Tigard to expand River Terrace thanks to first-ever ‘Land Swap’

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The River Terrace 2.0 area is expected to accommodate 3,000 to 4,500 new units of housing.
The River Terrace 2.0 area is expected to accommodate 3,000 to 4,500 new units of housing. COURTESY/METRO
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The City of Tigard has become the first city in the metro area to take advantage of a state law by “swapping” a comparable amount of buildable land inside the Urban Growth Boundary with another city to expand its housing inventory.

The River Terrace 2.0 Concept Plan offers opportunities for a wide variety of household types and sizes, along with places to shop, work and recreate – all within walkable, well-connected neighborhoods. COURTESY/CITY OF TIGARD

Tigard based its application, which was approved by the Metro Council on Feb. 2, on its plans for the 500-acre River Terrace 2.0 near Roy Rogers Road between Scholls Ferry and Beef Bend roads, according to Tigard’s Community Development Director Kenny Asher. 

The City of Tigard spent approximately 18 months creating a concept plan for the two urban reserves that are collectively called River Terrace 2.0. 

“That concept plan was the basis for an application to Metro to expand the Urban Growth Boundary under what is called the ‘mid-cycle process,’” Asher said in an email. “Metro, upon reviewing the application, elected to not conduct a mid-cycle UGB expansion process but instead chose to utilize the state law that allows the exchange of areas in and out of the UGB.”

Metro’s process took approximately 16 months, with Asher noting, “Much of that time was spent analyzing lands that had been in the urban growth boundary for over 20 years but had still not developed and did not exhibit potential for development in the near future. The Metro process identified lands in all three counties but ultimately determined that lands in Clackamas County were the best candidates for removal from the UGB.”

He added that most of these lands came from the former city of Damascus that disincorporated after an unsuccessful attempt to adopt a Comprehensive Plan.

The region continues to have a housing shortage, and River Terrace 2.0 is planned to directly address equity, affordability and climate concerns related to new development, according to Asher. He added, “We applaud the Metro Council and staff for figuring out a way to get this done.”

Public input will be sought over the next two years as infrastructure plans are developed, along with a zoning map and new development standards. Housing construction could begin as soon as spring 2026, according to Asher.

The River Terrace 2.0 area is expected to accommodate 3,000 to 4,500 new units of housing. These are in addition to the 6,500 residents moving into River Terrace 1.0, most of which has already been built or is currently in the development pipeline.

“However, these numbers are an ‘apples to oranges’ comparison, as one is estimating households, while the other is estimating total residents,” Asher said.

For more information, please go to tinyurl.com/yc6j8ej3.

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