Most of the Oregon nursery industry is concentrated in Clackamas, Marion, Washington, Multnomah and Yamhill counties, around the major metropolitan areas of Portland and Salem. Metro manages future planning for the most urbanized portions of three of those counties (Clackamas, Washington, Multnomah). So it was especially noteworthy for nurseries yesterday when Metro Executive Officer Mike Jordan announced his recommendations for accommodating future growth.
As reported by The Oregonian, Jordan said that infill should carry most of the burden, rather than expansion onto the agricultural lands surrounding Portland. Many of those lands are occupied by nurseries. Such recommendations augur a tight urban growth boundary for the foreseeable future. This could be viewed by nurseries in one of two ways: as protection for a way of life against urban encroachment, or as an onerous restriction against property rights (such as the right to seek a rezone, sell, and/or redevelop the property). Whatever one’s view, this is very significant news for nurseries.
Metro now will proceed to gather public input on what should be done. There will be a series of open houses held at locations all throughout the Portland metropolitan area between Sept. 21-Oct. 15. View the listing here.