Woodburn reveals Parr Road plans
The wheels began turning to move the city of Woodburn into pursuit of jurisdiction over a portion of Butteville Road.
The stretch of road at issue runs between Hwy. 219 and Parr Road, which is the vicinity of the construction of Amazon's Fulfillment Center. The retail giant is in the process of installing a roundabout at the north end of this stretch, and Woodburn planners feel the south end of that road at the its intersection with Parr Road would be better regulated in the city's hands.
Long-range city plans envision expanding its urban growth boundary to areas adjacent to Parr Road, east of Butteville Road and Interstate 5.
Woodburn Community Development Director Chris Kerr presented the idea before the city's council on Sept. 26. Kerr said the city staff was looking for a motion from the council that would allow them to kickstart the process. The council concurred unanimously.
"We've had a pretty good conversation thus far with the county and the state on this issue," Kerr said. "To make it pretty simple, we're looking for a motion to direct staff to allow us to initiate the process of annexing or transferring the jurisdiction of the intersection of Parr and Butteville Road into the city."
Kerr shared a slide presentation outlining the area, including urban reserve area anticipated to be included in the UGB. Parr Road's "T" intersection with Butteville Road is immediately south of the latter road's bridge over the freeway, creating a limited visibility left turn for motorists stopped on Parr Road.
"Right now, we have a lot of active development applications … particularly in our SWIR area," Kerr said, referring to the city's southwest industrial reserve. "Because of that, we want to make sure that we have control of this really critical intersection for the city. As opposed to meeting the county's often short-term interest, we want to make sure that the city's long-term interests are met — that it meets our long-term needs and goals."
That area is projected as one where employment generating companies will someday find suitable. Kerr explained the city's vision of expanding the UGB in that SWIR.
"The point of that is to expand is, of course, to expand employment opportunities for some of these higher-paying, non-polluting employers, such as Amazon," he said. "We have a couple of them right now that we are processing in this SWIR district. These are the kinds of things that we need to develop our tax base. But it's really critical for us to be able to accommodate it as far as traffic (and) get in front of the issue now."
Kerr said without control of that intersection, the city would be subjected to county, state and Oregon Department of Transportation's direction. He added that it was a similar situation at the north end of that stretch of road where for decades it was difficult to achieve improvements due to multiple jurisdictions.
Amazon's efforts changed the complexion of that situation; the city hopes to do the same at Parr Road.
"We think that the city of Woodburn should pursue jurisdiction and control of Butteville Road," City Administrator Scott Derickson said, indicating that he believes that Marion County would be amenable to the idea. "Not only will that help guide temporary improvements at Butteville and Parr (roads), but it will also help us make more permanent fix to Parr Road as the southwest industrial reserves comes in that will solve and help manage all the traffic generated from the industrial development."
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