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Donald adds 87.6 acres to city limits to meet local employeers needs for worker housing

The Marion County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the City of Donald's proposed urban growth boundary expansion during a public hearing Sept. 5.

The city needs room to build more housing for its labor force and annexed 87.6 acres of land for residential development and inclusion in the UGB this June. Now Donald has been given the go ahead by the Board of Commissioners to include that land in the city's UGB.

Donald Mayor Rick Olmstead represented the city during the hearing, and said the expansion would meet the city's growing need for worker housing.

"For many years we've been hearing from businesses saying 'We wish there were more houses available for our workers in Donald,'" Olmstead said.

The city is home to several manufacturers and contractors, such as GK Machine, Bear Electric and Sutherland Development, that have struggled to attract and keep employees because the city does not have available housing. The Hazelnut Growers of Oregon also recently opened a new hazelnut processing facility in Donald with positions for 55 employees.

"We attract workers, they have to commute from long distances and after a while it becomes a burden on them and they seek employment in other areas," Olmstead said.

The city performed a buildable land inventory and a housing-needs analysis in 2014, which determined Donald has a deficit of 76.7 acres within the UGB to provide for its 20-year projected housing needs. The housing-needs analysis estimated that the city will need 771 single-family residences by 2034, but only has 384 now, and will need 85 multi-family residences but has only seven now. Donald's population is forecast to grow to more than 2,000 residents by 2034.

Marion County Senior Planner Brandon Reich praised the city for involving property owners in the UGB expansion process.

"The process was successful in that property owners were involved, and asked about their willingness to be involved and expand their UGB," Reich said. "The city did a very thorough, very accurate job, I believe."

Patrick Evans

Reporter

503-765-1195

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