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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sprawl Vs. Open Space

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 2:35 PM

For the first time in 30 years, Metro last month chose recommended to not expand the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), finally standing up to pressure to push further outward the area where developers can build new homes around Portland. The UGB is important stuff, it's not just land use nerds wonking off. Check out this example from the video below:

One farmer, Fred Netter, complains that his land just outside the UGB is worth only $6,000 an acre while his neighbor's land, just inside the UGB, is worth $100,000 an acre. "That’s what 30 some years of land use planning is doing. Whoever drew that land, that’s like playing God," says Netter. "People should be able to sell their assets for whatever they can get for them."

And another line from farmers who want to subdivide their land into houses to pay for their retirement: "We need to build the houses. Why let the land sit here because some cityfolk want to come see open spaces?"

Tomorrow night is the chance to actually meet those God-like men and women who set the UGB... and give 'em a piece of your cityfolk mind. Metro is hosting a big public hearing on the Urban Growth Boundary tomorrow afternoon at their headquarters (4 pm, 600 NE Grand Ave).

This little video from Metro is an okay quickie primer on the issue, if you're thinking of stopping by the hearing... though I did find myself cracking up at video's the smug overtones. The gist of the film is: PORTLAND IS THE BEST GODDAMN PLACE IN THE WORLD! How can we keep it that way, please?

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