What reserves mean for you
Planning and conservation
Regional planning and policy
Urban and rural reserves
› What reserves mean for you
Do you own land outside the urban growth boundary? Do you live in a rural community? Find out how an urban or rural reserve designation affects you.
If you own land outside the current Portland metropolitan area urban growth boundary and it lies within an area that is designated as an urban or rural reserve, the reserves designation itself does not change the legal use of your land. All current land use regulations and zoning remain the same and still apply.
- A rural reserve designation means that your rural land will not be considered for inclusion within the urban growth boundary before 2060. Aside from that, there are no changes. All other current legal uses remain the same. A rural reserve designation does not serve as a basis for a Measure 49 claim because the designation, by itself, does not reduce the current zoning of the property.
- An urban reserve designation means that your land will be among lands around the region that the Metro Council will consider for inclusion within the urban growth boundary through 2060. Metro is required by state law to maintain a 20-year supply of buildable land inside the boundary. Every five years, Metro conducts an inventory of buildable land, forecasts population growth for the next 20 years and, if necessary, expands the urban growth boundary accordingly. Learn more about the urban growth boundary
- Not all land is designated as one reserve or another. If your land is not designated as either an urban or rural reserve, there is no change in its zoning or land use regulations.
What would a rural reserve designation mean for my community?
An urban or rural reserve designation will prevent the metropolitan counties (Clackamas, Washington and Multnomah) from amending land use regulations to allow new uses, smaller lots or parcels than were allowed at the time of the designation. This means that if a rural unincorporated area is designated as a rural reserve, land owners in that community will not have the option to modify zoning to accommodate more growth ("upzone") until after 2060.