It is a busy Tuesday in Hillsboro, Oregon. Now, that is not saying much, as everyone in Hillsboro is especially busy these days with all the big growth happening. After all, the largest subdivision in Oregon history is cranking along in South Hillsboro, where 8,000 new homes and 30,000 people are setting up camp. At the same time, plans for the largest industrial and employment growth in the State continue in North Hillsboro! All of this growth makes it dizzying for any of us locals to keep up with our City staff and Council, who are voting on new growth packages, codes, and initiatives almost weekly. It is, in fact, a full-time job to keep up with even half of what is happening.
Tonight is the Feb. 6th, 2024 City Council meeting. I have reviewed the agenda, which is pretty short. You can attend the meeting right here online-
Zoom Teleconference Phone: 1-253-215-8782 or 1-301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 851 4863 9488
Click Below for Zoom-
HERE IS WHAT IS ON TAP!
- A proclamation for black history month! Yay!
- Approval to allow our fire department to piggyback with the City of Amarillo to buy all of our uniforms and promotional items!
- A beaver response agreement and plan- those pesky rodents cause issues!
- Approval to spend $590,000 in consulting fees out on NW Huffman in the Data Center Hell zone-
- And a Public Hearing on the recently completed Hillsboro Housing Needs Analysis- Hillsboro Comprehensive Plan Amendment-001-23: Housing Needs Analysis 2023: Ordinance 6466 – This is a big one. This is one of those studies that will drive the city forward for years. The City worked with consultants and spoke to a few people about our housing needs this past year. This report guides us on any homes we need for the next 20 years and how big the city will be. In other words, this Plan Amendment will drive future land use planning. My review of this, having gone to the Planning Commission Meeting last week, is that the City staff wants to use a very aggressive growth project of 1.6 to 1.7% a year, while the model they were supposed to use was based on something like a .7% a year growth model. The difference in those numbers leads to a conclusion that we need thousands more homes than we have- and depending on which model we use, it will lead to how many more hundreds of acres we are required to expand onto. See below to get a sense of how these two growth models reach very different outcomes and direct very different policies.
Do we have to be forced to grow? I mean, aren’t we doing enough already? The answer is “Yes”.
METRO and the State Department of Land Use and Conservation and Development have taken issue with Hillsboro’s approach. They do not believe the City should be doing this work based on more aggressive numbers for growth. At issue is also the Buildable Lands Inventory or BLI , derived from a model of how many housing units we can get with what we have inside our boundary now. Hillsboro staff wants to use a model that is more conservative in terms of how many units we can get with what we have now in the way of land in our boundaries.
Using the more aggressive Alternate model Hillsboro has proposed, we assume that we need more land added to the Urban Growth Boundary than we may need. At the Planning Commission meeting last week, Hillsboro Planning Commission member Joe Grillo repeatedly thumbed his nose at the State and Metro’s position and panned them as “snarky comments” and seemed to sneer at the idea that Hillsboro has to follow State guidelines. Grillo went on to ask that the City of Hillsboro attorneys consider if we even have to do that. The entire meeting was a session on how to position Hillsboro for a larger amount of land expansion. Land expansion and housing expansion are two different things. Innovative infill, which is so badly needed, is not happening partly because developers and homeowners face punitive costs when trying to expand units here in Hillsboro and inequitable exorbitant permit fees that punish anyone wanting to add Middle Housing or backyard cottages.
So, tonight’s first reading of Ordinance 6466 by the council will lay the groundwork and policies for how we proceed. It will not surprise me if the State, DLCD, METRO, or the 1000 Friends appeal this decision to a body higher than the Hillsboro City Council.
The COUNCIL will end the meeting tonight and then retreat for an Executive Session- those secret meetings no one can attend or know what is said!!!
AND ACROSS TOWN TONIGHT- Information about more rule changes!
New Date: Climate-Friendly & Equitable Communities: Open House
- Date:02/06/2024 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
- Location: Hillsboro Community Senior Center
750 SE 8th Avenue
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123
Join us to learn more about the State-mandated changes to Hillsboro’s parking regulation, ask questions, provide feedback, and help us find the best option for our community.
Schedule of Events:
- 6 pm Open House
- 6:30 pm Presentation
- 7 pm Q&A
Can’t make it? Open Office Hours with Staff are available.
- Monday, February 5th, 11 am – 2 pm – Hillsboro Civic Center, Room 113
- Thursday, February 8th, 2 pm – 5 pm – Brookwood Library, Second Floor, Conference Room B
These will be an opportunity for interested parties to speak one-on-one with city staff, learn more about the parking policy options available, and share their perspectives on parking policy.