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Washington County recently began a Cooper Mountain Area Transportation Refinement Plan that seeks to identify and define long-term options for major road connections in the Cooper Mountain area. The plan’s study area, which extends beyond the Cooper Mountain Urban Reserve, is bounded by Tualatin Valley Highway, the Tualatin River, 170th Avenue and River Road/Tualatin River. The goal is to identify a preferred long-term transportation network for many travel modes (such as automobiles, transit, biking and walking) and determine implementation steps to create that major street network, including how to pay for it. This effort will include public engagement.
The City of Beaverton is committed to working with the County to develop plans for the road network and identify implementation steps. South Cooper Mountain Concept Plan.
Cooper Mountain’s higher elevation areas make it difficult to travel in snow and ice. With development of the Cooper Mountain Urban Reserve and South Cooper Mountain, there will be new or expanded roads that connect the neighborhoods to the surrounding areas. Some of these roads, such as Scholls Ferry and Tile Flat, will be at lower elevations. New or revamped streets will be designed with curbs and slopes that will be safer than some of the existing rural roads. If necessary, traction devices such as snow tires and/or chains will be required on higher elevation streets during winter weather events (similar to the existing restrictions on 175th). The County and City also may give higher priority to these streets for deicing and plowing.
This will involve identifying natural resources and ensuring the city’s development rules consider the resources as development occurs. How this happens will be determined when Beaverton works with community members to create a community plan and zoning for the urban reserve. It likely will be similar to how it was handled in South Cooper Mountain, which is directly south of the urban reserve.
In South Cooper Mountain, a Goal 5 resource analysis was done to identify natural resources. The identified resources were mapped and designated Significant Natural Resource Areas (SNRAs) within the City’s Development Code. Tree removal in SNRAs requires an application and a justification for why tree removal is needed. Clean Water Services, the sanitary sewer and stormwater agency, also requires a 50-foot vegetation buffer around wetlands and streams to protect stream-side resources and water quality.
These development rules work together to ensure the majority of natural resources are retained.
People want to move to Beaverton.
Beaverton is known for its excellent quality of life, demographic diversity, access to jobs (both in the city and nearby), high-quality schools, access to the natural wonders of the Tualatin Valley and the rest of our state, and other amenities. The city has been ranked by national magazines as one of the best places to live in the country. Strong interest in building new homes in South Cooper Mountain, just south of the urban reserve, demonstrates that there is demand for new homes in Beaverton.
For those reasons, Beaverton’s population is growing and expected to keep growing in the coming years. Beaverton needs additional housing to accommodate this growth, including houses, townhomes, duplexes, triplexes and apartments. Although the city expects some growth to happen within its current borders, expanding the urban growth boundary would help fill this gap. If Metro approves the expansion, residential development in the Cooper Mountain Urban Reserve could add 3,760 homes to the housing supply over the next 10-20 years.
Metro does not have a density requirement in its rules for the planning of new urban areas. If the area is added to the urban growth boundary, the Metro Council will identify the expected number of homes to be built in the reserve area generally based on the concept plan created by the city.
The Metro-approved South Cooper Mountain Concept Plan estimated that 3,760 homes could be accommodated in the 1,232-acre Cooper Mountain Urban Reserve. However, only 600 acres are developable due to wetlands, upland habitat, and other protected areas. After subtracting land that is required to build streets, schools, and parks, the remaining land can be developed as housing at about 10.6 net units per acre. If the area is added to the urban growth boundary, the City of Beaverton will work with community members to develop a community plan for the area that can be used to establish zoning and density requirements for the area.
The tax bill for a property is determined by two things:
Property owners are not likely to see significant assessed value increases right away when added to the urban reserve, assuming other changes have not been made to the property such as remodeling, enlarging existing buildings or new development. The assessed value of properties likely will not significantly increase until after annexation to the city occurs, a change in zoning is established and a proposed subdivision of the property is processed and approved by the Washington County tax assessor. Property owners can get more information about how property values are assessed from the Washington County Department of Assessment and Taxation.
Tax rates would not change immediately when the urban growth boundary is expanded (unless, of course, taxing districts that currently cover the urban reserve raise their tax rates). That would happen once the property is annexed into the City of Beaverton or other taxing districts.
That is the simple answer. Each property might have its own particular circumstances that would result in a different outcome, such as tax deferrals for agricultural uses. Please contact your tax advisor and/or the Washington County Department of Assessment and Taxation to understand how changes might affect your property.
When a property annexes into the City of Beaverton, city property taxes normally are applied to that property in the year following annexation. The Beaverton tax rate is $4.29 per thousand dollars of property value (2017-18 tax rate). For a residential property valued at $265,000, that tax increase would be an additional $1,137 per year. If a property is added to other taxing districts, such as Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District, the tax rates for those districts would apply as well.
For the urban reserve, it’s too soon to tell. No zoning has been established for the area yet. If the area is brought into the urban growth boundary, Beaverton will work with community members to create a community plan and development rules for the area.
If the city’s current development rules were used, the answer is: Yes, that is an option. So it might happen sometimes.
In its current development rules, Beaverton allows adjustments to provide housing opportunities while encouraging natural resource protection.
For example, Beaverton’s development rules allow for density transfers if the site is part of a Planned Unit Development (PUD). A PUD allows modification of the development rules to preserve natural resources or address unique site conditions such as natural resources. A PUD may be applied to residential properties that are 2 acres or larger.
Planned Unit Development design rules promote flexibility by allowing developers to cluster buildings while leaving the remaining property without buildings, such as by establishing open space, protecting natural resources or providing recreation/open space. In most cases, lot sizes can be reduced up to 50 percent to preserve natural resources within a development. For example, if a property were designated for 7,000-square-foot lots, this would allow lots as small as 3,500 square feet on the developed portion of the property so natural resources could be preserved on the other part of the property.
Overall, this produces the same or similar number of units per acre while allowing natural resources to be preserved.
It is possible this process could be modified for the urban reserve, but that depends on the outcome of the community plan.
Metro, the regional government, will host an on-line public comment period from mid-June to mid-July. Notice will be provided through the Metro News webpage and social media.
Metro plans to have the first round of public hearings on Sept. 20 and Sept. 27, 2018. Notice, including instructions for public comments, will be provided prior to the hearing on the Metro calendar and Metro News webpage. Community members will have the opportunity to comment on the specific UGB applications from cities in the region.
The Metro Council plans to have a final hearing regarding the urban growth boundary expansion on Dec. 6, 2018. General notice will be provided 35 days prior to the hearing with direct notice to all households within 1 mile of a proposed expansion area occurring at least 20 days prior to the hearing. Public testimony will be accepted, and the hearing is open to the public. A final decision by Metro Council is expected on Dec. 13, 2018.