Sep 20, 2009

Troutdalians: Bear Any Burden, Pay Any Price

That's what Troutdale and the other east county cities need to do by fighting Metro's "up, not out" urban growth strategy. Metro's rejection of Troutdale's request to add 775 acres to its urban reserve is just the latest slap in the face to local government control of its own land use decisions. Tom McCall himself would reject Metro's draconian one size fits all urban growth boundary decisions.

Troutdale needs a 50 year supply of land according to state law. But without land for new housing and the anticipated new jobs coming to Troutdale over the next 50 years, Troutdale's future job holders would have no choice but to commute 20 or more miles to their jobs in Troutdale. Sure, Metro would like to force Troutdale to resort to more density via multi-story apartments and condo towers, skinny houses, light rail, the works. But Troutdalians must fight Metro's high density plans for Troutdale.

We value our high quality of life. We value our 30 foot height restrictions. We love our homes on family friendly large lots with big backyards. We know from experience that Metro-mandated high density"mixed use" was a failure in Fairview- its Fairview Village business strip is business ghost town. And it certainly doesn't work in Troutdale. We don't want high density. We don't want crime-ridden light rail and all of the tax abated crackerbox apartments that could be forced on us. We're not Portland. We're not Hillsboro. We're not Gresham. Not that there's anything wrong with those places.

Troutdalians have the right to decide how we want our city to look fifty years from now. Not Metro's new urbanist dreamers. Therefore, (to borrow from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address), let every new urbanist know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of Troutdale's high quality of life.

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