Is Metro swallowing Salem?

By Tyler Smith, Salem.

No, not yet, but some Metro Members are planning for it. This spring a Portland Metro committee called “Reserves Steering Committee” is considering how they can set up their master plan and study areas including a move south all the way along I-5. The group is meeting to establish the boundaries for an initial study area for their 40-50 year master plan for controlling land uses. This process was approved last year by the Oregon Legislature in Senate Bill 1011 which authorizes Metro to establish urban reserves and rural reserves outside of their current UGB.

Part of the agenda for some members such as Greg Specht seems to be to figure out how the committee can coordinate the use all the flat land south along I-5 even if those counties are opposed to being included. Tom Brian, the chair of the committee and a number of members appear to support the expansion of the study area along I-5.

However some of the informed participants may have quelled Metro’s appetite for now by pointing out that currently Metro has no jurisdiction over Marion and Yamhill Counties. Apparently Metro is doing everything they can to attract Marion and Yamhill Counties, but so far the County Commissioners from Marion and Yamhill Counties have refused to participate.

If you, like me, want to retain local control, you can participate in this process and stop feeding the Metro appetite in two ways. First, you can express your opposition by attending the future meetings of this Reserve Steering Committee. They are open public meetings and the next two are July 9 and August 13. Second, you can thank your County Commissioners and encourage them to keep Marion and Yamhill Counties out of Metro.

Tyler Smith