The urban growth boundary and the Metro jurisdictional boundary are not the same line. Some areas are inside the urban growth boundary but outside the Metro boundary, and some areas are inside the Metro boundary but outside the urban growth boundary.
Although both boundaries were originally created in the 1970s, they were drawn by two different entities for two different purposes:
People who live inside the urban growth boundary, but outside the Metro legal boundary are not subject to any Metro taxes or regulation. They are also not represented on the Metro Council, nor can they vote in Metro elections, as only registered voters who live inside the Metro legal boundary are allowed to vote in Metro elections.
State law charges Metro with the authority to manage the urban growth boundary. Metro is responsible for maintaining sufficient inventory of available buildable land inside the urban growth boundary, which may necessitate expansions of the boundary.
Although the Metro Council has authority to make regulations, provide services and exercise tax authority only inside the Metro legal boundary, state law gives Metro jurisdiction over urban growth boundary decisions, even if the land brought in is outside Metro's legal boundary. Such areas are referred to as "transition zones." Urbanization may not occur until after the property is annexed to the Metro boundary, which requires the consent of at least a majority of the voters in the area that is annexed. Annexations do not need to include the entire area at one time.
The same applies to cities and counties in other parts of the state. In central Oregon, for instance, the urban growth boundary around the Bend area is not the same boundary as the Bend city limits. The City of Bend and Deschutes County are required by state law to make urban growth boundary decisions, even where the boundary may extend beyond city or county lines.
The Metro Council can vote to bring an area into the Metro boundary if petitioned by residents of that area with a request of consent annexation. Consent annexation petitions require either 100 percent of voters or 50 percent of the voters and the owners of 50 percent of the property.
Once annexed, residents may vote in Metro elections and would be subject to Metro regulations and taxes.
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