The Hillsboro Herald has been tracking the recent moves of our City leadership and the State of Oregon to gain additional land to expand the semiconductor industry. Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Senator Janeen Sollman and others, was a landmark piece of legislation that passed a few months ago. This bold move gives the Governor of Oregon the ability to move a pen on the map and include high-valued farmland on Hillsboro’s West flank into the Urban Growth Boundary. These sorts of expansions generally take years and are often appealed and highly contentious. Should a request come to the Governor for a large parcel to be added to the UGB, it will only require one short hearing, and a decision will be made.
The recent news reels have hailed a $90 Million dollar gift from the State of Oregon (the people via taxes) to Intel to expand the Aloha Intel Campus and the massive Ronler Acres Campus just to the North of Orenco. Here are some links to articles on that announcement.
Expansion at those facilities would make sense and keep resources at locations already designed and committed to these sorts of uses. Once the State commits, the Company can qualify for Billions in Chips Acts money- and will have an easy path to move ahead financially. There will be environmental challenges because the expansions will require Intel to get what is known as a Major Source permit. That sort of permit allows the company Intel “to more than double its greenhouse gas emissions from Oregon sources, which would classify its Washington County manufacturing as a “major source” of regulated pollutants” according to this article https://www.tomshardware.com/news/intel-plans-massive-fab-expansion-in-oregon#:~:text=Intel%20is%20requesting%20permission%20to,than%20formal%20commitments%20from%20Intel . We have all seen the massive clouds of steam and off-put rising from the Fab, which becomes a real spectacle, especially at night. Big jobs and big money will follow should this all go as planned. Much of the money is all but free, the workforce is here, the brain trust is here, and it sure looks like a greenlight is being switched on.
Several articles recently published have included a statement released by someone that mentions that Hillsboro wants to annex hundreds of acres of new farmland. Our series from earlier this year regarding Senate Bill 4 outlined where the growth can occur and where we think this can happen. News from various sources we have in the field, including some landowners, is that something big is about to happen. People talk in the real estate game, especially where Urban Growth lines are about to move.
“This is as quiet as it has ever been when land deals are happening. I have been around this for 40 years as a landowner and people normally talk; my sources tell me things,” said one local property owner who asked not be named. “My gut tells me something big is about to happen”.
Here is one of the articles that mentioned this.
For example, Hillsboro, the Oregon headquarters of Intel and focal point of the state’s semiconductor industry, wants to annex hundreds of acres of farmland for a major manufacturing facility. The News Guard- Lincoln City Oregon
One likely expansion could happen quickly and efficiently. We wrote about this before. It is about 700 acres immediately adjacent to both Jackson School and Evergreen Roads. While some testimony was given during the SB 4 hearings that this area would be for semiconductor support services. Having said that, nothing is stopping the City and the Governor from dealing on this site and placing heavy industry right along one of our most desired and livable residential areas. You can read that story right here: http://hillsboroherald.com/jackson-school-neighborhoods-will-be-flanked-by-factories-if-city-plan-is-approved/ The 700 acres are shown as the Green Area below.
Any of the areas above, except the Red Area near Helvetia, can not be brought into the Urban Growth boundary if the Governor chooses. The facts are that Hillsboro is on the verge of both massive expansion of the existing Fabs and potential mass expansion of the UGB – and that is the state of play. The people in power that brought us to this place are getting what they wanted and the rest will have to play out. Nothing may happen, because these expansions of the UGB need to be done by the end of next year.
Having been in real estate, development, and land use in my primary career for 45 years, I agree with the landowner. Something big is about to happen. It is too quiet. We will watch and see what happens next.
What Have You Heard? You can inform us by commenting below, emailing us confidentially at firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling me at 503-799-8383.