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Oregon City effort launches South End planning

Anyone interested in helping Oregon City develop a plan for the future of the South End area can participate in community meetings and provide feedback online for a regional government-sponsored analysis of potential development and annexation into city limits.

Metro’s urban growth boundary expanded in 2002 to incorporate approximately 188 acres of land within the area. An additional 290 acres adjacent to this area was added to the boundary prior to 2002 and has not been annexed into the city. The South End Concept Plan Area is about 611 acres in size, nearly 505 acres of which are outside Oregon City’s boundaries.

Residents, businesspeople in South End and others with ties to the area are encouraged to engage in this planning effort. Planners believe that the more community members who engage, the better the plans will be.

Pete Walter, project manager for the city of Oregon City, called the effort “an important opportunity to shape the future of our community” and urged everyone to voice their goals and priorities.

A survey will be available on the project’s website, southendconceptplan.org, until Friday, Dec. 7, to ask people what they think of the area and what they would change about it.

Initial conversations between project leaders and community members have frequently turned to the “quiet, livable, rural character” of South End that many people would like to maintain.

“We also get people who say that there’s not a lot to do down here, and they’d like to see more community gathering spaces and small-scale commercial areas,” Walter said.

Walter is also sensitive to ongoing local concerns about traffic and housing prices.

Oregon City will hold a public meeting on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at McLoughlin Elementary School, 19230 South End Road. Staff will provide a short overview at 6:15 p.m. to help inspire discussion. Refreshments will be provided, and all ages are welcome.

Public meetings also will be scheduled in February, March and April.

Also on Dec. 13, Oregon City will launch an interactive community forum online for people who are unable to attend the meeting in person. An interactive map, on which people can mark their thoughts about the area, will be accessible at southend conceptplan.org.

In this early phase of the project, the city and its Community Advisory Team for the South End plan hope to identify what people like about the area and understand what is important to consider for future generations.

“At this point in the process, we’re trying to do a lot of listening to hear what people think of the South End, which will be the foundation of the plan,” said Steve Faust, a consultant for the city at Cogan Owens Cogan. “Some people might want a coffee shop or a park or a ball field, and those elements could be incorporated into a draft plan.”

Walter said that the information would have a variety of uses. His priority is to understand why people live in the South End neighborhood to help bind people’s values in drafting potential plans. A 74-page draft evaluation of South End excising conditions will help determine next steps.

“Those core values act as a guide for evaluating plan alternatives,” he said. “That will develop trust, transparency and a way to verify that the plans eventually match up with people’s goals for the area.”

Participants in both the public meetings and the interactive forum will have the opportunity to comment on maps and give guidance on issues ranging from community character to transportation and housing. Background and other project information is available on the project website. It also includes a short video and survey where people can provide input to help guide the community planning effort.

For more information, or to schedule a discussion, contact Walter, 503-496-1568; by email, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



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