PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Metro Council voted ‘yes’ on expanding the urban growth boundary that will allow thousands of acres of land to be developed in Beaverton, Hillsboro, Wilsonville and King City.
All seven council members voted in favor of the proposal Thursday, saying more housing is needed to alleviate the housing crisis.
Those who oppose to the expansion are concerned about its impact on wildlife and family farms.
The vote makes expands the urban growth boundary by 2,200 acres — making room for more than 9,000 new homes in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties.
Beaverton has requested the largest swath of space at more than 1,200 acres in the Cooper Mountain urban reserve area for more than 3,700 new homes. King City made the second-largest request for more than 500 acres to expand the Beef Bend South area for 3,300 homes.
Cities have already submitted plans about how they would support the growth, including how they will guarantee a mix of housing.
Metro Council President Tom Hughes said before he voted, “It may be the boondocks now, but it won’t be the boondocks any longer.”
Some residents feel they had no say in the matter and that the vote is just paving the way for development.
“The material that I have doesn’t even use the word ‘wildlife,'” said concerned resident Barbara Wilson. “They don’t acknowledge there is any wildlife there.”
Critics are also worried about erosion, especially along Fischer Road. A representative for the Tualatin River Keepers said the area is already experiencing extreme erosion caused by runoff from another development.