Estacada continues expansion
The city of Estacada gained 120 residents in 2018, according to initial population estimates by Portland State University.
PSU's report, released last month, estimates that Estacada's population was 3,400 in July. Last year, the population was 3,280.
Though PSU's Population Research Center tracks growth for Clackamas County as a whole, numbers for Estacada's neighboring unincorporated areas such Eagle Creek and Springwater are not.
Population growth is based on natural increase, or the number of births minus number of deaths, and net migration, or movers-in minus movers-out.
Charles Rynerson of PSU's Population Research Center attributed Estacada's growth to new residents. City officials reported 66 single-family housing units being permitted in the past year, many of which were in the Cascadia Ridge and Campanella Estates subdivisions.
The number of houses built annually in Estacada has increased over the last several years. In 2017, 53 new homes were permitted, and 28 homes were the year before.
Estacada is one of Oregon's top-10 highest growing cities over the past decade, Rynerson said.
Since the 2010 census, Estacada has had a growth rate of 26 percent, making it the eighth fastest growing city in the state.
"That (growth rate is) unusual for cities of this size," Rynerson said, adding that the average growth rate for the 42 Oregon cities with a population between 2,000 and 5,000 was 8 percent during that same period.
Among these cities, only two have grown faster than Estacada since 2010: Millersburg, with a growth rate of 72 percent, and North Plains, with a growth rate of 59 percent.
In the last eight years, Estacada has added 705 new residential homes — a number larger than the city's growth between 1990 and 2010, when 679 homes were added.
"Estacada was a little late to the party when it comes to the housing boom, but the growth has really taken off," Rynerson said.
Estacada City Manager Denise Carey noted that city staff mainly accommodates the increasing population by updating master plans, which outline improvements needed for growth.
"Every year we look at what we need in each infrastructure to support the growth we're having," she said. "We stay on top of the master plans so we know we're keeping up with the growth."
Carey added that prior to a new subdivision's approval, developers must have a letter from the school district saying that they would be able to support the additional students.
The Estacada School District reported an increase of approximately 46 students for the 2018-19 school year, and an additional second-grade teacher was hired at River Mill Elementary School.
Carey said people are moving to Estacada "because it offers a lot you don't find in a lot of smaller communities."
"It's beautiful, and the art element attracts people," she said. "There's a small-school atmosphere. I think parents want to have their kids in smaller schools. There's improvements the city has made, like small neighborhood parks. That's something that parents want."
As a whole, Clackamas County expanded by 6,425 residents, bringing its total population to 419,425. Oregon's population is now at 4,195,300, representing an increase of 54,200 since last year. Officials said this is largely because of people moving to the state.