A top Metro official recommended expanding the Metro urban growth boundary south of Witch Hazel, increasing the odds that 850 homes could be built in a 150 acre plot of land there.

Martha Bennett, chief operating officer (COO) of the regional Metro government, recommended the Metro Council add four areas to the urban growth boundary in a statement published yesterday. Metro Councillors need to vote on the expansion, which will also be reviewed by state officials.

Urban areas in Oregon are required to define an Urban Growth Boundary, outside of which there are restrictions on development. Cities in the Portland metro area gave that responsibility to the regional Metro government back in 1979. Here in Hillsboro city officials want to build 850 homes south of Witch Hazel Village, and have been actively lobbying Metro to approve the expansion.

Here’s Bennett speaking about Hillsboro specifically in the document:

The City of Hillsboro’s concept plan for the expansion area proposed that up to 70 percent of the housing would be single-family attached or multifamily. I commend Hillsboro for its commitment to providing housing options and recommend that the Council maintain an expectation that the city will make good on it. I also recommend that the city provide enough flexibility in its zoning designations to integrate those housing choices throughout the plan area. These efforts will help to ensure that we adhere to our long-term urban and rural reserve agreements.

Bennet also endorsed expanding the UGB in Beaverton (1,242 acres, 3,760 homes), King City (528 acres, 3,300 homes), and Wilsonville (271 acres, 1,325 homes).

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