Target: Washington County and Metro Leaders of Oregon
Goal: Ensure Portland’s Urban Growth Plan prioritizes sustainable urban planning and preserving Oregon farmland and natural resources.
The long-term urban growth plan for several Oregon counties in the Portland region places productive heritage farmland and beautiful open space at risk of development, while not incorporating adequate sustainable urban planning. Even though the plan attempts to compromise between conservationist and development interests, some of Oregon’s most productive farmland is not sufficiently prioritized. This land should be considered a productive asset, and a vital part of Oregon’s heritage and economy.
The state of Oregon recently approved the urban and rural reserves map developed by local officials that designates the path of growth in the Portland region of Oregon for the next 50 years. The decision is facing challenges from both sides. Developers claim more land is needed for urban growth. However, they do not account for the potential of smart, sustainable urban planning in existing and new urban areas. Oregon does not need urban sprawl, which would consume more farmland, encourage car-centered lifestyles, ecological destruction and disconnected communities. Planning should prioritize walkable communities, with incorporated green space and more efficient housing design. Conservationist groups account for this sustainable potential of urban planning that aligns with residents’ values.
Some urban growth will be necessary for the growing state, but it must utilize sustainable planning techniques and avoid destroying valuable farmland. 1000 Friends of Oregon, among other groups are challenging Portland’s plan for the region because the farmland at risk is central to Oregon’s growing agricultural economy and legacy. Some of this land has been cared for for over a century and new farmers are continuing that tradition. Please support Oregon farmers, residents and generations to come by prioritizing sustainable urban growth and preservation of the region’s most valuable farmland.
Dear Washington County and Metro Leaders of Oregon,
With the approval of a long-term urban growth plan for the Portland region of Oregon come risks for some of the region’s most valuable farmland and open space, and thus for farmers, residents and the agricultural economy and legacy of Oregon.
Instead of growth that promotes car-based, disconnected suburban communities at the cost of farmland and natural space, the growth plan should spare farmland and focus on smart, sustainable planning that encourages walking, green space and strong community. This kind of planning can be applied to existing as well as new urban areas; it is time to reconsider the path of our development and communities.
With this kind of planning, the urban reserves map can spare valuable farmland. The vital natural resources of this land continue to produce for Oregon and beyond as more learn to take care of the land. The growing agricultural sector needs support, and beautiful farmland and natural space is too valuable to be replaced by sprawling development. Please seriously consider appeals by concerned groups including 1000 Friends of Oregon, and redraft the urban and rural reserves map to preserve farmland and vital resources for Oregon.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: greeblie via Flickr