The Troutdale City Council on Tuesday, June 12, approved changes that bring the city's development codes in alignment with Title 13, possibly ending years of misunderstandings and stalled negotiations with Metro Regional Government.

Title 13, a section of the Metro's Urban Growth Management Functional Plan, requires cities and counties to adopt policies in their land-use codes that protect water quality and fish and wildlife habitat, such as by requiring mitigation measures when development occurs.

The Metro Council in February voted to pursue enforcement action against Troutdale after the City Council unanimously rejected code amendments that were proposed by city and Metro staff.

City Administrator Craig Ward said the Metro Council still has to approve the changes at a future meeting, but noted the city has received a letter from Metro staff indicating it is now in compliance with Title 13.

Troutdale's new amendments apply to natural areas such as parks, open space, the Sandy River and Beaver Creek as well as the urban renewal area. Ward said the new amendments give some flexibility in the development code that was not there before.

Troutdale and Metro have tangled over the adoption of Title 13 codes for years. Troutdale officials said the city was already in compliance, while Metro staff said it was not and needed to line up with Metro's requirements.

Negotiators from Troutdale and Metro then met and reached an agreement on a March afternoon, ironing out several concerns, before the Metro Council was scheduled to vote on taking enforcement action.

The City Council's unanimous approval of the changes on Tuesday led to applause from the audience.

'This has literally gone on for years: the city of Troutdale back and forth with Metro,' Mayor Jim Kight said after the vote. 'It's wonderful to see this thing put to rest - we hope.'

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