By: Will Van Vactor
The 2019 Oregon legislators will consider Senate Bill (SB) 2. This proposed law will allow some counties in Eastern Oregon that undertake an economic opportunity analysis to designate up to 50 acres outside urban growth boundaries (UGBs) for industrial and other employment uses. The employment and industrial uses must be the types of uses that reasonably could expect to expand in the county based on a review of trends.
The listed Eastern Oregon counties in SB 2 are Baker County, Gilliam County, Grant County, Lake County, Harney County, Malheur County, Sherman County, Union County, Wallowa County, and Wheeler County. Importantly, if SB 2 passes as currently written, these counties can allow certain employment and industrial uses outside UGBs without having to take an exception statewide planning goals related to agriculture, forest use or urbanization. SB 2 does prohibit these expanded uses on high-value farmland. The proposed law also requires county coordination with State Forester for forest lands.
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