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Cedar Mill News
Volume 4, Issue 7


July 2006

Area 93:
Urban Growth expansion on Cedar Mill’s northeast margin

By Virginia Bruce

In 2002 Metro, our regional agency responsible for setting the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), added a 159 acres of land adjacent to Bonny Slope, but just over the Multnomah County line, into the “urban” area (see map). It was among 20 parcels added in the unprecedented 18,867-acre expansion.

The land cannot be developed until it has been “planned,” meaning that the governmental agencies that will eventually serve the new urban area have to decide on questions such as placement of land uses, transportation routes, provision of infrastructure (sewer, power, water etc.) and more.
Planning for this parcel is problematic, however, because Multnomah County has adopted a policy of staying out of “urban” planning; they deal mainly with the rural/agricultural areas of unincorporated Multnomah County. This area is not adjacent to Portland city limits either, so the City of Portland isn’t responsible for it. And although sewers, schools, and most of the roads will come from Washington County providers, it’s not in Washington County either.

Property owners and developers are anxious to see the planning process get underway, so they can sell or develop their property, or at least plan for their future. However, it’s not likely that anything will happen soon. Ray Valone, Metro’s Principal Regional Planner, explains it this way. “Area 93 is just one of the pieces of a larger puzzle. This area, along with land outside the UGB to the north and northwest, needs to be studied as a whole. It just doesn’t make sense to plan Area 93 in isolation.”

The New Look

Metro has initiated a study they call the “New Look at Regional Choices” to get a better idea of the future of the entire region. One part of the study, often referred to as the “Ag-Urban study,” will answer questions such as, ‘What is the proper relationship of agricultural, urban and natural resource lands in this area? Which agencies will provide services to the area? Where should the roads go?”

The New Look will also consider the 800-acre North Bethany area, another 2002 UGB expansion that Washington County is just beginning to do the planning for. This New Look study will help inform Metro for its next review and possible further expansion of the UGB in 2007/2008. Sometimes referred to as Big Bethany, this could include everything from the Washington County line all the way up to Forest Park.

“We should be getting good information from the New Look by the end of summer or the fall,” says Valone. “The study will be completed by the end of the year.“ In the meantime, Metro is working to coordinate the planning approach for this Big Bethany area on an inter-staff level, bringing together key players from the responsible entities including Washington and Multnomah counties and the City of Portland. “We are trying to get together a few people to hammer out the roles and responsibilities as well as a timeline for this planning,” Valone says.

For more information on the UGB: For more information on the New Look study:



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Published monthly by Cedar Mill Advertising & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229