the same fate for their state A new crop of young legislators in Salem saw an opportunity to advance an ambitious agenda. It took nearly a decade to put in place a system that has some of the strongest protections in the U.S. for farms, forests and other open spaces.

Illustration of a hand holding Willamette Valley soil with suburban construction, farmland and the face of Governor Tom McCall in the background.

Oregonians once feared their state would be wrecked by out-of-control sprawling development

Fifty years ago, Oregonians feared their farmlands and other open spaces would be overrun with urban sprawl. This eventually led to the state's unique land-use system. This is part one in a six-part series describing how this happened and explaining why it affects so many things you might not have thought about.

Portland’s Bureau of Development Services to lay off 13 staff members

The bureau raises nearly all its own revenue — 98% of its funding comes through construction permit fees. But in the midst of a pandemic, demand for big commercial projects like office buildings or hotels, which are capable of generating sizable permit fees, has plummeted.