Metro report should recognize industrial land supply needs
The Alliance sent a letter to Metro president Tom Hughes regarding the 2018 Urban Growth Report (UGR). The UGR is updated every three to six years, and guides development and urban growth boundary expansions in the Portland metro region.The Alliance sent a letter to Metro president Tom Hughes regarding the 2018 Urban Growth Report (UGR). The UGR is updated every three to six years, and guides development and urban growth boundary expansions in the Portland metro region.
The Alliance communicated our strong support for the four urban reserve expansion proposals from Wilsonville, King City, Beaverton and Hillsboro currently under consideration for inclusion in the urban growth boundary (UGB). Combined, the four proposals will create up to 9,200 housing units in the region, which, though a small step in the right direction, will compliment Metro’s efforts to increase infill and the inventory of affordable housing within the existing boundary.
While the Alliance recognizes that housing is a focus of the 2018 UGR, state law requires that the UGB also include a 20-year supply of employment land. We appreciate that Metro understands that development-ready employment lands are as necessary for regional economic competiveness as a robust housing inventory. Based on national trends, the UGR projected a net decrease of about 9,000 industrial jobs between 2018 and 2038, which became the basis for asserting no need for additional industrial land to support employment growth.
This is not the case; the Value of Jobs 2017 Economic Checkup found that Portland-metro’s average share of manufacturing as a percentage of gross metropolitan product is 25 percent, compared to 11 percent nationally. Additionally, the projection does not align with research provided by WorkSource Oregon and the State of Oregon’s Employment Department. The letter urges Metro to consider this serious need for employment land in future boundary expansion decisions.