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Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Planning for regional growth

At WEA, we work to understand issues that have economic impacts on our community, and then advocate to ensure the voices of our members are heard.

There are few regional processes more important for our economy than the every six-year Urban Growth Report produced by Metro Regional Government.

The report is based on data and modeling that project regional growth for the next 20 years and includes recommendations regarding the designation for housing, employment and industrial lands.

What was laid bare in this last legislative session, as there was quick work to identify opportunities to leverage federal CHIPS and Science Act investments, was a multi-generational under investment in industrial lands that could hold large manufacturing outfits. Indeed, we can look no further than the archives at WEA over the last 25 years to find examples of reports and testimony pleading for the designation of, and investment in, more industrial land.

Manufacturing matters for our economy. Manufacturers provide careers with pathways to the middle class as well as professional class job opportunities. Manufacturing grows our economy as adjacent businesses sprout up throughout the region to support the needs of those plants. They grow our tax base, can spur investments in housing and give back to our community.

When we think about growing our economic ecosystem, manufacturing is a critical anchor to that system. And so, on October 11 we will host a very special Joint Committee meeting in partnership with the Homebuilders Association of Greater Portland and the Portland Metro Association of Realtors.

With senior staff from Metro and two Westside Jurisdictions, we will get insight into the process, data and timeline that will produce this report. The Urban Growth Report is about more than just a Land Use issue. If you care about transportation investments, housing production, the health of our local jurisdictions and the services they provide, then you should care about this report.

We are bringing together our three policy committees for this meeting - as an example of when we need to get outside of our siloes and think holistically about how to grow our region in smart and balanced ways.

Information and registration links are included below.

I hope to see you there.

October: Special Joint Committee Meeting

On Wednesday October 11, during our normal Transportation Committee meeting time, we will be hosting an important Joint Committee meeting. We will have the opportunity to hear from two senior Metro staff about their current Urban Growth Report process as well as from the Cities of Cornelius and Hillsboro.

This meeting is being hosted in partnership with HBA of Greater Portland and Portland Metro Association of Realtors.

This Joint Committee meeting is open only to WEA members and members of our partners. In person space is limited, so sign up today to be a part of this critical regional conversation.

News & Notes

Schnitzer Properties is Announces Olympus Controls will call the New Sherwood Commerce Center Home to its Growing Tech Company

Schnitzer Properties has leased 70,000 square feet of prime industrial space to the automation tech company, Olympus Controls, doubling the footprint of the company’s operation.

Sherwood Commerce Center is a three-building, 445,000 square foot industrial project, located just off Tualatin-Sherwood Road in Sherwood. The project is under construction as a joint development by Schnitzer Properties and Mainlander Investments.

Olympus Controls President, Lanz Fritz, said the decision to move the business to Sherwood Commerce Center is a winning move for the growth of their company, “We are excited about our new headquarters in Sherwood. At twice the size of our current facility, we’ll have the capacity to more than double our business and the number of associates. The location is ideal, with proximity to restaurants, services, and shopping as well as and I-5, I-205 and 99W. Schnitzer Properties and the City of Sherwood have been a pleasure to work with. We look forward to calling Sherwood home.”

Strategically located in the fast-growing Sherwood-Tualatin Submarket, Sherwood Commerce Center provides excellent proximity to nearby businesses and transportation routes. With potentially up to 30 tenants, there is warehouse space for every size business.

“Olympus chose Sherwood Commerce Center because it provides an attractive, modern business park environment in the business-friendly City of Sherwood. A major objective of this project is job creation and economic growth in Sherwood. The Olympus Controls decision to site its new headquarters at Sherwood Commerce Center is a big step toward having tenants who help build diversified employment for the community.” said Jordan Schnitzer, President of Schnitzer Properties.

City of Sherwood Mayor Tim Rosener summed up what this news means to Sherwood, “We are overjoyed that Olympus Controls has chosen the Sherwood Commerce Center as their new home. Their commitment to cutting edge engineering solutions enhances Sherwood’s tech landscape. Their status as one of Oregon’s top employers is a testament to the quality of jobs they bring. This marks a significant stride towards Sherwood’s vision of becoming the region’s tech hub, ensuring growth and prosperity for our community.”

The project, which is moving along at a great pace in its construction, is expected to be completed in Spring of 2024.

Get Involved: DLCD is Seeking Members for an Oregon Housing Needs Analysis Rulemaking Advisory Committee

Governor Kotek signed House Bill 2001 into law this past March. This bill directs Oregon’s Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to adopt rules to implement the Oregon Housing Needs Analysis policy. This policy fundamentally shifts Oregon's approach to housing planning by empowering cities to take actions that increase housing production, affordability, and choice. LCDC initiated a rulemaking process by adopting a charge to guide the work of a Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC) in July.

Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) staff are accepting applications from community members who would like to participate in the rulemaking process. If you are interested in being considered for a position on the RAC please find background materials, a draft rulemaking charter, and the application linked below.

RAC members will meet approximately once a month until final recommendations are made to the department. Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) will support the work of the RAC and meet more frequently (roughly biweekly), for shorter periods of time than the RAC meetings to enable in-depth discussions on technical issues.

Applications must be submitted by noon on Monday, October 2 to be considered.

RAC and TAC Application Form

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