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Urban Growth Boundary Swap Could Ease Housing Crunch in Roseburg

5:18 PM · Mar 28, 2024

ROSEBURG, Ore. – The City of Roseburg is entering a key phase in a proposed urban growth boundary swap process to bring easier-to-develop land within an area expected to grow over the next 20 years and encourage more housing construction. The current urban growth boundary (UGB) swap proposal would trade two undeveloped properties with severe slopes and significant development constraints for flat residential land in the Charter Oaks area that would be easier to develop for much-needed housing. Urban growth boundaries, which extend outside a city's limits, provide plans for what a community can look like. Moving the 220-acre Charter Oaks property into the urban growth boundary is required before that land could be annexed into Roseburg city limits and then developed. Under state law, all cities must maintain a UGB identifying where city growth may occur within the next 20 years. Properties inside that growth boundary can be served by urban services. The two sections that are proposed to be withdrawn from the UGB are the 91.5-acre Atkinson property and the 198.5-acre Serafin property. "We don't have enough housing," said Roseburg Community Development Department Director Stuart Cowie. "Our largest employers are having challenges with being able to attract and retain employees because there isn't enough housing available. This UGB swap will be one way the City can help tackle that." The City's Community Development Department, which has been working on the UGB swap proposal, is poised to enter a crucial phase that includes a series of meetings designed to inform the public and local leaders about the proposal and to gather feedback on current plans. Planning commissions with the City and County, as well as the Roseburg City Council and Douglas County Board of Commissioners, must consider the proposal and decide whether to support that. The Roseburg Community Development Department is preparing to notify property owners around the three involved sites about the meetings and City webpages where people can find more information and even sign up for email notifications to stay involved throughout the process. Locals also can find more information in the UGB Exchange Proposal application. What is an UGB Swap? UGB Exchange Proposal Application Roseburg's urban growth boundary currently slices through a portion on the edge of the Charter Oaks neighborhood – meaning a small number of Charter Oaks residents live inside the current urban growth boundary, but their properties haven't been annexed into the city yet. The majority of Charter Oaks residents live outside the current boundary. Under this proposal, some would remain outside, while others would be brought within the new boundaries. Notices were mailed out Monday, March 25, to 304 property owners in five areas: Charter Oaks properties inside the UGB but not yet annexed; abutting, or within 300 feet of, the Atkinson Property east of Shantel Street and Daysha Drive to the northwest; abutting, or within 300 feet of, the Serafin Property northeast of the end of Barager Avenue; Charter Oaks residents outside the current UGB property; and Charter Oaks properties outside the UGB that will remain so. The notices invited those property owners to an open house that will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Roseburg Public Library's Ford Room, 1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd. Community Development Department staff will provide more detailed information and answer questions about the proposed swap and how that could impact property owners. All local residents and business owners are invited to participate in the meetings, provide feedback and stay engaged by signing up for email notifications and checking the project webpage for updates. "The objective of the UGB swap is to provide opportunities for housing development," Cowie said. "The UGB swap is a tool that the City can use to be able to meet our 20-year housing projection needs identified in the City's 2019 housing needs analysis." A public hearing will be held at a joint meeting of the City and County planning commissions, tentatively set for Monday, May 6, in Roseburg City Council Chambers. Please note the date could change. No other meetings have been scheduled yet. After the joint meeting, the Roseburg Planning Commission and Douglas County Planning Commission would be expected to make recommendations to the City Council and County Board of Commissioners, respectively. Public hearings by the Roseburg City Council and Douglas County Board of Commissioners would be scheduled after that. The Council and County Board must vote on the proposal. "The city of Roseburg needs housing across the board. Every type of housing is needed," Cowie added. "The decisions that we make regarding where housing can go in the future will impact not only our 20-year planning horizon, but future generations -- well beyond 20 years." Via City of Roseburg