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Volume 13, Issue 10
October 2015


Bonny Slope West update

Developers are anxious to start building homes in “Bonny Slope West,” the area north of Thompson Rd. that Metro added to the Urban Growth Boundary in 2002. In January 2014 the area was transferred to Washington County because it couldn’t be planned by Multnomah County. Some developers purchased options on the various available parcels as early as 2002.

Once the area was in Washington County, Land Use and Transportation planners began working out the details to manage development, but there are a lot of details—transportation and other infrastructure and how to pay for it; schools; parks; density; and how much of the streamside area to protect.

Ordinances 802 and 803 were developed to establish land use designations, and were brought to the Board of Commissioners (BCC) this summer for action. 803 required that a funding plan be in place to establish the System Development Charge (SDC) that developers would pay for each housing unit to cover infrastructure costs. While LUT staff believes that the Infrastructure Funding Plan (IFP) that has been worked out will be passed by the time the “engrossed” Ordinance 802 is approved, there’s a chance that the plan could be appealed, and that would cause further delays.

According to Theresa Cherniak, Principal Planner, LUT Community Planning, “On September 22, the Board directed that Ordinance 802 be engrossed [amended] to incorporate the contents of Ordinance 803. This engrossment will allow developers to submit development applications upon the effective date of the ordinance. The second hearing on A-Engrossed Ordinance 802 is scheduled for October 27. If it is adopted on that date, development applications could be submitted as early as November 27, 2015.”

That strategy allows developers to submit plans in November, while agreeing, “not to appeal the SDC; to extend the statutory timeframe for processing an application beyond 120 days if necessary, to pay the adopted SDC when applying for building permits, and to elevate their land use application to a Type III process [requiring a public hearing],” according to Cherniak.

LUT staff will begin to process the development applications as soon as they are received, but they will not be approved until the Board adopts the IFP and until the SDC is in place. If the transportation SDC proceeds as planned, Cherniak says, “it will be adopted by Resolution & Order on January 5, 2016 and will be effective on March 5, 2016.”

If the transportation SDC is appealed by another party, 802 includes language that authorizes the county to negotiate a new agreement with applicants that have pending development applications. That would allow the project to move forward, but would assure that an applicant would pay an amount equal to the SDC amount assumed for Bonny Slope West.

Two Fact Sheets were just released with information about road costs, funding strategies, and other concerns, and can be found at


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Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
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Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2015