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Study Outlines City's Expected Growth

INDEPENDENCE -- A study shows that Independence must add another 332 acres of land in order to accomodate its population in 2030.

INDEPENDENCE -- A study shows that Independence must add another 332 acres of land in order to accomodate its population in 2030.

That's one of the figures included in a report being used by town officials as they update Independence's comprehensive plan and look at a proposed expansion of the urban growth boundary (UGB).

The study, prepared by the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments, forecasts population changes, housing and buildable land needs, and econonmic opportunities in Independence during the next 23 years.

City council was to discuss the analysis during its morning meeting yesterday at press time. Open houses and public hearings on comprehensive plan amendments and UGB issues will take place periodically through February.

The planning commission will review the items during a work session at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.

Actions that the city would take prior to expanding the UGB include adopting minimum residential densities and floor-area ratios for businesses, providing incentives for mixed-use developments and creating provisions that would require developers to include amenities in their projects.

Some of the major findings in the report are as follows:

* Assuming a 2.8 percent average annual growth rate, Independence's population will reach 14,580 by 2030. The city grew by more than 4 percent in 2004 and 2005, according to the Portland State University Center for Population Research.

* Approximately 181 acres are available for residential development in Independence, with 92.4 of those acres inside the city limits and the balance between the city limits and the UGB.

* A buildable land inventory shows the city will need an additional 332 acres to accomodate residential building by 2030. This study didn't include data regarding the airpark at Independence Airport, though a separate analysis would be done in the future.

* The city has 2,788 dwelling units, including rental and residential single- and multi-family units. An additional 2,166 units will be needed by 2030.

* An economic opportunities analysis showed that Independence has an industrial land surplus of about 62 acres, but has a 1.4 acre deficit of commercial land.

To view the report, visit www.ci.independence.or.us and click on the city council agenda packet for Sept. 25.

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