Renamed Town Center Development Agency will manage urban renewal in both downtown and the Triangle.

Since it was formed to oversee the urban renewal area in downtown Tigard that city voters approved in 2006, it's been called the City Center Development Agency.

Now, though, with voters approving a new urban renewal area for the nearby Tigard Triangle — a larger area east of downtown that is bounded by the Highway 217 and Interstate 5 freeways and the Highway 99W commercial corridor to the north — Tigard's urban development agency is getting a slight change of name.

The Tigard City Council voted unanimously with little discussion Tuesday evening to rename the City Center Development Agency to the Town Center Development Agency.

The one-word change is significant, according to the city's redevelopment project manager, Sean Farrelly, because Tigard officially refers to the downtown as its "city center," but a long-range Metro plan includes both the downtown and Tigard Triangle areas in its "town center."

The agency is responsible for administering both urban renewal districts, which collect taxes above the level that existed when the districts were formed — known as the "tax increment," above what is called the "frozen base" of tax revenues that continue going to the tax districts in those areas as they did before voters approved urban renewal — and put them toward completing a voter-approved list of projects intended to improve or revitalize the "blighted" areas.

"To reflect the fact that the agency and the board will be having jurisdiction over two different districts, we thought that calling it the Town Center Development Agency would make sense," Farrelly said.

COURTESY OF THE CITY OF TIGARD - The Tigard Triangle Urban Renewal Area, shaded in orange, and the City Center Urban Renewal Area, shaded in green, are Tigard's two urban renewal districts. The just-renamed Tigard Town Center Development Agency is responsible for carrying out both districts' urban renewal plans.The council also voted to approve new bylaws for the City Center Advisory Commission, renaming it the Town Center Advisory Commission in a conforming change and allowing businesses and residents of the Triangle to serve in designated positions. The maximum number of voting members was also increased from nine to 11.

"I think with this new area in the Triangle, there's going to be a lot of interest there among business-owners, property-owners and residents there," Farrelly said. "So we think we'll have a new group of people to be recruiting from."

The commission provides citizen input into how the city executes the voter-approved urban renewal plans. Meanwhile, the City Council acts as the development agency's board of directors.

The City Center Urban Renewal Area is scheduled to sunset no later than 2026, while the Tigard Triangle Urban Renewal Area will be in effect until 2053 at the latest.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
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