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Thread: Portland's growth boundary a failure? #2

  1. #1

    Portland's growth boundary a failure? #2

    Article originally posted by jread: http://www.demographia.com/por-ugb-chartbook.pdf

    Thanks jread. Interesting stats on the direction which Portland is going as far as land "consumption". I agree with the moderator, though. It's not fair to ask for everyone else's opinion's without giving your own 2 cents. So here is mine:

    No, Portland's Growth Boundary is not a failure. Why? It achieved what it was trying to do, which was trying to define where the community wanted specific land uses and types of growth and where the community wanted to protect "sensitive areas". I think "growth boundaries" in general are viewed negatively right now as there is the picture of a big circle with "no growth" on the other side. However, if the community thinks in the terms of where the sensitive areas within the community exist: waterfront, wetlands, steep drainages, scenic viewsheds, and plans or zones accordingly, this is in effect creating growth boundaries.

    My other pet peeve with community planning which I think leads to greater land consumption on the fringes is not protecting your current plan or zoning. Right now housing is "hot" and communities are being pushed to chip away at that industrial or commercial or multi-family zoned space. Are you sure you want to do that? It is easy from a community acceptance standpoint to rezone "down", but is it from a community planning standpoint?

    I talked to the ED planner from San Jose awhile back. She said the city council had been pushed very hard to rezone their not very attractive vacant "abandoned" industrial space. The council held firm on staff advice to maintain their zoning and this space is now slowing getting filled in. How is your community doing on maintaining zoning for "abandoned" and "obsolete" uses?

    Protecting the fringes doesn't just happen on the fringes.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
    Dec 2003
    Portland, Oregon
    Wendell Cox fails to mention that the primary reason Portland is expanding the UGB is because population is increasing at a faster rate than the original 2040 projection. Obviously, people are flocking to live here because of the lack of affordable housing, poor prospects for finding a job, and failed transportation system. [snark]

    Seriously, though, Portland does need to do a better job of balancing its land-use practices with other concerns. But I think calling the UGB a "failure" is anything but reality. I think Portland is better positioned than most urban areas for the coming realities of the end of cheap oil.

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