|Volume 16, Issue 5||
Endorsements for May 15 Primary Election
We sent the following questions to all the candidates for Chair and District 2 Washington County Commission, and the candidates for Metro Council District 4 which represents most of our area.
There are many other subjects that these folks will deal with if they are elected, but we thought it would be good to get their views on these issues that have a big effect on those of us in the primarily unincorporated, yet urban, areas of Washington County.
We received written responses from District 2 candidates Treece and Malinowski, and from Metro Council candidates Gonzalez and Carstensen. We had in-person interviews with Chair candidates Deckert and Harrington, and no response from Woodley or Terry.
The Cedar Mill area has seen rapid residential growth in the last decade, primarily in “greenfield” areas that require new infrastructure and have poor access to transit options. If elected, will you commit to exploring new ways to satisfy Oregon’s “Needed Housing” rules that might include “upzoning” existing residential areas that are already served by transit and infrastructure and other methods?
The Cedar Mill Town Center Plan is badly outdated and is not serving our residents in encouraging a vibrant commercial area. Will you commit to looking into funding for a revision of the plan?
Washington County’s Development Code does not encourage developers to provide community spaces in residential areas, except in planned communities. Would you commit to exploring new requirements to provide portions of new developments for parks, trails, and community gathering places?
Currently, education is not considered a Critical Service by Oregon, which leads to new and infill development being approved even though Beaverton School District doesn’t have the capacity to provide space. Would you commit to working with our State Legislature to add education as an Critical Service?
Because county taxpayers are burdened with the cost of providing over 60% of the cost of development in new areas, existing roads are not being expanded to serve increased traffic. Would you commit to putting more effort into improving existing roads?
Do you believe that part of the county’s responsibility to its citizens is to provide a balance between a property owner’s right to profit from their land and the needs of the community for livability and safety (e.g. sidewalks, public spaces, compatible infill standards)?
Are you in favor of expanding the Urban Growth Boundary in any areas north of Highway 26?
Would you consider implementing a tax on the increase in property value when parcels are brought inside the UGB to help fund the full cost of the needed urban infrastructure?
What would you do to encourage food production in Washington County to enhance our resilience and sustainability? Reducing permitting burdens; rewriting farm-use rules to allow farmers to diversify income; allowing intentional communities on farmland; other?
Would you consider working to create Urban Service Districts for Cedar Mill and other unincorporated areas that would provide planning, economic development, and community support activities?
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