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How did you help shape the region's future?

Planning and conservation    Regional planning and policy    urban growth management    Urban and rural reserves    Partner and public input

For two years, county commissioners and Metro councilors consulted with residents and stakeholders across the region as they crafted a system of urban and rural reserves. Learn about that process and read what the people of the region said.

The elected officials representing Metro and Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties have received important advice from residents, advocacy organizations and other elected officials across the region who care deeply about the future of our cities, farms, forests and natural areas. 

On Dec. 16, 2009, the Core 4, in consultation with their respective commissions and council, approved a map of proposed urban reserves, proposed rural reserves and options areas for public review and comment from January 11 to 22, 2010. During that period, the counties and Metro jointly sponsored six public open houses and the Metro Council held four public hearings around the region. And the public responded.

  • More than 850 people attended open houses.
  • More than 237 people signed up to speak at Metro Council public hearings.
  • There were more than 11,000 hits on the online open house web pages.
  • More than 400 people completed all or part of questionnaires at open houses or online.

Generally, across the region respondents expressed their desire to maintain or increase rural reserve areas, not add urban areas or to do so only after developing land that is already inside the urban growth boundary, and protect farmland, forests and natural areas that cannot be replaced once they are gone. View public comment report

Input from Metro Councilors 

On Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009 during a Metro Council work session, Council President David Bragdon and Councilor Carl Hosticka presented to the Metro Council a proposal intended to advance the process of designating urban and rural reserves to a successful conclusion. Their proposal substantially reflected, but did not precisely duplicate, the most recent draft products of the Core 4.

On Thursday, Dec. 10, during their council meeting, Councilors Robert Liberty and Rod Park presented an alternate proposal that reduced the total amount of land proposed for urban reserves and increased land proposed for rural reserves. The Metro Council voted to accept the Bragdon/Hosticka proposal, with minor amendments, to provide direction to Councilor Kathryn Harrington in discussions and negotiations with the Core 4.

Download the Metro Council's proposed map (accepted Dec. 10)
Download the Liberty/Park proposed map
Download the Liberty/Park comparison chart
Download the Core 4 map adopted by Council for public comment (accepted Dec. 17)

Recommendations from the regional Reserves Steering Committee

This committee comprised of representatives from business, agriculture, social advocacy organizations, cities and state agencies met monthly for nearly two years and made their formal recommendations to the Core 4 on Oct. 14, 2009. Find the recommendations from the representatives of these key regional interests who served on the regional Reserves Steering Committee below. Learn more about the steering committee 

Guidance to Metro on Making the Greatest Place

On Sept. 15, 2009, Metro's chief operating officer Michael Jordan released his recommendation to the Metro Council on how the region should manage growth and achieve long term sustainability and prosperity over the next decades. Metro hosted open houses and hearings and online surveys providing residents of the region the opportunity to comment on his recommendation and advise the Metro Council regarding key decisions coming this fall on land use as well as transportation.

Download the recommendation on reserves (5.8M PDF)
Read the additional recommendations and public comments

The Metro Council held public hearings, interviewed stakeholders and invited comments online to find out what residents and stakeholders thought of Metro's growth recommendations, released Sept. 15, 2009. Read a summary of the public comments that focused on urban and rural reserves. Learn what guidance stakeholders gave the council for making long range land use and transportation decisions.

Summary of Making the Greatest Place public comments
Spreadsheet of public comments on reserves

Public comments on county land suitability recommendations 

In April 2009, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties proposed lands suitable for urban or rural reserves. The counties and Metro hosted eight public open houses where people viewed candidate area maps, heard presentations and shared their views with officials. 

Read the summary of public comments on candidate areas
View the spreadsheet of all comments on candidate areas
See county proposals 

What other ways has the public been engaged?

The reserves process was launched in early 2008. The regional Reserves Steering Committee and county advisory committees were established to represent regional and local interests as the counties determined land suitability for either urban or rural uses. Members of the regional and county advisory committees have reached out to their constituents and communities to share information and obtain guidance.

In summer 2008, seven open houses were jointly sponsored by the counties and Metro to share information about this new land designation process and to ask residents to help define the area to study. More than 300 people attended these events.

Metro and the three counties have presented information to civic, business, agriculture, professional and academic organizations. The Oregonian, community news papers, the Capital Press Pacific Northwest agriculture newspaper, commercial television stations, community access cable stations and Oregon Public Broadcasting have provided coverage.

The three county commissions and the Metro Council invited members of the public to share their views at a number of public hearings held from August 2009 through December 2009.

The three counties also maintain reserves web pages and e-mail lists to notify people of decisions and events.

To view PDF files, download free Adobe Reader. To translate PDF files into text to assist visually-impaired users, visit

To view MOV files, download free QuickTime.

Related Documents

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Related Links

2009 recommendations from Metro's chief operating officer

Review recommendations released Sept. 15, 2009, on strategies for a sustainable and prosperous region. Find out how residents responded to the recommendations.

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