OK KIDS- Just a quick but important story this AM! Pay Attention!
With little fanfare, no notice to land owners, and a flurry of meetings in Salem, the State of Oregon is leading the charge to expand the Hillsboro Urban Growth Boundaries. It is happening now while residents are sleeping, working, and trying to adjust to the reeling growth we have all experienced in recent years. Because of a wide variety of reasons, the State finds itself with a shortage of large industrial land sites. We see Intel firing people and faltering as a company financially, somewhat adrift with no clear path forward. But the company is “too big to fail,” as they say, and it has become the Boeing of the tech sector. President Biden’s State of The Union included a shout-out to the State of Ohio and Intel; the two announced an alliance to build 4 fabs the size of Ronler Acres in New Albany, Ohio.
Pushed by this shortage of land and the $280 Billion dollars about to be handed out to states who can answer the call of the CHIPS ACT, Oregon is in hyper-speed mode to make something happen. The Joint Committee On Semiconductors, headed by Hillsboro Senator Janeen Sollman and Clackamas Representative Janelle Bynum, will meet again for the 8th time in just 4 weeks this Monday night this week. This task force is taking input from experts and City leaders from around the State. Over 78 sites are being considered for immediate inclusion into the Urban Growth Boundaries so that Oregon can market sites to semiconductor companies like Intel. Hundreds of millions of tax dollars and economic incentives are being rallied to get these potential big-time employers to come to Oregon or expand here. The Herald has been following these hearings, and before the hearings even started, we made a prediction of what this would mean for Hillsboro. Read our recent story Hillsboro Readies For Next Big Land Expansion For Semiconductor Jobs. It turns out we were right.
An executive memo issued by the Industrial Land Subcommittee of the task force was delivered to the leadership, Authored by Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall and Keith Leavitt of the Port of Portland; the letter reviewed the findings of all of the sites in the State being considered. The findings recommend immediate action to rezone and acquire large parcels of land in North Hillsboro and North Plains. Here is an excerpt of that letter.
It is important to know that our Mayor, Steve Callaway, is the head of this land committee. While he has not been vocal at these meetings, his leadership and imprints are all over this process. Mayor Callaway has actively promoted Intel and expanded the Industrial land base here. He believes in jobs and growth, and when this decision is made, it is fair to say his influence and efforts will be a significant force. My own opinion is that we have experienced enough growth here in Hillsboro, where most people can not own a home- we are victims of the successes we have had in the tech sector over the past 30 years. Yet I must admit there is nowhere else this growth makes sense, and I must accept it.
The executive letter specifically calls for action to bring in sites of various sizes around the Region with two 500-acre big campus sites. Those more significant sites are the ones the letters say need to be here in Hillsboro and/or North Plains. Here is another excerpt:
THIS IS IMPORTANT- PLEASE READ AND REVIEW THIS MAP
From the land report to identify the 79 sites and the recommendation letter, this Map specifically calls out where the expansions must happen. The committee will need to decide which one of these sites in grey will make it in. And that decision will come very soon. PLEASE LOOK AT THIS MAP. If You or your family or friends own property within these maps, your land is being considered to be added to our Urban Growth Boundary.
This will lead to tens of Millions of increased land values! You may not have been notified. You may have been called or approached to sign an option or a forward commitment. You would be wise to seek information and know that these lands may sell for upwards of $500,000 to $1 Million per acre once rezoned. Please contact the Herald for referrals to officials who you can speak to and learn the exact process. Protect yourselves from those who know more than you and who may try to take advantage of this fast-moving situation! Dirk Knudsen is at 503-799-8383 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Change is coming, my friends. Money is flowing. Will new semiconductor Fabs come to our area, bringing thousands of jobs and up to 35,000 additional people? The answer is Yes, probably so. The old saying If you Build It, They Will Come– it tends to work. So hold on; it is going to be a wild ride.
Check out ALL the meetings and information here. You can watch all the meetings live and read all the testimony by clicking the links on the right-hand side. Despite many other cities and groups testifying, asking for this decision to fall their way, Hillsboro has not submitted anything at the public hearings. Maybe that silence is more powerful than anything that City Hall could have said.