Tigard, King City and Sherwood will lay project groundwork

by: JAIME VALDEZ - River Terrace, an undeveloped part of Tigard west of Bull Mountain along Southwest Roy Rogers Road was one of a handful of local projects granted community development grant money by Metro, the regional governmentNew money from Metro should boost community planning in Tigard and Sherwood over the next few years.

On Aug. 15, the Metro Council awarded $4.2 million in grants to local cities, including Tigard and Sherwood.

As the Portland-area’s regional government, Metro oversees land-use and transportation planning in Portland and the suburbs, as well as operates the Oregon Zoo.

In total, 20 projects from across the region received funding.

Tigard’s $345,000 grant will be divided between planning near Bull Mountain and in downtown.

The majority of Tigard’s grant — $245,000 — will fund plans to bring infrastructure and public facilities to River Terrace, a little developed part of the city along Southwest Roy Rogers Road.

“The city is both developing and re-developing,” said Community Development Director Kenny Asher. “These awards will help bring long-desired housing to downtown and will accelerate development in River Terrace.”

Downtown, the city will use the funding to help put in mixed-use developments. The city has big plans for downtown and wants to work on pre-development studies for land it owns off of Southwest Ash Street.

Eventually, Asher said, the land will become a housing development. But first, the city will need to conduct flood plain examinations, market studies and determine environmental impact.

“It’s all pre-development work that will allow us to come up with a housing development we will be able to take to market,” Asher said.

The city is also working to bring more mixed-use housing to downtown, with shops on the ground floor and apartment dwellings upstairs.

Leftover grant funds will help purchase an as-yet unnamed portion of downtown to transform into mixed-use housing.

When finished, the projects are expected to deliver the first significant new market-rate residential units in the downtown core, Asher said.

Future growth area

In Sherwood, the city received $221,139 to develop a plan for an area west of town, which will eventually become part of Metro’s urban growth boundary.

Sherwood will also partner with Washington County on a $255,000 grant proposal to prepare industrial sites around town for future development.

The idea of the grants is to help cities get specific parts of town ready for development and to bring in more housing options and jobs to the area, said Ken Ray, senior public affairs coordinator for Metro.

“It is important to support development that is the outgrowth of planning in communities across the region,” Ray said. “The grants help us achieve the plans that the communities have set for themselves and allows us to use limited funds to achieve real results on the ground.”

King City will refine its plans for the King City Town Center shopping area with its $75,000 grant.

Metro also awarded the city of Beaverton $469,397 to help develop South Cooper Mountain, near Scholls Ferry Road and Roy Rogers Road next to River Terrace. The 2,300-acre project will eventually be developed to include several homes and possibly a new high school in the Beaverton School District.

“These grants are a direct way for Metro to help our communities find room for the housing and jobs new residents will need,” said Metro Councilor Bob Stacey, who represents portions of Portland.

Funding for the grants comes from a regional excise tax on construction permits.

This was the third series of community planning grants Metro has distributed since 2006.

The last Metro community planning grants were awarded in 2009.

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