View Full Version : Land use decisions affecting your quality of life on the Westside

05-22-2010, 12:06 PM
"...Contact your Metro Councilor and let them know this is not going to fly. If you want your comments on the record, they must be submitted by Tuesday, May 25. It helps to cc john.williams@oregon.metro.gov, too. ..."

That's an excerpt from a story written by blueoregon.org's staff writer Carla Axtman.

Familiarity with land use issues and how politics affect them is certainly not something I would consider to be a personal strength, but I feel a personal responsibility to pick up a few things here and there that inform me about what's going on in that respect. In the Oregonian, there's good articles about land use and local politics from time to time, but for news along this line that's more readily accessible for me, I often visit the web forum, blueoregon. In particular, one of that forums' staff writers, Carla Axtman, emphasizes land use issues in her writing. Ms Axtman can be hotheaded and blunt in her remarks, but usually offers very informative details in what she posts. Here's a link to a recent story of hers on the urban reserves issue in Washington County:

WaCo Commission: lessons in bad faith/ Carla Axtman/Blueoregon (http://www.blueoregon.com/2010/05/waco-commission-more-urban-and-rural-reserves-shenanigans/#comments)

If you've visited or live in Washington County and value the simple enjoyment its wide expanses of agricultural and open, you might appreciate what this story has to say. It tells about the kind of effort that continues to try convert more of these lands to urban and industrial development, despite the fact that much of it has been built on already, yet sits unused.

Simple Nature
05-22-2010, 12:33 PM
Has the Airport expansion hit the form too?

05-22-2010, 04:37 PM
Has the Airport expansion hit the form too?

"...hit the form...". Sorry SN..guess I'm not following you. Are you asking whether the airport expansion has been discussed over at blueoregon? Not that I can recall. It's a different kind of issue in general than land use and urban/rural reserves process, but the airport's impact on the area and neighborhoods surrounding it has been controversial for a number of years. Especially since an airplane crashed into a neighboring house a few years. I think it was during an airshow.

Just logically figuring, large population growth for a place like Hillsboro probably means a bigger, busier airport. High speed rail seems a long way from reality in this country. I like to travel slow (unless I'm on the bike http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon14.gif !), so personally, I'm not really interested in air travel or high speed rail. Between the two, I'd prefer rail, but 70-100mph is about as fast as I care to go on it. I know how it is though...the economy rules.

Simple Nature
05-22-2010, 05:12 PM
Sorry... form=forum... laptops loves to skip letters.

The Port of Portland want to expand the Hillsboro Airport with a new runway. Hillsboro approved and the decision is now in LUBA. Esentially, people are being forced into accepting easements without compensation.

I was curious is this issue had hit the forums. I only get updates because I am right outside the affected area. It is another form of "taking" with the stroke of a pen.

05-22-2010, 11:22 PM
"Sorry... form=forum... laptops loves to skip letters. ..." Simple Nature

O.k., that makes sense. I know I recently read an opinion about the airport easement situation, but can't remember where. Coincidentally, there was a short piece in today's O about this, though it doesn't particularly get into the 'taking' aspect of things. You may be familiar with all it has to say.

Banks resident files land use appeal against Hillsboro Airport zoning By Casey Parks, The Oregonian May 21, 2010, 10:52AM (http://www.oregonlive.com/hillsboro/index.ssf/2010/05/banks_resident_files_land_use_appeal_against_hills boro_airport_zoning.html)

Back to the subject of Washington County land use in general, there was also this item in the O today about the Washington County Planning Commission now that the election is over. Of course, it was Duyck that won instead of Schouten.

Collaboration will be job No. 1 for Andy Duyck as he takes seat as Washington County Commission chairman. By Brad Schmidt, The Oregonian May 22, 2010, 4:00AM (http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2010/05/collaboration_will_be_job_no_1.html)

Beaverton had a moderated panel candidate presentation prior to the election. Duyck and Schouten are asked this question(not word for word): What is your suggestion for resolving congestion on Hwy 217? Duyck: 'Add more lanes.'.


Particularly during commute hours, Hwy 217 is a monument to misery. Interesting thing to do if one happens to be riding through Central Beaverton, is to find your way over the Cabot St overpass that straddles wonderful Hwy 217. On a bike, Cabot is a really nice way to avoid some of the crappier road environment that Beaverton's main roadways pose to bike transportation. Pass by the fine Arts and Communication High School (great new performance auditorium....whoo-hoo!), around a corner up a hill to a beautiful modern influenced church building...all quiet and nice...to the the overpass... . Pause in the middle and gaze down upon the dramatic contrast from what you've just passed by.

It's vaguely like that Weber barbecue commercial where the occupants of all the cars, brought to a standstill in a traffic jam get out of their cars and start grillin' right there on the highway. Only the people stuck in Hwy 217 traffic jams...or probably, any routine American traffic jams, for that matter...don't seem to be having anywhere close to as much fun.

I don't understand how Andy Duyck imagines more lanes on that part-time parking lot will improve congestion there, but I certainly will be interested in hearing him explain in greater detail, any further ideas he has about this.

05-24-2010, 01:45 PM
On the flip side, there is a well-documented issue of developers building subdivisions off the end of airport runways, then the people that buy homes without "noticing" the airport start trying to restrict airport operations. Getting a zoning overlay before development happens sounds like a good plan; keeps anyone from claiming they didn't know what they were buying. And I'd be willing to bet that the guys suing wants to sell his farmland to a developer.

06-03-2010, 11:10 AM
I started this thread thinking that people could bring to forum readers attention, land use issues affecting the quality of life for people living in or visiting Washington County, specifically, as they might affect bicycle use in its various forms. As more news along this line comes along, I'd hope people would post it here with there own thoughts accompanying it.

Today, over at blueoregon, I noticed a story about a highly questionable land use practice going on in Oregon, but outside of Washington County. Being that the use is in a natural area in the Coast Range of Southern Oregon...the Chetco River and its watershed...a place where opportunity exists for people to enjoy a range of outdoor activities, I wanted to post a notice about it here. An excerpt from that story:

"...What's going on in Curry County? How is it possible that we're looking at "suction dredge mining" on a river that's in a designated national wilderness area? ..." Kari Chisholm/blueoregon

Though it's strictly a road trip, I figure CycleOregon's route may at times have passed near this area. As they learn of the presence of this area, people will want to go there...even more so in the future...for the natural environment experience it offers. I'll just post the link to blueoregon's story, but in that story, you'll find links to other stories, including the wikipedia page on the Chetco River. Off-road biking is not amongst the activities listed in the recreation section of that page. On a side note, if off-road bike enthusiasts truly are interested in addressing the issue of off-road bike access to wilderness areas, this might be for them, an opportunity to approach and start discussing the issue with their elected reps.

Oregon's Chetco River faces "immediate threat"; ranked #7 most endangered river in America/Kari Chisholm/blueoregon (http://www.blueoregon.com/2010/06/oregons-chetco-river-faces-immediate-threat-ranked-7-most-endangered-river-america/#comments)