Vote No on the UGB Ordinance for the future of Scappoose
- South County Spotlight - Opinion
Adding another 380 acres of vacant land to Scappoose would do only one thing: it would give control of nearly all future expansion land to one Portland developer for the next 20 years. It brings no jobs; it does not protect or expand the Crown Z walking trail; it is not responsible, gradual or locally controlled growth.
Many of the 576 citizens who signed petitions to put a proposed UGB expansion on the Sept. 20 ballot said they want to retain the small-town, livable atmosphere and grow jobs in a gradual, locally controlled way. This is not 'a small but vocal group' (as one letter said); it's a significant portion of the city's population. If there had been more time, we could have collected hundreds more signatures.
People in Scappoose don't think this expansion is a good idea.
The developer who owns most of the land has hired a Portland PR firm - Gard Communications - and will spend a lot of money in the next few weeks trying to convince you to wreck our town.
The campaign will be long on sound bites and short on facts. So here are some facts:
A lot of vacant industrial land adjacent to the airport is already within the Scappoose UGB. Citizens have already been taxed to develop roads and services to it. It's been sitting empty for years. The argument that no 'Scappoose' money went into that development is nuts: Where does the money for state and federal grants and loans come from? Right, our taxes.
If over the next 20 years something is finally developed, several things will happen. Roads, water, sewer, power and other services will all have to be built. Almost all of the land is in an Enterprise Zone so the owners will pay no property taxes for at least 5 years. By the time any development happens, who knows what additional tax breaks will be given to developers, so there's no telling if they'll ever pay property taxes. If a Portland Police Bureau training center locates there, it'll never pay any taxes - it's government.
The Crown-Z trail will be destroyed. A paved sidewalk a few yards from a three-lane industrial haul road is not the same as the quiet trail we have now. Guess who'll pay for all of this? Right, our taxes.
- Pat Zimmerman, Scappoose