1000 Friends of Oregon | Willamette Valley Office

 

Our Willamette Valley Advocate, Mia Nelson, works with residents, affiliates and communities across Benton, Lane, Linn, Marion, Polk, and Yamhill counties, as well as Columbia County. Mia also represents 1000 Friends on several issues of statewide importance. Below is a sampling of the issues she works on. For more information, contact Mia at mia@friends.org.

Statewide Population Forecasting Changes

In 2013, the legislature directed a diverse group to begin working on revising how local governments create the population forecasts that drive land use decisions. The goal is to replace politically driven decisions with factual research from the respected Population Research Center at Portland State University. Mia is serving on the steering committee guiding the implementation of this program.

Newberg Urban Growth Boundary Expansion

In August 2012, the City of Newberg approved a UGB amendment that would create a 260-acre industrial area on Class II farmland southeast of the city, some of the most productive farmland in the state. 1000 Friends and an affiliate, Friends of Yamhill County, have been working to defend this farmland and push Newberg to use more appropriate land elsewhere for new development.

Keizer Urban Growth Boundary Expansion

After actively working with the City of Keizer in its recent evaluation of its urban growth boundary--including helping the city recognize it had an overabundance of residential land--1000 Friends is participating as the City decides whether and where to expand its UGB. 

Springfield Urban Growth Boundary Expansion

The City of Springfield proposes to expand its UGB to include 640 acres of new employment lands, as well as hundreds of additional acres of floodplain. 1000 Friends has been an active participant in the proceedings since early 2010, and does not believe such a large expansion is warranted.  However, we would support a more modest industrial expansion. Our most recent testimony is here. (pdf)

Eugene Urban Growth Boundary Expansion

The City of Eugene has undertaken an intensive (and award-winning) public outreach effort called “Envision Eugene” to determine how the city can accommodate 34,000 new residents in the next two decades. We have worked closely with city staff on appropriate growth strategies, and are supportive of the industrial expansion component. In March 2012, the City released a draft UGB proposal for about 1100 acres of expansion for housing, parks, and industry. Visit the Envision Eugene website for more information. 

Goshen Industrial Area

Lane County has proposed changes to the zoning of about 300 acres in the rural community of Goshen. 1000 Friends objected to the original proposal, which could have allowed big box commercial stores like Costco and Home Depot. However, in response to our concerns, available here, the proposal has been modified to prohibit commercial uses, and to protect large industrial sites from being divided into parcels smaller than 35 acres. However, the area still has serious limitations making development questionable. 1000 Friends will continue monitoring and participating in the process to protect taxpayers from costly mistakes.

 

If you have questions about any of these work areas, please contact Mia Nelson at mia@friends.org.