Columbia River Gorge Commission Limits Cities Growth

Citizens of towns located in the Columbia River Gorge better get used to the size they are, because they won’t be getting bigger anytime soon. In a two-day meeting of the Columbia River Gorge Commission that concluded yesterday, a series of narrow votes resulted in a set of new regulations that make it virtually impossible for towns to expand their urban area boundaries, and if they somehow manage to jump through all the new regulatory hoops, they are limited to 20 acres at a time and a maximum total of 50 acres forever. This is despite testimony from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, the agency in charge of planning for the whole state of Oregon, that “this policy is disproportionately burdensome on gorge communities on the south side of the river.”