A New Approach

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature approved Senate Bill 1011. This bill enables Metro and the counties of the region to establish urban reserves – areas outside the urban growth boundary that, based on a number of factors, may be better suited to accommodate population and job growth over 40 to 50 years – as well as rural reserves, which are areas outside the urban growth boundary needed to protect valuable farm and forestland for a similar period. Many elements exist to support Senate Bill 1011 including a House Bill, Oregon Statutes and recent studies through partnerships with Metro, the three counties, Oregon Department of Agriculture and the State of Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission.

In addition to Senate Bill 1011, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) approved Administrative Rules (OAR 660-027) in January 2008. Download Administrative Rules. The LCDC rules set forth important “factors” designed to guide the location of Urban and Rural Reserves. Download “Designation Fundamentals from new LCDC Rules.

Shape of the Region Study

Throughout 2006, Metro, in partnership with Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties, the Oregon Department of Agriculture, and the State of Oregon Land Conservation and Development, conducted a comprehensive study of the various factors that influence the shape of our region and contribute to the quality of life we enjoy. The study sought to identify how the agricultural economy, natural areas and urban communities all contribute value to this region.

There are three components to the Shape of the Region study:

  1. an assessment of the agricultural lands surrounding the Metro region and their long-term commercial viability, developed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture
  2. an inventory of the natural landscape features that define this region
  3. an analysis of factors that contribute to the development and enhancement of great urban communities

The results of these studies were shared at a symposium held at the Hillsboro Civic Center on Jan. 19, 2007. Full reports and executive summaries of the three components of the Shape of the Region study are available for download below. The findings of these studies will inform the designation of urban and rural reserves by the Metro Council and the boards of commissioners of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in 2009.
For more information view the “Shape of the Region Study.”