Cedar Mill
Community Website

Search the Cedar Mill News:

About The
Cedar Mill News

Volume 11, Issue 11
November 2013


Cedar Mill Town Center Plan—time to reconsider?
by Virginia Bruce

Cedar Mill was designated as one of Metro’s 38 Town Centers in 1995. Unlike most of the others, there’s no city to guide its development. The Town Center ordinance contains guidelines for new development. Until a piece of property is developed, or re-developed, nothing changes. When development is proposed it is supposed to meet these guidelines.

Suggested road areas are solid blue. Click to view a larger image.

The Cedar Mill Town Center plan was drawn up during the late ‘90s by a group of citizens coordinated by Lennertz Coyle & Associates. The report, published in June 1997, provides a vision of side streets, public spaces, and coordinated development that has not become, and probably never will be, a reality. It was based on a rather “blue-sky” vision that didn’t take into account the lack of a city to guide and mandate the changes necessary to achieve the plan, and the lack of urban planning expertise in the county.

NW Clement, looking toward Cedar Mill Lumber.

However, the “suggested” roadways contained in the plan (see the solid blue areas on the map, above) are part of the Transportation Plan, and continue to haunt development in our community. Cedar Mill Lumber has been unable to lease it’s large building for commercial use, because a road corridor is shown on the map, leading from “Old Barnes” to NW Clement, which has now been developed with condominiums. Why should that road to nowhere still be hampering commercial development?

The “standing wall remodel” for the new Walgreens store was done to avoid Town Center requirements. The Shell station was allowed to redevelop even though it makes the suggested northern extension of Barnes nearly impossible.

The county is not enforcing the Town Center Plan because of a series of court decisions (Dolan, for example) punishing jurisdictions that have attempted to “take” property or affect development based on long-range planning.

We think it’s time for the county to create an Urban Services District—one of the best ideas to come out of the 2008 Urbanization Forum—that would provide additional tax revenue for a higher level of planning and community development. Revisit the TC Plan, and enable Cedar Mill to take shape as we all want it to—a walkable, attractive area with the retail and services that we deserve.



Sign Up Now to receive
The Cedar Mill News by email each month

fb like
Like us on Facebook for timely updates

Cedar Mill News
Past Issues

Published monthly by Pioneer Marketing & Design
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
© 2013