Urban and Rural Reserves

Notice: This page refers to a project or program that is no longer active. As of 01/01/2018, this page is no longer actively maintained by Washington County. It is retained for historical reference only.

Update October 16, 2014: 

September 23, 2014, the Board of Commissioners adopted A-Engrossed Ordinance No. 785 which includes text and map amendments specific to Washington County urban and rural reserves. The amendments reflect legislative changes as mapped and described in House Bill 4078, signed by the Governor in April, 2014. The relevant text and map amendments were applied to the Comprehensive Framework Plan, the Rural/Natural Resource Plan, the Community Development Code and applicable Community Plans. 

Link to this ordinance on the county land use ordinance page 

Update: May 12, 2014

A land use ordinance will be filed May 27th, 2014, to adopt new urban and rural reserves for Washington County as reflected in House Bill 4078 (https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2014R1/Measures/Text/HB4078/Enrolled). Public testimony can be presented at the Planning Commission and Board of County Commissioner Hearings. 

The first Planning Commission Hearing on this ordinance is tentatively scheduled for July 16, 2014. The first Board hearing is tentatively scheduled for August 5, 2014. After May 27th the land use ordinance can be found at http://www.co.washington.or.us/LUT/Divisions/LongRangePlanning/2014-land-use-ordinances.cfm 


Update: April 10, 2014

April 1, 2014, Governor Kitzhaber signed House Bill 4078 into law.  HB 4078 confirmed 2011 regional urban growth boundary expansion decisions, added additional lands to the urban growth boundary, and designated urban and rural reserves in Washington County.


Update:  March 4, 2014
Legislature passes land use "Grand Bargain" bill

Following the February 20, 2014 Oregon Court of Appeals remand of the Land Conservation and Development Commission's August 2012 decision approving Urban and Rural Reserves for the Portland metro area, an unprecedented coalition including state legislators, the Governor's office, cities, Metro, Washington and Clackamas Counties, and several of the parties to the reserves appeal crafted an agreement being referred to as the land use "Grand Bargain" (House Bill 4078).  Please refer to the HB4078 outcomes map below.

If adopted, HB 4078 will validate four 2011 Urban Growth Boundary expansions, add approximately 1,150 acres to the urban growth boundary immediately, and provide certainty about urban and rural reserve designations in Washington County. The bill passed the House last Friday on a 59-0 vote, and was passed by the Senate today on a 30-0 vote. The Governor's office has indicated the Governor will sign the bill.


Countywide Changes Map

Countywide Changes

 Cornelius Forest Grove

Changes in the Forest Grove/Cornelius Area

Sunset Corridor

Changes in the Sunset Corridor Area


Changes in the South Hillsboro, Cooper Mountain and Bull Mountain Area


Washington County collaborates with Metro, Clackamas and Multnomah counties to designate urban and rural reserves for the next 40 - 50 years.

Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) update.
July 28, 2011, the staff at the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development issued its report to the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC), which recommended that LCDC acknowledge (or approve) the revised urban and rural reserves proposal for Washington County. The staff report and related information can be found under Agenda Item 11 at the following link:



Washington County Board of Commissioners and Metro adopt Supplemental Intergovernmental Agreement.
March 15 the Board and Metro Council adopted a Supplemental IGA in response to the Land Conservation and Development Commission's October 29, 2010 decision. Details and materials are available for review on the "What's New" page.

Ordinance No. 740
Ordinance No. 740  was filed on January 11, 2011 with the purpose of amending the county's Reserves map to reflect the Supplemental IGA adopted by the Board at its December 14, 2010 Hearing.  Specific changes are noted in the December 14th post below.  The ordinance will amend the Rural and Urban Reserves map in Policy 29 of the Rural/Natural Resource Plan Element of the Comprehensive Plan.  Adoption of the IGA by Metro is currently pending.

Online lookup tool available. To determine whether your property is in the Urban Growth Boundary, an Urban Reserve or a Rural Reserve, an online lookup tool is now available.

Shaping the Region for the next 40 - 50 years.
Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and Metro are collaborating on a regional effort to help determine the shape of this region over the next 40 to 50 years. Urban and rural reserves are intended to provide greater predictability for the region as to where future growth may take place both inside and outside the current urban growth boundary (UGB) over the next 40 to 50 years, while protecting important farmland and natural areas from urbanization for that same period of time.

Urban and Rural Reserves are one of four regional tracks to address future growth. Metro has developed “Making the Greatest Place” as the umbrella for these four tracks. In addition to the Urban and Rural Reserves effort, the other three are: Investing in Communities (to address funding), Regional Transportation Plan, and Performance-based Growth Management (to establish benchmarks and monitor progress.)

Opportunities for community involvement can be found in the Public Involvement/Events page and current project updates in What’s New? Pleased visit the site often for up-to-date information and ways to stay involved.

A collaborative process
Metro and the three counties are collaborating on the designation process. You can find information on each of the partners' websites: Metro, Clackamas County and Multnomah County

Making the Greatest Place: 2040 Growth Concept

This region is admired across the nation for its innovative approach to planning for the future. Our enviable quality of life can be attributed in no small measure to our stubborn belief in the importance of thinking ahead. One example of this foresight was the Metro Council’s adoption of the 2040 Growth Concept, a long-range plan designed with the participation of thousands of Oregonians in the 1990s. (learn more)

Challenges and Opportunities
We’re growing faster than anyone expected. New forecasts show that within the next 25 years, about a million more people will live in the five-county Portland metropolitan region. In addition, time has exposed some of the shortcomings in the implementation of the region’s long-range plan, as well as tensions and trade-offs between different objectives. We must make difficult choices if we want our neighborhoods and communities to continue to thrive. (learn more)

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. (learn more)