Port Withdraws West Hayden Island Annexation Proposal

by thomaj 1/9/2014 5:47 PM

A lengthy and complex process to annex West Hayden Island for a future marine terminal, habitat preservation and recreational amenities came to an end on the morning of January 8, when the Port briefed its Commission and informed Portland Mayor Charlie Hales that it would formally withdraw its consent to annex the property into the City of Portland.

“The 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 process.”

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. 

While 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. 

“This 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.” 

The 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. 


Portland City Council to hold first work session on West Hayden Island annexation

by thomaj 10/9/2013 10:44 AM

A work session has been set for Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. at Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers to discuss the plan. The work session is open to the public but no public testimony will be taken.

In July, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted (7-3) in favor of annexing West Hayden Island into the City of Portland, signaling their support of a mix of uses for this important regional asset. Over the past several months, Port staff has reviewed the proposal and continued working with City staff on specific zoning to enable future job creation on the site.

It is still the Port’s hope, as it has been all along, to be able to market 300 acres of the property for future development, while setting aside 500 acres for habitat restoration and recreation purposes. This will provide the City with new recreation and habitat resources while creating opportunities to retain and expand maritime trade capabilities and grow living wage jobs in our region.

As outlined in a letter sent to Mayor Hales yesterday, at $12 per square foot, the current proposal is nearly double the current market value of industrial land in our region. Further, the recommendations do not provide a zoning scheme which gives any assurance that the property could actually be developed once it is annexed.

The Port believes that West Hayden Island provides the City with an opportunity to capitalize on investments in the Columbia River channel, sustain a robust maritime trade business, grow jobs and bolster Portland’s export strengths--- all while meeting the city’s need/requirements for industrial land and providing its citizens with the largest single open space in North Portland - comparable in size to Powell Butte, or Washington Park, the zoo and Hoyt Arboretum combined.

To that end, the Port has proposed a mitigation package that addresses reasonable City mitigation requirements over and above state and federal requirements, as long as they are proportional to the impact from development. Careful analysis has determined that the maximum site prep and mitigation cost for a viable marine terminal should be $8.50 per square foot (totaling $43 million in mitigation funds) plus grant funding for improvements to N. Hayden Drive and recreational trails. This is a far more balanced and financially possible development package and could be achieved by modifying the PSC’s proposal.

Related Link:
West Hayden Island


West Hayden Island: Our Proposal to the Community

by thomaj 11/14/2012 4:25 PM


Now, after more than two years of work by a citizen and stakeholder committee, the City’s annexation proposal is under review and City Council is expected to take action on it later this year. A City Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, November 15, starting at 5:30 p.m.

In order to build understanding about the proposal for the island, the Port has produced the short, three-minute video posted above. It highlights key elements of the proposal including many community benefits that will only be realized through annexation and development.

Portland's upcoming decision regarding the annexation of West Hayden Island is critical to our region's ability to grow jobs within the existing urban growth boundary and within our city. You are encouraged to attend one of several upcoming key public meetings to learn more and perhaps express your opinion on the topic.

Planning & Sustainability Commission
 Hearing – November 15, 5:30 p.m., Portland Building, 2nd Floor (1120 SW 5th Ave.)
 Work session – November 27

Portland City Council
 December 2012
 Briefing and Hearing dates TBD

Related Links:

West Hayden Island Web Page

West Hayden Island Proposal Document

Port of Portland Calendar of Events



In July of 2010, after more than a year of work by a community advisory group, Portland City Council passed a resolution seeking a plan for annexation of 800 acres of West Hayden Island. The plan sets aside 500 acres for wildlife habitat, restoration and recreation and the remaining 300 acres for future development of a marine terminal.

Decision Coming for West Hayden Island Annexation

by thomaj 5/9/2012 1:08 PM

Over the next four months, the City of Portland is expected to determine whether West Hayden Island will be annexed into city boundaries. The property is currently part of unincorporated Multnomah County and annexation is necessary to facilitate future development. Metro brought WHI into the region's Urban Growth Boundary in 1983 to fulfill a marine industrial land need, and the Port purchased the property from Portland General Electric in 1994 for future marine industrial use.

In July 2010, City Council directed city staff to develop a land use plan that considers no more than 300 acres for marine terminal development and at least 500 acres for open space. A public process convened by the City of Portland continues to explore annexation and creation of a long-range land use plan for the entire 800 acres.

The Port introduced concept plans last September to demonstrate how the 800-acre property could accommodate 300 acres of industrial marine development and 500 acres of open space for natural resources and recreation. The plans were broad and conceptual – if annexation does occur, any future development would reflect the needs of the market at that time and a separate environmental process would be required.

The last of four of the 14 studies required by city council for the annexation process have been completed. Technical comments have been provided and final reports will be made available over the next month. Next steps include a conceptual mitigation plan with a cost-benefit analysis that considers the impacts of development and restoration opportunities. Zoning language will determine the types of uses allowed and accompanying design standards. The beginning of a mitigation strategy will consider natural resources, traffic and the needs of the community.

The next WHI Advisory Committee Meeting will take place on May 18, from 9 a.m. to noon, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Room 7a. The first hearing before the City of Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission is expected in July before the plan is taken before the Portland City Council in September.

Key Dates:

May 18 – WHI Advisory committee meeting - review of agreements, public comment
June 11, 13 – Open Houses
June 15 – WHI Advisory committee meeting - review of code and agreements, public comment
July 24 – Planning and Sustainability Commission
July/August – Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing
September/October – City Council hearing(s)/action

West Hayden Island Advisory Committee:

Susan Barnes, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Andrew Colas, Colas Construction/ NAMCO
Andy Cotugno, Metro
Pam Ferguson, Hayden Island Livability Project/Hayden Island Resident
Don Hanson, OTAK/Planning and Sustainability Commission
Chris Hathaway, Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership
Rich Gunderson, Portland Parks & Recreation, City of Portland
Brian Owendoff, Portland Business Alliance/Real Estate
Sam Ruda, Port of Portland
Bob Salinger, Audubon Portland
Bob Tackett, NW Oregon Labor Council
Victor Viets, HiNOON

For more information, see videos and additional resources available on the Port's website.

Related Link:
West Hayden Island

Navigation Project Removing Hazard, Improving Safety

by Administrator 9/19/2011 5:27 PM

A long-planned Army Corps of Engineers’ project to dredge a segment of the Willamette River gets under way soon. Later this month, the Corps will begin dredging sand and sediment that have accumulated in an area of the river called Post Office Bar. Located about two miles south of the Willamette’s confluence with the Columbia River, Post Office Bar is a tricky navigation point for river pilots, and the accumulated sediment on the river bottom is a navigation hazard.


Dredging is scheduled to last no more than 31 days and will take place while fish are least likely to be migrating through the river. Dredged sand and sediment will be placed at the Port’s West Hayden Island dredge material placement facility. This 105-acre site on the north side of the island was developed to manage dredge material long-term. It’s protected by berms, and material is placed there only after a careful and conservative review by environmental regulators.


Contractors working on behalf of the Corps will transport material from a barge anchored just off-shore of Hayden Island. Over the course of the month, they’ll pipe about 45,000 cubic yards of sand and sediment into the upland area. While the Port-owned property is not open to the public, anyone accessing the island should avoid the active work areas, especially areas inside the berms where material is being deposited. This area is marked by signs warning of the unstable nature of newly-placed wet sand and soil.


The beach on Hayden Island is open to everyone, and contractors are required to have a clearly-marked walkway over the pipe to maintain beach access. Have questions or comments? Email Rachel Wray or call 503.415-6047.


 Shown above: the dredge material placement site on West Hayden Island is an open, sandy area on
 the north side of the island.

Hayden Island Cleanup Project

by thomaj 8/26/2011 5:16 PM

The Port is pleased to be one of several sponsors of a SOLV community cleanup project on Hayden Island this Saturday, August 27. Everyone's invited to join Hayden Island residents, Port staff, and local agencies and businesses to clean up litter, chat with City of Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz, and have a great time. Trash bags, gloves, and safety vests provided.

Swing by during the times below to lend a hand and learn more about the Hayden Island community and projects related to the Port's West Hayden Island property.

East Hayden Island Cleanup
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Meet at the southeast parking lot of the Jantzen Beach Super Center.

West Hayden Island Beach Walk and Cleanup
12:30- 5:00 p.m.
Meet at far west end of North Hayden Island Drive. Kick-off party with Commissioner Fritz begins at 1:00.

For more information, contact Pam Ferguson of the Hayden Island Neighborhood Association at 503.265.9479.