Bear Creek Valley Regional Plan Moves Forward

The Jackson County Board of Commissioners has voted to approve the Regional Problem Solving plan, which will guide growth for the county and its cities for the next 50 years. 1000 Friends is carefully reviewing the proposed plan and will continue to participate as the plan moves on to state review.

The plan designates 8,500 acres of urban reserves where growth will be directed, much of it around the City of Medford. The cities of Ashland, Central Point, Eagle Point, Phoenix, and Talent also participated in the process. Of the 8,500 acres of urban reserves, about 7,000 acres are currently farmland. Roughly 1,200 of this was designated as critical to the region’s agricultural economy.

Throughout the process, 1000 Friends worked with local affiliate Rogue Advocates and citizens of the region to limit the amount of urban reserves on high-quality farmland, and to remind the participating cities of the benefits of directing most of its growth toward compact, walkable neighborhoods and commercial districts, which promote better community health, air quality, and active forms of transportation. The region's population is expected to double by 2060, and growing compactly will be necessary if Jackson County is to maintain its quality of life and the economic contributions of its productive farms.

1000 Friends Southern Oregon advocate Greg Holmes will continue to be actively involved as the plan moves on to review by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Following approval by DLCD the plan will need to be adopted individually by each of the cities.

For more information on the RPS process, visit our Southern Oregon page.