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Friday, July 17, 2009

Urban / Rural Reserves Process 1/2 completed
Forum explains growth requirements, Hillsboro Argus, Nick Christensen


"...Metro's John Williams, who oversees the study process for the regional planning agency, explained the state has a mandate to think about 20 years worth of growth. Mary Kyle McCurdy, the reserves representative for 1,000 Friends of Oregon, said two-thirds of the Metro area's growth will come from children and grandchildren of existing residents.
"We have a lot of capacity for relatively modest increases in density for this region," she said. "No one's talking about the region looking like the Pearl District. But downtown Beaverton, Hillsboro and Cornelius can handle more density without going out into farmland."
That's the goal of the Washington County Farm Bureau, which proposed setting a rural reserve for one mile around the existing urban growth boundary, essentially boxing in growth for the next half century. "

My commentary:

With all due respect to Ms. McCurdy & 1,000 Friends of Oregon: Now I haven't been around for very long in Cornelius.. But I disagree that Cornelius like Beaverton/Hillsboro can handle more density 'without going out into farmland'. I agree with others views that Cornelius needs to expand its UGB in order to bring in Industry, i.e. high concentration of jobs. The open spaces/ vacant lots within the city limits may bring jobs, but more likely restaurant chains, small service stores, and vendors that employ < 50 max. We're thankful to have Wal-Mart coming in about a year to at least give the employment base a jolt for 200-300 people. My point is, I think its an unfair assessment/commentary to lump in Cornelius with cities like Hillsboro and Beaverton with far greater land mass. Compare City Budgets and Historical accounts of Land Use, and please base commentary on such things. For example, Cornelius is said to have 1/2 the # of jobs for # of residents, land valuations are far less than neighboring cities, and I can easily understand why Cornelius has a hard time supporting itself. Police, Fire, and bare necessities like Parks, and all the other folks that make our city function and development survive on a slim income. In summary, Cornelius needs jobs, therefore it seeks to partner with industries, and consider itself a worthy member of the Portland "Metropolitan" area. Hillsboro and Beaverton owe all their current momentum to the likes of Intel, Tektronix, and Nike. Why should Cornelius be any different? We're just trying to catch up. :) The alternative is for Cornelius to throw it's cards in and become Forest-Boro or Hillsgrove, and avoid nonsensical discussions and uphill battles with neighbors and Metro Councils."

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