Oregon Passes Exemption to Urban Growth Boundary

Cities have a one-time chance to acquire new land for development in a bid to increase housing supply and affordability.

1 minute read

March 12, 2024, 11:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


Sweeping view of Portland, Oregon with Mt. Hood in background against sunset sky.

Portland and other Oregon cities are limited in their growth by urban growth boundaries that seek to limit sprawl and protect natural spaces. | Josemaria Toscano / Adobe Stock

Last week, the Oregon legislature passed a bill that, among other things, revises the state’s landmark urban growth boundary law that dates back to 1973.

As Sarah Marx explains in Housing Wire, “The newly approved bill grants cities a one-time exemption from long-standing regulations to acquire new land for housing developments. In exchange, it requires that 30% of new units in expansion zones meet the definition of affordable housing.”

The exemption comes with some caveats: rentals and homes for sale in newly acquired areas must remain affordable for 60 years. “Beyond land use revisions, the comprehensive housing package allocates more than $370 million for infrastructure projects, such as water and sewer systems. Additionally, funds will be allocated toward homeless shelters and eviction prevention measures.”

Monday, March 11, 2024 in Housing Wire

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