“The Metro regional government is headed without much fuss toward a decision on whether to open more land for development,” said the Oregon Live (OL).
The evaluation of whether to expand the Portland metro’s urban growth boundary, beyond which development is tightly restricted rarely avoids controversy.
“Metro estimates that over the next 30 years, more than 500,000 residents and 279,000 households will be added to the seven-county region, not all of which is within Metro’s boundaries,” said OL.
Elliot Njus, writing for the Oregonian, said that “four proposals would add only about 9,000 homes. That’s too few to have more than a modest effect on the affordability of homes for sale, and their effect on prices for renter-occupied housing will be negligible, the agency said.”
Metro’s forecast suggests the bulk of new homes should be built within the existing urban growth area, on already vacant land or through redevelopment.
Among the proposals on the table, only one of the four includes a mention of the most affordable kind of permeant housing, modern manufactured homes.
Here’s OL’s snippet on that specific project that includes some manufactured homes.
“Beef Bend South (King City)
Buildable acres: 400
Homes planned: 3,300
King City, a formerly age-restricted retirement community built around a golf course, has doubled its population in recent years, reaching 4,800 residents through annexation and new development. Its proposal would potentially double it again, and it would add a new town center on the far west side of the expansion.
The proposal would include a mix single family detached and attached, apartments, condominiums and manufactured homes. The greatest density would be near the new town center on the west end of the expansion area, with less density on the east end.”
Reaction and Analysis
“The Portland Metro Home Builders Association says Metro might be overestimating the development potential of land already in the urban growth area, and it might also be overestimating the demand for multifamily apartments and condos in its forecasts,” said Njus.
But the Portland area’s builders’ association routinely favors opening more land for development, and supports the four proposed expansions.
It doesn’t take a calculator and experts to realize that of the reported 279,000 anticipated households, if only 9,000 new housing units are built, then an additional quarter million unit shortage (+/-) would exist.
This goes to the heart of the upshot of the research by economists Chang-Tai Hsieh and Enrico Moretti.
Overregulation is not limited to the federal government, it can be found at the state and local level of governments too, as this development plan out of Portland reflects.
The report linked above addresses in more detail the causes and cures for this type of challenge, which is national in scope. “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## (News, analysis and commentary.)
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