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PORTLAND-Metro, the regional government for the Greater Portland area, expanded the urban-growth boundary late last week, adding several hundred acres as industrial land to help meet the region’s employment needs. The additions include 550 acres on the edge of the boundary in Hillsboro’s high-tech corridor and 65 acres north of Cornelius.

Metro is required by state law to provide a 20-year supply of land within the urban growth boundary for residential, commercial and industrial uses. The supply is reviewed every five years.

In 2002, the most recent review, the Metro Council forecasted a need for an additional 38,700 residential units, 140 acres of commercial land and 4,285 acres of industrial land. That December, it added 18,638 acres of land to the urban growth boundary, leaving a portion of the industrial requirement unmet.

Metro was required to provide for that shortage by mid-2004 and did, rezoning several parcels already within the UGB and bringing in another 1,956 acres. This summer, however, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission remanded part of the addition to Metro with instructions to consider further expansion of the boundary for industrial use, in part to compensate for lands that will be eaten up by roads and other infrastructure.

In Cornelius, where city officials have asked for more industrial land to reduce the city’s high commute rate, Metro councilors added 65 acres. About three times that amount had previously been approved. In Hillsboro, the expansion was about 220 acres more than recommended by Metro’s chief operating officer.

The Hillsboro expansion took in land west of the Shute Road exit from Highway 26 that abuts land Metro brought into the UGB in 2002. The additions include the southwest quadrant of the interchange area and a much larger chunk bounded on the south and west by Northwest Evergreen Road and Northwest 273rd Avenue, respectively. Industry sources tell GlobeSt.com that interest is being shown in the earlier UGB addition and a piece of it may soon trade hands.

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