Will density constrain development in Basalt Creek?
When Wilsonville staff presented an initial draft of the Basalt Creek Concept Plan during a work session Monday, June 18, Wilsonville councilors, particularly Mayor Tim Knapp, expressed uneasiness about the clash between development in Tualatin and development in Wilsonville and the finite number of trips that will be possible in the nascent region.
Basalt Creek is an 847-acre parcel in Washington County which was added to the urban growth boundary in 2004 and is shared by Wilsonville and Tualatin. Wilsonville plans to use the area for industrial development while Tualatin will use it for residential and industrial development. Knapp is concerned about Tualatin bringing in more density than initial projections, potentially limiting Wilsonville's development opportunities due to transportation requirements that are based on density levels.
"In year eight we get a proposal and it looks like an attractive employer," he said. "We go in there and look at it: 'Oh we're really going to be short of trips here. Do we really want to go forward?'"
Another concerning factor, according to Knapp and Council President Scott Starr, is that Tualatin's residential development will likely be completed faster than Wilsonville's industrial development, thus potentially hampering the City's flexibility. Wilsonville and Tualatin are both currently developing concept plans for the area, will eventually need to annex land and development could be a few years away.
"My concern with kind of what the mayor said, is this seems like the variance is built in for Tualatin but not really built in for us. We could be left short by the end of the process," Starr said.
Wilsonville Project Manager Mirana Bateschell said staff made density projections based on land uses and the number of trips that are associated with those land uses. She also said Wilsonville's projection modeling is the same as the modeling used throughout the Portland metro area.
"I would argue that, though we don't specifically say the words: 'Here's the finite number of trips,' that is essentially what we've done by producing the land uses that we have produced with the trips that we have," Bateschell said.
But Starr said density projections can be unpredictable.
"We have apartments now that had some kind of zoning effort 20 years ago and there might be almost two times the amount of drivers that live in them now just because of how housing has changed and how many more drivers there are now," he said.
Knapp also brought up the West Railroad area, which is to the west of Basalt Creek and was excluded from the planning area due to constraints such as its wetland habitat. It could eventually be developed, thus increasing density and transportation requirements. However, Bateschell said the density impact of West Railroad development would likely be mini-mal.
Wilsonville City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said the City could track Tualatin's developments over the next few decades to see if density in its side of Basalt Creek is larger or smaller than initial projections. If Tualatin is fostering more density than Wilsonville is comfortable with, the two cities could go back to the bargaining table.
"We have to trust they're going to build to their development code just like they are. Now if they try to intensify their zoning somehow ... we could be a party to that," Cosgrove said.
The Wilsonville Planning Commission will consider the Basalt Creek Concept Plan July 11 and a public hearing for the plan will be Aug. 6.
Wilsonville City Council approved the budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year at Monday's council meeting. The budget totals $185 million including $37.75 million for the general fund, $21 million for the water operating fund, $21 million for the sewer operating fund, $32.2 million for capital improvement projects, $6.7 million for the community development fund and $9.57 million for the transportation fund.
Part of the general fund money could be used as a loan to the urban renewal agency for capital improvement projects like the Tooze Road improvement project, Garden Acres Road improvements and for a new financial software system.
Both the community development fund and the transit fund are projected to operate at a budget deficit for the 2018-19 year, which the City said is due to a lag in engineering permits and bus fleet and other transportation investments respectively.
Some capital improvement funds include $4.1 for sewer utility projects, $4.7 million for park improvements and $13.4 million for street improvements.
Property taxes increased by 7 percent from 2017-18 to 2018-19, system development fees diminished by 41 percent and interest earnings increased by 71 percent.
For more information on the budget, visit the City of Wilsonville website at www.ci.wilsonville.or.us/.
Wilsonville contributes to Community Sharing
The City of Wilsonville approved a $50,000 donation to the nonprofit organization Wilsonville Community Sharing, which connects disadvantaged Wilsonville citizens to organizations that provide hous-ing assistance, food and other needs. $34,000 will go to-ward general costs while $16,000 will go toward utility costs.