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Clackamas board moves a step closer toward resolving Stafford

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Commissioners adopt regional findings, set May 11 for public consideration of specific ordinance ane proposed agreement with Metro and three cities on development.

Clackamas County commissioners are closer to reaffirming Stafford as an urban reserve open to development in 50 years.

They are set to adopt formal findings in an ordinance at their business meeting at 10 a.m. May 11.

They also plan to approve an intergovernmental agreement with Metro and the cities of Tualatin, Lake Oswego and West Linn. The agreement will lay out how roads, sewer and water lines and other services will be extended into the area.

Public comments will be heard on both items.

Commissioners voted April 26, after public hearings, to adopt findings to support the adequacy of 23,031 acres — including 6.230 acres in Stafford — for urban reserves on which development can occur through 2060.

The Metro Council adopted the same findings April 13, and Multnomah County commissioners are scheduled in May to take similar action.

Chairman Jim Bernard said concept planning under the agreement must occur before any part of Stafford is brought into Portland's regional urban growth boundary or annexed by a city.

He said development of the area, which is bounded on the south by Interstate 205, is not imminent.

"It will take years for it to change," Bernard said at the close of the April 19 hearing. "There will be lots of study and community participation, support of the cities and property owners."

Bernard made resolution of the Stafford issue a priority during his successful campaign last year to unseat John Ludlow as board chairman.

Stafford was part of the region's urban reserves as decided by Metro and the three counties back in 2011. But that decision was challenged, and in 2014, the Oregon Court of Appeals required additional supporting details from Metro and the county, mostly on transportation links.

Washington County's reserves were settled by the Legislature in 2014.

Once the two remaining counties complete action on the reserves, the matter goes back to the state Land Conservation and Development Commission, which could take it up at its July 20-21 meeting in Klamath Falls.

From LCDC, the decision could be appealed again to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

The urban reserves process dates back a decade to 2007 legislation.

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For a link to the county's web page for proposed formal findings and background:

www.clackamas.us/planning/reserves.html