In 1973, Oregon Governor Tom McCall convinced the Oregon Legislature to adopt the nation’s first set of statewide land use planning laws; Senate Bill 100 was signed into law.
State land use goals require:
- urban growth boundaries
- wise use of urban land
- protection of natural resources.
To meet SB 100’s requirements, the Columbia Region Association of Governments, Metro’s predecessor, proposed an urban growth boundary (UGB) for the Portland area in 1977. Portland’s UGB is one of the tools to protect farms and forests from urban sprawl and to promote the efficient use of land, public facilities and services inside the boundary. Portland is one of the few U.S. cities which have adopted the UGB.
Since 1997, Oregon law also requires Metro to retain a 20-year supply of land for future residential development inside the boundary. Every five years, the Metro Council must review and report on the land supply in the Urban Growth Report. Once an urban growth report is completed, the Metro Council has up to two years to consider a possible expansion of the UGB. State law defines the criteria that are used to determine the order in which lands are included within the UGB. Overall, high priority lands must be included before lower priority lands can be added.
Since the late 1970s, the Portland Metro area boundary has been expanded about three dozen times. For more information please click here.
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