King City moves closer to growth
King City will need to add nearly a thousand housing units to keep up with demand over the next 20 years, according to a Metro Council-commissioned report by economic consulting firm ECONorthwest.
And the need for those housing units goes across the board from low-income multi-family buildings to moderate- and high-income single family homes, said city manager Michael Weston.
"It's not like other cities, which just have deficits in certain areas," Weston told the Regal Courier. "We have deficits in every area, and we recognized that a couple years ago, which is why we started doing the concept planning."
The city plans to submit an official urban growth boundary (UGB) request to Metro in May. It likely will ask to expand into 528 acres of the urban reserve area, which is located between King City and Roy Rogers Road, north of Beef Bend Road to the Tualatin River.
If the request is approved, it would give King City enough acreage to more than make up for the 980 needed housing units identified by ECONorthwest. Weston said that of the 528 acres, about 300 acres would be buildable. Assuming that between eight and 10 units could be built on each acre, that would give the city about 3,000 new homes.
That extra leeway is a good thing, Weston said, because "to be honest, what we've seen with the Metro numbers is, sometimes their projections are undershot on what the reality is on the ground."
"That should be a good supply of land for us for at least the next 20 years," he added.
The Planning Commission will consider the proposed UGB request in a March 28 meeting, and the City Council will take the issue up at an April 4 meeting. It will continue considering the request at its April 18 meeting if necessary.
So far, public reaction to the possible expansion has been "a mixed bag," Weston said.
"People are really excited about what the future holds for our city," he continued. "And we also have people in the city who are opposed to any kind of growth. … We expect that anytime you're looking at changing and growing, people are going to have worries."
One of the skeptics' main concerns is that their taxes might increase, the city manager said. But he pointed out that the city couldn't raise taxes without putting a local option levy on the ballot — and that the city has planned the growth so that current residents of King City will not need to pay any more taxes.
"There will be zero financial impact to current King City residents," he emphasized.