Tonight, I am getting in a late post. This falls under the Opinion section because I have one, and so do other readers. Apparently, thousands of them. Ordinance 882 will be debated and voted on tomorrow at 10:00 AM by the Washington County Commissioners at the Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building 155 N First Avenue, Suite 350 (3rd floor) Hillsboro, Oregon 97124.
What this Ordinance will do is authorize a major expressway to be extended into the pristine farmlands in Scholls/ Kinton, Oregon, to provide a new route for thousands of new homeowners and the new populations living there in West Tigard to travel to Hillsboro and back. Tile Flat Road will be connected by a 3-lane expressway crossing farmland, wetlands, and wildlife habitat that has remained native for millennia.
The bottom line? People don’t like this. Very few people testified in favor of it. And, of course, the powers that are creating this new industrial machine in Hillsboro want worker bees to have easy access to the hive.
Here are some slides of the proposal which are all conceptual.
Here is the reality of what is at stake here.
Here is my beef: When you have major opposition to a controversial ordinance, you must give the people of our county a chance to gather their resources and show up to be heard. What are our esteemed County Commissioners doing? The opposite. They have decided to move this Ordinance into the busy morning work hours, guaranteeing that very few people will attend. That, my friends, is bull shit. I said it. Complete and total good old American BS.
From the posting on the County Website about this ordinance:
Public hearings on the engrossed ordinance were held on Dec. 5 and Dec. 12, 2023. At the Dec. 12
public hearing, the board closed the public hearing and continued deliberations to Jan. 30, 2024.
Community Feedback (Known Support/Opposition):
Community members potentially affected by a future roadway consistent with the proposed plan
amendment have expressed opposition. The City of Tigard has expressed opposition. Other members
of the public have expressed concerns regarding environmental and farmland impacts of urban
expansion and roadways. Testimony includes support for continuing to seek solutions.
Here is what the County Staff Report does not show: beautiful wooded creek corridors that will be destroyed when this Ordinance opens the floodgates. Not only will wildlife and trees and creek corridors be destroyed, but this new road extension will push into vineyards and open new road corridors into the heart of the Scholls Valley where Hoffman Farms, Oregon Heritage Farms, Hamacher Vineyards, and a vast host of farmers and producers live and work. The agrarian lifestyle that is so unique to the Scholls Valley is under threat again. And why? So outsiders can make more money off of $800,000 boxes made of chipboard and plastic? What is it that these people want? Money? Are these leaders so hell-bent for us to become California faster? Or is there personal gain or ignorance in the way? I hope they say NO- they should. And before they say yes, they better give a whole lot of people more time to present their side.
Here is a message from a member of our community that came to me tonight. He has been involved and attending meetings but feels this is being slammed down the people’s throats.
“I am sure some residents of Scholls, OR (a community between Hillsboro and Newberg) have already reached out to you about Ordinance 882. This Ordinance has faced strong opposition from residents, environmentalists, farmers, environmental scientists, and several organizations. Yet it has still not been shot down by the Washington County commissioners. Instead, the vote on the ordinance has been kicked further and further down the road. The vote that we expect them to finally make a stand in is occurring tomorrow at 10 am (Auditorium at Charles Cameron Public Services Building 155 N 1st Ave Hillsboro, OR). The meeting was initially set to be held in the evening, allowing more of our community to show up and speak in opposition to the ordinance. In anticipation of this, the meeting has been moved to 10 m (during the workday). Over a hundred people have spoken, and thousands of signatures have been collected in opposition to the ordinance. You can learn more by visiting the @savescholls on Instagram, on their home page they offer resources to learn more about ORD 882.”
Almost 2,000 Residents have signed a petition to stop this Road expansion- Are they being heard? Tomorrow will tell us that.
From Lilian Stone at SaveScholls –
This ordinance will set precedent on the county’s vision for Scholls and how they treat local family-owned farms outside of the Urban Growth Boundary.
Maria Ponzi, an original wine grower in Washington County has seen that “the County has always been in the unique situation of having thriving family farms and rich agriculture so close to the metropolitan area, with agritourism in Scholls significantly increasing in the past few years. This enterprise is critical to small and mid-size family farms that combine farm activities and tourism for the purpose of recreation, entertainment, and education to urban dwellers. Agritourism contributes nearly $300 million to the state annually.”
Jay Hoffman, a regional leader and owner of Hoffman Farm Store whose farm is integral to the Scholls community shared, “the Scholls Valley is a gem of the Tualatin Valley with its berry farms, apple farms, and wineries. Each year tens of thousands of people come to our area to enjoy the charm and beauty it offers. It’s a gem that needs to be protected”.
Organizers hope the County Commissioners will recognize that the Scholls Valley is indeed a gem and will vote no on Ordinance 882 .
From the Mayor of Tigard, Oregon, to the County Commissioners and Chair Kathyrn Harrington – Tigard is a City that will develop 4,000 new Homes adjacent to this proposed new Road – someone who knows if this would help Traffic flow. Not only a NO to this but basically accusing the County of not listening to his City and not trying to work things out.
The heart of the issue in this area is the bottleneck created at the Tualatin River Bridge on Roy Rogers Road.
Adding the Tile Flat extension will do nothing to alleviate congestion on this facility, and our preliminary
analysis indicates that it will actually worsen that traffic through induced demand. We heard concerns from the
Board about the impact that not building the Tile Flat extension would have on drivers in the Sherwood area,
yet no explanation of how the Tile Flat extension addresses this pinch point in the system.
Our Concept Plan for River Terrace 2.0 actually proposed further study of the road, to include a build / no-
build alternatives analysis. Our proposal would have included a study of all of the factors that we believe should
inform a decision on a facility with this much potential for impact on the community – equity, cost, climate
impacts, and safety, among others. We believed our approach was in keeping with the region’s mobility policies,
Climate Smart Strategies, the Governor’s executive orders on greenhouse gas emissions, and subsequent
Transportation Planning Rule amendments focused on climate and equity.
This special study would have been in line with what is now being proposed in the refinement area. County staff
did not agree with this approach and worked to ensure that a special study was not included in the Community
Plan. As a result of the contention around the further study of the road, Metro declined to provide any funding
for a Tile Flat special study, requiring a line-item deletion of any reference to Tile Flat in our grant agreement
Given the state of this project, the dearth of budgetary support for improvements of existing facilities, and the
lack of funding to pursue a refinement area study, our ask of the Board is to formally decline to adopt the road
into the county TSP, decline to create a refinement area, and remove Tile Flat Extension from the County’s
I thank you for your consideration.
Heidi Lueb, Mayor
City of Tigard
What Can You Do?
GET INVOLVED – The Hour is late but never too late to turn out! The tactics being used here are WRONG – one could say dirty- but perhaps I am wrong and a NO vote is being made tomorrow. I hope so. I hope I am wrong. But I am willing to bet I am not.
|Tuesday, January 30, 2024, 10:00 AM
Washington County Board of Commissioners
Charles D. Cameron Public Services Building Auditorium
155 N. First Ave., Suite 300, Hillsboro, OR 97124-3072
Hybrid Meeting (In-person and Virtual)
To access the meeting by phone – Please dial +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782
To unmute to provide public comment press *6.
Webinar ID: 869 5423 7221