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Population forecast will go before planning commission

The Newberg Planning Commission will consider readopting a population forecast this week, giving Newberg an official estimate of the size of the city at the end of a 20-year period.

Compiled by Portland State University, the population report was completed in 2012 and was previously adopted by the city in conjunction with its amendments focusing on the economic opportunities analysis and expansion of the urban growth boundary to include the south industrial area.

Population forecasts are required of cities in order to accompany the comprehensive plan, which each city adopts to guide planning down the road.

Following longstanding opposition by advocacy groups such as 1000 Friends of Oregon, the city withdrew its UGB amendment application in May, closing out a 10-year process. Because the population forecast was bundled with those amendments, the city now has to readopt the forecast to stay in state compliance.

“Staff is in the process of repealing those ordinances and they are expected to go before city council for repeal in October 2015,” planning staff wrote in a report to the commission.

Up for consideration again, the forecast offers a prediction of what Newberg’s future could look like. The forecast projects Newberg’s population will grow from its 2012 estimate of roughly 23,000 residents to a 2035 population of 38,490.

The nearly 15,500-person increase is estimated to take place through increments ranging from between 1 and 3 percent annually, or growth of between 233 and 793 residents per year.

These are the official estimates that will guide large decisions on future city planning, such as urban growth boundary expansions.

The planning commission will consider adoption of the forecast at 7 p.m. Thursday. It meets at the Newberg Public Safety Building on Third and Howard streets.