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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Two town halls are scheduled Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 4 and 5, on a controversial land swap intended to jump start additional residential construction in Tigard.

The Metro Council is considering expanding the urban growth boundary it manages by 350 acres to allow construction in River Terrace 2.0 to begin two years early. The expansion would be adjacent to the original River Terrace development at the western edge of Tigard, where housing construction is continuing.

To keep the area within the UGB the same size, the council is considering shrinking it by the same amount in areas of Clackamas County not scheduled for development. A majority of the Clackamas County Commission opposes the reduction.

The first town hall is an in-person event from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, at the Harmony West campus at Clackamas Community College, Rooms 170 and 172, 7738 S.E. Harmony Road, Milwaukie.

The second is a virtual town hall from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 5. Details and information on participating are available here.

Clackamas Commission Chair Tootie Smith expressed the opposition of the majority of the board in a Nov. 2, 2022, letter to the Metro Council.

“Clackamas County is not willing to be a donor county while other jurisdictions expand their housing and jobs lands inventory at the sacrifice of Clackamas’ great land base,” Smith wrote.

Clackamas County Commissioner Sonia Fischer sent a separate Nov. 8 letter to Metro that said she does not oppose the land exchange.

Metro President Lynn Peterson pushed back against the demands in Smith’s letter a Nov. 7 reply. She said the exchange will speed up the construction of desperately needed additional residential construction in the region that is facing a housing shortage contributing to the homeless crisis. River Terrace 2.0 is planned to include a mix of housing, including single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, courtyard units, rowhouses and accessory dwelling units, according to the ordinance to be considered by the council.

“At its core, this UGB land exchange is about finding ways to advance the development of housing in our region. In Tigard, we see a city that has done that groundwork. Through planning, partnership with governments and housing developers, and investments in infrastructure, they appear ready to produce homes and help chip away at our region’s housing shortage,” Peterson wrote.

The Metro Council will hold a public hearing on the swap at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 19, in the Metro Council Chambers, 600 N.E. Grand Ave., Portland.

The council is scheduled to vote on the swap on Feb. 2.

A previous Business Tribune story on the land swap can be found here.