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Volume 15, Issue 6
June 2017


Ordinance 820 attempts to moderate infill housing effects on existing neighbors. Is it enough?

Planning Commission Hearing Wed., June 21, 6:30 pm

Board of Commissioners Hearing Tues., July 11, 10 am, both hearings at Hillsboro Civic Center Huffman Auditorium, 150 E Main ST., Hillsboro

One of the few protections your neighborhood has to limit impacts of new development is the Washington County Community Development Code (CDC). Among many other things, the CDC requires that new development minimize the impacts of development to the maximum extent possible on existing residential homes. Unfortunately for us, the state’s Needed Housing Rule requires “clear and objective standards,”

Since the state’s adoption of the Needed Housing Rule, Washington County’s CDC subjective requirements have not been able to provide the protections to the established neighborhoods they were intended to protect. New homes in the area are generally two-story buildings with minimal side yards. When they’re located next to older homes, the neighbors lose their privacy.

Washington County is in the process of developing new code to remove the conflict with the Needed Housing Rule. Rather than trying to maintain the current intent of the CDC to protect existing neighborhoods, Washington County staff is proposing replacement of current standards with only a requirement for a six-foot fence or evergreen hedge. New development will no longer be required to address building orientation, privacy, buffering, site access, or circulation to ensure compatibility with existing neighbors.

Board of Commissioners hearings for proposed Ordinance 820 are scheduled for June 21 and July 11. If you are concerned that this Ordinance won’t protect your neighborhood, please mark your calendar to attend one or both of these hearings, or send your written comments to with the subject line of Ordinance 820 comment.

Read more about Ordinance 820 on the county website. Read more about infill development here.

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