SALEM -- The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission on Friday began a process that will clarify and streamline the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) amendment process.

The LCDC appointed a work group to advise the department and Commission in drafting the proposed rule, and approved a conceptual draft goal and rule.

The current process to establish and amend a UGB is outlined in Statewide Planning Goal 14: Urbanization.

However, the goal doesn't provide a clear and detailed explanation of the process, said Lane Shetterly of Dallas, director of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

Moreover, he said, the language of the goal has not been greatly modified since its adoption in 1973 and does not reflect subsequent interpretations and modifications by LCDC, the legislature and the courts.

"The process of expanding urban growth boundaries has become costly, contentious and hard for cities to understand and apply," said Shetterly.

"This work group will address ways to make the process more straightforward and easier for cities to implement."

The main objective of Goal 14 is to focus urban development inside urban growth boundaries in order to foster the efficient use of land and public facilities and to conserve farm and forest land, he said.

Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s, LCDC "acknowledged" 215 urban growth boundaries encircling all 240 incorporated cities. These UGBs included a few that surround two or more jurisdictions.

By starting with work already completed by previous Goal 14 work groups in 1997 and 2000, Shetterly said, the department hopes to reach a final proposal by November.

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