ORE. (Jan. 8, 2014) – Port Withdraws West Hayden Island Annexation Proposal
Mitigation requirements proposed were not proportionate to development impacts, effectively pricing the land out of the market.
lengthy and complex process to annex West Hayden Island for a future marine
terminal, habitat preservation and recreational amenities came to an end this
morning when the Port briefed its Commission and informed Portland Mayor
Charlie Hales that it is formally withdrawing its consent to annex the property
into the City of Portland.
terms under which annexation has been proposed by the City would simply render
a future development on the property impossible,” said Bill Wyatt, executive
director for the Port of Portland. “We understand from the Mayor that Portland
City Council is unwilling to take action to modify these proposals at this
time, so we cannot justify the investment of more time and money into the
Port owns more than 800 acres of property on the island that is currently part
of unincorporated Multnomah County and lacks the appropriate zoning and City
services needed for marine terminal development. Starting in 2009, the Port
began a process at the request of then City Commissioner Sam Adams to pursue
annexation. A proposal emerged through a series of studies, meetings and
hearings that would have preserved 500 acres as open space and 300 acres for
future marine industrial development.
the City’s Planning and Sustainability Commission recommended annexing the
property in July 2013, the recommendation included new forms of mitigation not
required of any other developer and at a level not required for any other
project and beyond actual impacts. With an estimated $30 - $40 million in added
costs, this would have priced the developable land at double the cost of
industrial land in the region, while still lacking appropriate zoning to ensure
that future development could actually occur. Without willingness by the City
to amend these terms, annexation proved impractical for the Port to proceed.
is a disappointing and unfortunate outcome on several levels including lost
economic opportunity for our region, implications for current and future land
use planning, and lost social and environmental benefits,” said Wyatt. “Despite
this action, I believe that West Hayden Island remains viable for the future as
an ideal place to grow the city’s tax base and family jobs while providing
space for public recreation and wildlife habitat.”
Port is currently reassessing short and long term future plans for West Hayden
Island, and does not count out future annexation and development prospects.
With an industrial land shortage of more than 600 acres, Portland will face challenges
in meeting goals and requirements of regional land use planning processes. More
importantly, it may not be able to attract the kinds of jobs and private
investment that West Hayden Island and its 300 developable acres could
accommodate. Nearly $1 billion of maritime investment has been made on the
Columbia in recent years.