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SHERWOOD, OR-New Development rules in front of the City Council here could drastically limit the development of big box retail stores and fast-food restaurants along Oregon 99W and elsewhere in the city. The proposal is in response to rapid development along 99W and in other parts of the city.

The city is proposing to limit commercial development to accommodating only 43 vehicle trips per acre per hour. By comparison, sources estimate that a G.I. Joe’s store – which is half the size of stores like Target and Home Depot – generates about 58 trips per acre. The new rules would affect all properties in the proposed transportation overlay zone, which covers approximately two-thirds of the city. The rules are meant to slow a development boom that began four years ago with the Sherwood Market Center and an Albertson’s supermarket. A 10-screen Regal Cinemas followed. Currently, a Safeway, a G.I. Joe’s and a Home Depot are under development, and a Target store is in the planning stage.

Proponents say limiting development today will at least delay future traffic problems, if not prevent them altogether. They also argue that under the current system some big boxes could come in and gobble up the remaining road capacity in the next couple of years, leaving little legal room for future commercial developments. Opponents say the plan violates city, Metro and statewide planning goals, and unless the neighboring cities of Tigard, Tualatin and Newberg pass similar plans, Sherwood’s restrictions won’t prevent traffic jams as cars move through the city.

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