Today I want to report on something that few, if any, of you are paying attention to, and damn it; you need to. If you are unaware of the deal being cut in Salem to bring hundreds, even thousands of acres into the Urban Growth Boundaries in Oregon, you need to be. Change is coming in a way that it never has before. Oregon is racing to pull a come-from-behind win as the Billions in free Federal CHIPS ACT money are being printed and handed out. Landing any of that money means doing drastic things. Things like taking away METROS powers, not telling land owners they are being rezoned, and fighting to write a bill that no one can challenge in court. Led by Hillsboro Senator Janeen Sollman and Hillsboro Representative Nathan Sosa, the newly named SENATE BILL 4 is moving ahead fast.
This is our 6th article on this topic in the last few weeks, so if you need more background, read our stories.
The City of Hillsboro, led by Mayor Callaway and Economic Development Director Dan Dias, showed up at the hearings big time in the past two weeks. They articulated an aggressive plan for massive and unprecedented expansions to the West and South of our existing boundary. As Dias explained the City plan for bringing new Ronler Acres size Fabs to Hillsboro, he showed a colored map. On that map are districts in various colors. Each area was articulated very well by Dias as to what its use will be, when it can happen, and how it can happen.
Here is the map he presented with some notes we added.
I want to personally warn all of you who are living in the greater Jackson School area and who live in old town. Dias and our City are promoting the idea of industries, manufacturers, and semi-conductor fabs like Jireh Semiconductor being placed in the Green Area. That is adjacent to all of you. That is adjacent to Evergreen Middle School, near Jackson School grade school, Glencoe, and thousands of homes. The environmental risks of living next to such things are well documented. The light, noise, traffic, and decades of constant construction are enough to run a person off- believe me, we have lived this life for 30 years at the Orenco Station and Ronler Acres Fab.
Here is what Dan Dias said to the Joint Semiconductor Committee in Salem.
“The Green area to the lower left is approximately 700 acres in size, immediately adjacent to our urban growth boundary with urban services on both the Southern and Eastern sides. This area has the potential to provide near-term developable sites for smaller and legacy technology Fab sites, like Jireh Semiconductor who you have heard testimony from, Qorvo, and others. And it also has the ability to provide immediate near term capacity for those proximity sensitive supply chains that are currently here needing to expand and support our existing cluster.”
Watch him present that to them here – you can watch the entire 22 minutes and see all that is happening.
So let me show you some Google Earth images with an overlay of actual buildings from North Hillsboro placed upon it. These are the sort of uses Dias is supporting (“smaller and legacy technology Fab sites, like Jireh Semiconductor who you have heard testimony from, Qorvo, and others”)
For those of you paying attention, you have obviously noted the yellow road we have drawn showing the northern expansion of Jackson School Road. So many of you wondered why Jackson Road was rebuilt the way it was, why trees were cut down, a rotary was installed, and why it was a priority before airport road (25th) or Glencoe was. I think this land use action is all you need to know. Jackson School can quickly become an expressway as a North-South job commuter route, and it can handle a LOT of trips. It may not happen this way, but this has been talked about for years now in small circles around Washington County.
A discussion will be happening soon, and probably a community meeting. But I want to ask all of you, especially you Jackson School and NW Hillsboro residents, if you are ready. Because unless something changes, it is happening. And it will happen because your city leaders are making it happen. Money, Jobs, Influence. And you are all caught in a massive crossfire.
This is a bad decision- almost all of it is. We are off course. Money and corporate influences are doing this. This is NOT in the best interests of the people of Hillsboro. I hope some of you will wake up and speak up. If you are going to, now is the time.
You can track the hearings here at this link, and you can testify in writing or in person.
We will keep bringing you the story.