By Nathalie Hardy • Columnist • 

LCDC proposes to streamline UGB process

Jim Rue, director of Oregon’s Land Conservation and Development Commission, announced plans to reform the agency’s urban growth boundary process at a public round table held Friday at McMenamins Hotel Oregon.

Rue said the agency is considering legislation that would streamline the process, particularly with regard to contentious population forecasts. “This is a very big deal that we’re proposing here,” he said.

The idea, Rue said, is that LCDC would pay Portland State University to create population forecasts every four years for a county and its cities and make that forecast immune to appeal.

The population forecast is one of four legislative concepts LCDC is planning to introduce in the 2013 session. The other three are designed to address residential land, employment and infrastructure elements.

The commission has a tradition of moving its meetings around the state. Current chair Marilyn Worrix is from McMinnville, making the city a natural stop.

“McMinnville and Yamhill County are extra special, and I wanted the commissioners to see why that was,” Worrix said. LCDC staff and commissioners toured McMinnville and Carlton prior to the session.  

Worrix said the land use laws have become extremely complicated, making it difficult for the average citizen to follow the process. She said the agency is getting a strong encouragement from the governor’s office to streamline the process, particularly elements involving the adoption and updating of urban growth boundaries.

McMinnville has been trying to adopt a revised urban growth boundary for more than 10 years, but has been stymied at every turn. In the process, it has become something of a poster child for reform.

LCDC consists of seven unpaid citizen volunteers appointed by the governor. Assisted by the agency staff, it establishes state goals, implements state rules, assures local plan compliance with goals, coordinates state and local planning and manages the coastal zone program.

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