Duyck and Hughes dish up a steaming, hot plate of suck

Carla Axtman

Honestly, I can't decide if these two are being deliberately ridiculous on the latest Washington County whack on the Urban and Rural Reserves or if they sincerely don't give a crap about the mess they're making.

Yesterday, Washington County Chair Andy Duyck and Metro President Tom Hughes made it clear that they're going to continue the long standing practice of giving residents of Washington County the finger on Urban & Rural Reserves with a joint letter, sent in a Metro eblast. They're actually supposed to be fixing the map based on a list of concerns outlined in a remand from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Instead, it seems they've decided to snatch up more high quality farmland for urbanization.

From the eblast (pdf):

If approved the proposal will result in 50 years of protection for 266,992 acres of valuable farmland, forest land and natural areas for current and future generations. The proposal also provides 28,548 acres of developable land across the region to ensure we can provide good jobs and homes for everyone now and in the future, in a way the makes the most of our existing cities and neighborhoods.

This proposal is the result of unprecedented partnerships and participation from local governments, advocacy organizations and thousands of citizens. It's a one-of-a-kind, collaborative roadmap for the effective utilization of land that no other region in the United States has achieved. But let's be clear: our work will not be done until the public has a chance to thoroughly review and comment on this important decision.

So take a look at the proposal, map and other information on Metro's web site. The Metro Council and Washington County Board of Commissioners will hold a joint hearing in Hillsboro on Tuesday, March 15, to consider your comments on this proposal and to vote on a revised reserves agreement.

If a final agreement is approved by both bodies on March 15, each would proceed to formal adoption of ordinances, findings of fact, and maps in April. At each step Metro and Washington County will provide opportunities for public testimony.

DLCD told Washington County that the acreage north of Council Creek in Cornelius needed to be rural reserves. Instead, Duyck and Hughes made it part rural and part undesignated. DLCD also expressed concern about Washington County's decisions around rural reserves: much of the acreage designated is under no threat of urbanization: which is the ENTIRE POINT of creating rural reserves. They're also taking hundreds of acres north of Highway 26 for urbanization, which was long promised to locals as something that would remain rural-and the justification for taking it is thin, at best.

But not to be deterred by actually having to address this stuff, Washington County and Metro are set to push this thing back to DLDC on March 15 (that is, if they can get Multnomah and Clackamas to agree too, which is in no way a sure thing). If they manage to get it through, it's certain to be challenged on a number of fronts with the Oregon Court of Appeals. And who pays for all this? Yeah..you do. Welcome to your tax dollars at work.

Washington County and Hughes could easily fix this by simply accepting the changes that DLCD asked for. Or barring that, the Washington County Farm Bureau has developed an alternative proposal that would more than fulfill the legal requirements for reserves and avoid another DLCD remand or a long slog through the Oregon Court of Appeals. It also happens to include some significant compromises from the Farm Bureau.

It would appear that Duyck and Hughes are in no mood for compromise, however. And that sucks--not just for taxpayers, but for everyone who cares about land use in our state.

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    Ahh...man. It was laying there for you....


    ...that close to the perfect headline.


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    And what part of "growth doesn't pay for itself" don't they get?

    That's a rhetorical question of course, since they're both beholden to development interests and seem to not understand sustainability in the least.

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    Just curious why there's no posts regarding Wisconsin here.

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