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Boring challenges county pact

The Boring CPO will talk with a strategic planner about its future


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - POST PHOTO: JIM HART This view of Highway 26 between the cities of Gresham and Sandy illustrates the way Sandy officials would like the highway to remain, hiding any future development near the highway with a buffer of trees 50 feet wide.Boring residents, landowners and business owners: All could be affected by the eventual result of a county agreement with the city of Sandy, said Steve Bates, chairman of the Boring Community Planning Organization.

Next Tuesday, it will be important to many Boring residents to leave election coverage behind for a couple of hours to attend a Boring CPO meeting.

There, they will hear about how the city of Sandy has been granted authority to comment on zoning changes, conditional-use permits, design review and other actions in what is called the Clackanomah Reserves, which includes much of western Boring.

The agreement, signed last year by Clackamas County, Metro and the city of Sandy, creates a buffer zone, 50-feet wide, along the sides of Highway 26, west of Sandy, that requires landowners to plant trees and not use the land for anything.

Over the past few months, several people have disputed those “requirements.” The latest denial is from Dan Chandler, Clackamas County’s strategic policy administrator, who was instrumental in securing the agreement.

Chandler will attend the CPO meeting to explain his understanding of the situation.

But he’ll also have to answer Bates’ first question, which is: Should the city of Sandy have undue influence over Boring and its land-use issues?

Chandler says there are some misunderstandings that he wants to clear up, and the first is that there have been two agreements, but only one is in effect.

“The first agreement affected a lot of people in Boring,” he said, “but that’s been around for 15 years. It potentially covered a pretty large area (from Gresham to Sandy).”

The second agreement, in effect now, Chandler says, affects fewer people — and only under certain conditions.

“The agreement will end up being only suggestions to some future city,” Chandler said. “The people most affected own property with frontage on Highway 26 between Gresham’s urban growth boundary and the Highway 212 interchange.”

But Bates complains about what he interprets as Sandy’s selfish interests.

“The 2011 agreement states that any commercial development in Boring will be away from the Highway,” Bates said.

“Why does Sandy get to have their cake and eat it too? Boring has to abide by what Sandy wanted in the agreement and Boring was not invited to the table to discuss the (words) of this agreement.”

Chandler doesn’t deny the agreement mentions a 50-foot buffer of trees to screen highway travelers from view of development.

He says the thinking that went into the agreement included the possibility that large industry would buy the small properties and combine them into large pieces of land.

“And (in that case) a 50-foot screen (of trees) wouldn’t be such a big deal,” he said. “But I can see how, if you have a small piece of property, you may have some concerns.”

Chandler says he wants to come to Boring to “talk to folks and see if we can amend the agreement or see what we can do to make it better for them.”

The CPO meeting also includes other items of interest to local residents such as other land use issues, a review of the Boring CPO website and information from the fire and water districts, sheriff’s office, park committee and Boring Oregon Foundation.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Boring Fire Department, near Highway 212 in Boring.

For more information, call Bates at 503-663-6271.