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Metro editorial missed mark, Duyck says

I don’t know who wrote the editorial piece “Metro’s UGB plan is a wise approach” (News-Times, Sept. 23, and Hillsboro Tribune, Sept. 25), but whoever it was didn’t know what happened at the Metro Policy Advisory Committee (MPAC).

First of all, I agree with the title of the editorial. Metro’s UGB plan IS a wise approach. But that is not what was under consideration that night. MPAC was to consider and make recommendations on the Urban Growth Report (UGR), which was terribly flawed. With the exception of Portland’s Mayor Hales, the region’s mayors agreed with this and went so far as to put it in a letter to MPAC.

Where was that information in the editorial? If they did not ultimately vote against the recommendation, it was likely because they knew it wouldn’t result in a change to the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) anyway. I agree with that, and I explicitly said during that meeting that I was NOT asking for an expansion of the UGB. I think the writer owes me an apology for saying otherwise by writing “(Duyck and Willey) ... disagreed with the Metro recommendation to wait several more years ...”

Yes, I am incensed that the editorial completely mischaracterized my comments and concerns. It would have done the public a better service if it had pointed out that the UGR predicts that the city of Portland will construct more than 6,000 new housing units every year over the next 20. This is a number that has never been achieved once, even in the best of years, yet it remains in the report.

The report also relies on a belief that we no longer want to live in houses. It projects that most future residents will live in apartments. This may or may not be true, but to base decisions on this belief while the current trends tell a different story is a way of forcing future generations to live without that housing choice.

In short, the message was that the report was flawed terribly. It had nothing to do with asking for an expansion of the UGB. I would expect better from the News-Times and Hillsboro Tribune.

Andy Duyck

Chairman

Washington County Board

of Commissioners