Project Area Description
The project area description following is exceprted from the Request for Proposals (3/02/2012). This, and other project documents, can be found on the Documents page.
In 2002, the Metropolitan Service District ("Metro") amended the Metro urban growth boundary ("UGB") to incorporate land within the South End Area of Oregon City identified as portions of area 32 by adopting Metro Ord No. 02-969B, bringing approximately 188 new acres of land into the urban growth boundary for Oregon City. In addition, the project area includes approximately 290 acres of land that in the UGB prior to 2002 that are not yet annexed into the city.
The South End Concept Plan project area is located in the southwest corner of Oregon City, south of Rose Road and on both sides east and west of South End Road. It is a predominantly residential area of low density single family homes, with a mix of larger lot of county subdivisions and newly developed city subdivisions.
Study Area Parcel Information
Total # tax lots: 347
Total acres: 478 acres
FU-10 designation: 188 acres (58 taxlots)
LR designation: 290 acres (289 taxlots)
Minimum tax lot size: 0.01 acres
Maximum tax lot size: 20.53 acres
Average tax lot size: 1.38 acres
The natural topography of the area is flat to rolling with a moderate north-east aspect, with an absence of the steep ravines. South and west of area, outside the UGB, the topography drops away steeply into the Beavercreek / Clackamas River drainage, effectively creating a natural bench / abutment at the city’s edge. The Canemah Bluffs natural area, a regionally significant Metro open space priority acquisition area, abuts the project area to the west.
Within the project area are several designated wetlands, three perennial streams, areas of upland native vegetation, some active wildlife corridors, and open spaces.
Historically, South End Road was an historic market road that connected Canby and surrounding communities to Oregon City and points beyond.
Land Use and Zoning
As the official long-range planning guide for land-use development in the city by type, density and location, the Oregon City Comprehensive Plan and Land-Use Map applies to areas within the UGB. The land-use categories within the Study Area include the following:
Low Density Residential (LR): primarily single-family detached homes.
Public and Quasi-Public (QP): Publicly-owned lands other than city parks, such as schools, cemeteries, undeveloped lands, open space, government buildings and public utility facilities, such as the sewage treatment plant and water reservoirs.
Future Urban Holding (FU): Undesignated, pending development and approval of a "concept plan," a Metro requirement that cities plan land uses in areas being converted from rural to urban uses.
Until annexation occurs, the UGB portions of the study area include the following current Clackamas County zoning designations.
- Future Urbanizable (FU-10) 10 Acre District
Transportation connections between the project area and the rest of the city remain a major challenge. South End Road provides the primary arterial road connection between the South End area to 99-E and points north. Connections to the east from South End Road can be made to Highway 213 / Beavercreek Road via Warner Parrott Road / Warner Milne Road or by zigzagging eastward on local roads Parrish / Central Point / McCord / Leland / Meyers Road, though the latter is circuitous. North of the intersection with Warner Parrott Road, South End Road descends the Canemah bluff area to the level of the Willamette River. The existing topography in this area has resulted in severe traffic constraints for South End Road, which is steep, narrow and constrained by the bluff, with weight / freight limits.
Existing rural roads have sight distance problems, little or no sidewalks, and in some areas have posted speed limits that are incompatible with the new urban development within city limits.
The topographic constraints presented by the Canemah Bluffs area precludes a secondary westerly connection from the project area to 99-E.
Additionally, development of the UGB expansion area will further impact the following priority intersections identified in the City’s 2004 Transportation System Plan (TSP), which is currently under review:
Warner Parrott / Linn Avenue / Central Point / Leland / Warner Milne
S. 2nd Street and McLoughlin Blvd / 99E
South End Road / Warner Parrott Road
Healthy Community Design
The existing low density single family detached, auto oriented development patterns throughout the study area have both a direct and indirect impact on resident’s ability to make healthy transportation and lifestyle choices. Residents typically drive long distances (2-3 miles) for the majority of daily tasks and to obtain basic goods and services, including shopping, commuting to work, school and after school activities, rather than walking, biking or taking the bus.
The South End Road Concept Plan will identify opportunities and locations to improve the physical health and well-being of the South End community through the addition of quality development, neighborhood scale commercial nodes, trails, sidewalks, parks and recreational open space areas.
The project area includes John McLoughlin Elementary school which will be an important location within the Concept Plan area from a land use and transportation perspective. Parents, staff and students from the school will be invited to actively participate in the concept planning process and meetings may be held at the school as well. The elementary school is part of the Oregon City School District and has a current enrollment of 555 students. The schools that serve the project area currently are John McLoughlin Elementary, Gardiner Middle School and Oregon City High School.
Parks and Open Space
The consultant shall identify the general area and size of future park locations to serve the concept plan area. Identification of park and open space areas will take into account the presence of several large utility easements that affect the concept plan area, presence of natural features and water resources, quality of the open space and projected master planning and maintenance of parks with input from the city parks manager.
Additionally, there is a need to explore opportunities for local access to the Canemah Bluff Natural Area, a metro open space acquisition that currently includes 271 acres and within which Metro is currently implementing a natural resource conservation and site management plan (www.oregonmetro.gov/naturalareas).
There are several churches just within the city limits located on South End Road. Two of the largest are Oregon City United Methodist Church at 18955 South End Road and Oregon City Christian Church at 1179 South End Road. While neither of these churches is within the project area, their congregations are actively involved in the community and some of their members either live within the project area or would be affected by the Concept Plan.
Within the project area, institutional land uses include the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall at 19872 South End Road and McLoughlin Elementary at 19230 South End Road.
The concept plan will enable trail users to connect to most destinations on a variety of trails; from earthen walking trails to sidewalks and bicycle lanes to paved shared use paths. This hierarchical system of trails will also give community members a wide variety of trail options throughout the city and to other parts of the metropolitan region for travel to work, shopping and recreational facilities.
The availability of bicycle trails and pedestrian trails is linked to the overall healthy design of the community mentioned above.
The Oregon City Trails Master Plan (2004) is an adopted ancillary document to the Oregon City Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan calls for the development of a hierarchical trail system that integrates regional trails, community trails and local trails in a series of loops. Within and adjacent to the South End area, the conceptual locations of 4 trails and 2 trailheads are shown; the trails are referred to as L-27 – BPA Powerline Trail, L-29 – Canemah Bluff Trail, L-31 – Finnegan’s Trail and L-32 – Parkland Trail
There is an existing trail head at McLoughlin Elementary and a proposed trail head to the north just above the Canemah Bluffs area. As part of the Concept Plan, a more detailed trails plan shall be developed to show both existing and recommended trails and accessways. The connections and trails will be in desirable locations and routes that are subject to redevelopment and/or subdivision of private property. The actual trail locations may change through further study and design.
The study area encompasses some subdivisions within the existing city limits in addition to the UGB areas. These incorporated areas of the study area include the following Oregon City zoning:
Today, the South End area of the city is a community that suffers from a severe lack of parklands, an existing transportation network that was planned for lower density county development, and many under developed parcels.
Also, the suburban residential development pattern of the area combined with historical resistance to commercial rezoning of any kind has resulted in a lack of amenities and neighborhood centers, where residents must rely on the automobile for daily errands.
The South End Concept Plan will play a key roll in engaging the broadest possible segment of the South End community in identifying the location, scale and type of land use mix the community desires to ensure that the South End Area provides a choice of housing types as well as appropriately scaled commercial development in key locations.
As the northern area of Oregon City urbanized, the South End area has remained predominantly rural and low density residential; however the area has progressively infilled as property owners continue to sell and subdivide the existing large parcels of land.