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.
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.
For the first time since the 1970s, Metro has voted not to expand the region's Urban Growth Boundary, saying there is enough room for the projected 400,000 new residents set to arrive in the next 20 years.