At The Dalles City Council meeting January 25, 2021. The principal subject of discussion was a report detailing the amount of buildable employment lands within the city’s urban growth boundary. Employment lands are defined as those zoned for commercial or industrial use. Matt Hastie of Angelo Planning Group, the company that conducted the study, provided an overview of the study, including this summary on industrial land availability:
“The industrial land supply is really dominated by those large sites that are already owned and planned for development, essentially the Google sites. They make up approximately 127 acres of that 175 acres in the inventory that’s zoned for industrial use.”
He used Google as shorthand for “Google and its subsidiaries.” The parcel that contains the site of the former rodeo grounds is owned by Moraine Industries, a Google subsidiary.
The result is sort of a land use Catch-22. Under state rules, the Google-owned lands can’t be deducted from the official count of the land supply, since they are not developed, even though they are not available for purchase by companies seeking to locate or relocate here.
With those out of the picture, The Dalles has only 48 acres available for industrial development, and a projected 20-year need of between 69 and 101 acres.
Under Oregon land use law, cities are supposed to maintain a 20-year supply of buildable land. Not having that amount of land is a justification for expanding the urban growth boundary. The Planning Commission report to the city suggested that the city accept the report, but not use it to update the city’s comprehensive plan for a couple of years. That way, if Google were to develop some of its properties, the city could demonstrate to the state that there is a real need to expand that urban growth boundary.
You can listen to the presentation by clicking on the grey podcast bar below and follow along with the slides below that: