HB 2708, introduced by Representative Zika, would authorize DLCD to approve any city’s request for a Urban Growth Boundary expansion for affordable housing, notwithstanding land use laws, including onto farm and forest land. There are several problems with this:
- Perpetuates the false notion that just adding more land means housing will be more affordable.
- Distracts from what cities should be doing: increasing housing opportunities inside UGBs, close to the things families need — schools, grocery stores, jobs, etc.
- Ignores that the 50-acre UGB expansion for affordable housing was passed as a PILOT PROJECT a few sessions ago, and the two cities that applied for the pilot project — Bend and Redmond — are in the beginning stages of their pilot projects.
- We need to stop treating resource lands as vacant land for any other use. We need to preserve farms and forest lands for their intended uses.
Craig Anderson, for Rogue Advocates, remarked in his testimony submitted to the House, “Land currently on the fringes of Oregon’s UGBs is not practically developed as ‘affordable.’ It never has been and never will be. Such development requires a costly extension of infrastructure and urban services and is almost exclusively accessed by private auto. The bill would therefore force more Oregonians into a costly auto-dependent lifestyle in order to meet their need for housing. Development on the urban fringe, as promoted within this bill, will only hamper Oregon’s already weak efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions.”
Read Craig Anderson’s full statement here.