1000 Friends scored an advocacy win in Washington County regarding an ordinance that would have begun planning work for a 3-lane-8-mile-long collector road through productive farmland in SW Washington County. We have been tracking Ordinance 883, and its accompanying Ordinance, 882, for close to a year, highlighting the negative impact this road would have on farmland and farm operations, on local watersheds to the Tualatin River, and how this road facility sets us up for the wrong types of regional growth. In short: success in land use means we can’t place urban transportation needs into rural lands and expect good land use outcomes.
Ordinance 883 was concerning because, despite the known impacts to farmland, the county was attempting to advance it without a rural lands goal use exception, even after the local planning commission rejected the ordinances after hearing our and others’ concerns. With Ordinance 883 failing, we hope that the county will also reject ordinance 882 this winter. We will be sure to update members on action opportunities. Additionally, our advocacy extends beyond purely oppositional: 1000 Friends is continuing to partner with Washington County to explore ways we can continue to grow this region’s legacy of growth management, transit investments, and the many things that help multiply the impacts Oregon’s land use system has.
Thank you to Chair Harrington, and Commissioners Fai and Treece, who heard our concerns and voted to reject the ordinance, and to Tualatin Riverkeepers, The Street Trust, Save Helvetia, and many others who worked in partnership to reject this ordinance.