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Cedar Mill News
Volume 3, Issue 12


December 2005

Bethany Coalition seeks a voice in planning

In December 2002, Metro, the tri-county agency responsible for planning regional growth, announced the addition of close to 800 acres north of Springville Road into the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). The decision was appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals but was recently upheld.

It is expected that up to 15,000 people will eventually live in the North Bethany area. This influx of population will affect Cedar Mill in many ways – adding congestion to our roads, and also bringing new customers to our businesses.

The Bethany Coalition was formed in June 2003 to provide an avenue for those who live and work in the Bethany community to speak with a unified voice. They have been holding public monthly meetings with guest speakers from the development and government communities. It has become a forum for the exchange of ideas, as well as an effective voice influencing planning decisions.

From the beginning there was a question of which agency would do the planning for North Bethany. At the time it was added to the UGB, Beaverton was expected to annex the new lands via a cherry-stem annexation (joining areas that are connected to the annexing city only by a roadway) up Bethany Boulevard.

But in April 2004, Washington County announced that they would be the responsible government for the master planning for the North Bethany area. Beaverton was willing to provide planning for North Bethany only if it could be annexed by Beaverton prior to development.

According to a County press release, “However, the Washington County Board of Commissioners has a policy of discouraging “cherry-stem” annexations. There are more than two miles between the North Bethany area and the City of Beaverton’s boundary line. The County was concerned that the City of Beaverton would have an “island” of 12,000 to 15,000 citizens that would be inefficient for both the City and the County to serve. The County told Beaverton that any future annexation of North Bethany and its nearby neighborhoods would have to be part of a comprehensive annexation plan that would include already established residential areas.”

The Bethany Coalition takes some responsibility for bringing about this change of heart on the part of the County Board. (The County had previously not objected to Beaverton’s cherry-stem annexations of roads in Cedar Mill, and subsequent island annexations including the area where WalMart is attempting to locate.) They presented a petition on April 30, 2004 with over 1000 signatures to Metro, Beaverton, and Washington County leaders asking for full partnership in the planning process for all residents of the area.

The group recently sent a letter to city, county, state and Metro representatives requesting assistance in exploring several alternatives for the future governance of the area: “Annexation to an incorporated city; Incorporate this area into its own city; Special Service District – designed to provide all the needed services without the extra overhead found in managing a city.” So far they have met with State Senators Charlie Ringo and Brad Avakian, and plan to meet with several County Commissioners in the near future to discuss their requests.

On their website (bethanycoalition.org) the area represented by the group is defined as “West: NW 185th Ave; South: NW West Union Rd. continuing east on NW Thompson Rd. to the Washington county line; East: the Washington/Multnomah County line; North-NW: the Urban Growth Boundary at Abbey Creek (approx. Germantown Rd.). However they say they represent “its surrounding areas/neighborhoodsnorth of Highway 26” and they have indicated that Cedar Mill residents are welcome to join.

Membership in the Coalition, which is not incorporated, consists of being on their email list. Chad Pasley, chairman of the group, says there are over 2000 people currently signed up. You can get on the list by sending an email to info@bethanycoalition.org. Pasley says they are looking for volunteers to aid in research, outreach, and representing the group on various regional committees.

Their next meeting will be December 13, 7:30-9 pm, in the Education Building at Bethany Center, 15188 NW Central Drive, Suite 205, with a panel of developers including Craig Brown of Legend Homes.




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The Cedar Mill News
Published monthly by the Cedar Mill Business Association, Inc.,
P.O. Box 91177
Portland, OR 97291-0177

Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
12110 NW West Rd
Portland, OR 97229