Question facing councilors on March 16 is whether 23,000 acres, including undeveloped area in Clackamas County, are sufficient for development in the next 40-50 years.

Metro councilors heard still more testimony about whether Stafford should be open for eventual development, even though the council faces broader questions than the fate of the area bounded by Tualatin, Lake Oswego and West Linn.

The council sought Thursday (March 2) to settle whether Metro has set aside enough land for projected urban growth in the Portland region during the next 40 to 50 years.

The council also has to decide whether those urban reserves — currently 23,031 acres, about a quarter of which are in Stafford — best achieve livable communities and also protect farms, forests and natural features.

The council voted last year, after public hearings and an extended discussion in 2015, to reaffirm its 2011 decision to include Stafford as an urban reserve. Council President Tom Hughes said no changes are contemplated in the map of urban and rural reserves during this pair of hearings.

"But this does not open the way to development now or anytime in the near future," he said.

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