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Urban Planning

Two women with a dog walk down a city street in Eastern OregonAs Oregon's towns and cities grow, land use planning ensures the growth is sensible and sustainable. There are several key components that greatly influence urban development in Oregon.

  • Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs) allow cities to plan for growth and prevent urban sprawl, safeguarding farm and forest lands.
  • Affordable housing initiatives allow more people to call Oregon their home.
  • Economic development analyses help local land use planners set-up their towns and cities for long-term success.
  • Transportation planning allows towns to grow into newly-built roads and pathways without feeling cramped.
  • Public facilities plans ensure people will have the utilities they need for modern life.
  • Recreation planning allows residents and visitors to enjoy Oregon’s beauty.

Each aspect of planning city development helps Oregon grow.

Urban Growth Boundaries and Urban/Rural Reserves

Implementing Goal 14: Urbanization

Goal 14 of the statewide planning program is, "To provide for an orderly and efficient transition from rural to urban land use, to accommodate urban population and urban employment inside urban growth boundaries, to ensure efficient use of land, and to provide for livable communities." See OAR 660-024 to learn more about how UGBs are created and expanded.

Each city in Oregon has an Urban Growth Boundary, or UGB. A UGB is used to designate where a city expects to grow over the next 20 years. Cities may amend their UGB as needed to accommodate city growth. The use of UGB’s, and the review process for UGB expansion, helps to preserve Oregon’s agriculture, forest, and open space, and control the sprawl of each city. See the UGB and Urban/Rural Reserves page for more details.

Economic Development

Implementing Goal 9: Economic Development

Goal 9 of the statewide planning program is, "To provide adequate opportunities throughout the state for a variety of economic activities vital to the health, welfare, and prosperity of Oregon's citizens."

DLCD offers a variety of resources to assist local governments in achieving their economic development planning goals; including local training events, best-practice guidebooks and monographs, online data and resources, and technical assistance grants. We also help planners conduct Economic Opportunities Analyses (EOAs). These reports help cities and counties identify likely industrial and other economic development opportunities and corresponding employment land needs over a 20-year planning period. The results help inform future investors and developers on what industries will best fit the region. See the Economic Development page for more details.

Housing Resources

Implementing Goal 10: Housing

Goal 10 of the statewide planning program is, "To provide for the housing needs of citizens of the state."

Planning to fulfill the housing needs of all Oregonians is more crucial than ever. DLCD encourages cities to provide a sufficient amount of housing that serves Oregonians of all income levels. Take a look at our Housing Resources page to learn more about how planning for housing that serves all Oregonians is vital to the success and growth of Oregon communities.

In 2016, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4079 (HB 4079) which formed a pilot program that aims to help cities build affordable housing. The program will allow two cities to add new housing units on lands currently outside their urban growth boundaries (UGBs) without going through the normal UGB expansion process. See the Affordable Housing Pilot Program page for more information.

Transportation Planning

Implementing Goal 12: Transportation

Goal 12 of the statewide planning program is, "To provide and encourage a safe, convenient and economic transportation system."

A city’s roads and pathways are vital to the community they serve. Transportation plans ensure that communities have a vision to stay ahead of growing transportation needs. The transportation system includes all the different ways people can travel, from walking to driving to flying. Transportation planning coordinates all of these different modes of transportation together in an efficient and sustainable way.

Learn more about transportation planning.

Public Facilities

Implementing Goal 11: Public Facilities & Services

Goal 11 of the statewide planning program is, "To plan and develop a timely, orderly and efficient arrangement of public facilities and services to serve as a framework for urban and rural development." See OAR 660-011 for details on how this is accomplished.

As cities grow, the needs of its utility infrastructure grows along with it. Water pipes, sewers, and roads all need to keep up with the cities they sustain. Public facilities plans make this easier to manage over time. This is why Oregon law (ORS 197.712(2)(e)) requires all cities with over 2,500 people maintain a Public Facilities Plan. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that urban development within a UGB is guided and supported by types and levels of urban facilities and services that are appropriate for the needs and requirements of the community. These public facilities and services are to be provided in a timely, orderly and efficient manner.

DLCD, through the Technical Assistance Grant Program, provides funding to help cities build public facilities plans. See the Grant Information page for more information.

If you would like to see an example of a public facility plan, see the City of Lake Oswego Public Facility Plan, available online.

Recreational Planning

Implementing Goal 8: Recreational Needs

Goal 8 of the statewide planning program is, "To satisfy the recreational needs of the citizens of the state and visitors and, where appropriate, to provide for the siting of necessary recreational facilities including destination resorts."

Citizens and visitors alike travel across the state to enjoy Oregon’s natural beauty. Local, state, and federal agencies all play a role in ensuring they have recreation opportunities, facilities, and areas. Recreational planning and coordination is required of all agencies. They are responsible for developing comprehensive plans that consider the recreational needs of their community. Goal 8 encourages these agencies to use a variety of techniques to ensure that recreational requirements are delivered as planned.

Open Spaces and Historic Sites

Mission Mill Museum in Salem, ORCities and counties use land planning to preserve important historic buildings and sites. The state rule for implementing Statewide Planning Goal 5 (OAR 660-23-0200) requires local planners to identify a wide range of natural resources, and then use public input and other planning tools to protect resources in sensible, sustainable ways. The rule requires local jurisdictions to review applications for demolition or relocation of structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The rule also describes procedures to be followed if a local jurisdiction decides to create local inventories of historic resources and adopt local protections for historic resources that exceed the state minimum. The Oregon State Historic Preservation Office provides guidance and assistance for local governments and individuals interested in historic preservation.

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