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'Witch Hazel South' could support as many as 850 new homes, if Metro agrees to expand its UGB.

(Image is Clickable Link)                                The city of Hillsboro is hoping to develop 150 acres of the land south of the city in order to meet an ever-growing demand for new homes.

The city is asking Metro to add the area to its Urban Growth Boundary, which dictates were, and how much, developers can build.

The area, known as Witch Hazel Village South by city officials, wouldn't be built for another five to six years, but when finished would support about 850 new homes, including single-family houses, apartments and duplexes.

The land is located along River Road between Southeast Oakhurst Street and Rosa Road.

The city is already developing 1,400 acres in nearby South Hillsboro along Tualatin Valley Highway. The largest development in state history, the area will be home to 8,000 new homes and 20,000 residents by the time it wraps up construction in 2036.

But Hillsboro city officials say that isn't enough. Even with South Hillsboro, the city expects to be 1,300 homes short of forecasted demand by 2038.

More and more jobs are coming to Hillsboro, which has driven the need for more housing in the city, according to Laura Weigel, Hillsboro's long-range planning manager.

The $45 million development would be paid largely by developers.

"We wanted to make sure that existing residents aren't paying for new infrastructure," Weigel told Metro News, the agency's in-house news service. "We need to have developers bear the costs."

Metro is expected to decide later this year whether or not to expand the UGB. The UGB is meant to handle growth over the next 20 years.

"We understand from the time that you get it into the UGB to when you actually see houses on the ground, sometimes it can take a while," Weigel said in a Metro news article. "We know that we're growing and we're going to have this deficit. We wanted to get planning sooner rather than later."

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