As Oregon Business Plan leaders travelled the state this year to learn about impediments to job and income growth, three letters became quite familiar:  TPR.  The Transportation Planning Rule, which requires local governments to mitigate for the impacts on the state highways system of a land use change, is a major impediment to industrial and commercial development, and also to goals like housing density.

At issue is the ability for cash strapped cities to be able to pay for upgrades to the state highway system.  Since they can’t, the cities simply forgoe the development-and the jobs-that they desperately want and need.

In 2009, the legislature passed HB 3379 directing ODOT and DLCD to build more flexibility into the TPR.  After a process that most people affected by the rule (particularly cities) felt was useless, DLCD is taking another crack at “fixes” to address the most troubling parts of the rule and intends to have results by the fall.

There has also been additional legislation introduced to the 2011 legislature.

HB 3029:  Prohibits Department of Land Conservation and Development from requiring area within urban growth boundary with population of 10,000 or less to have transportation financing program.

SB 672:  Prevents Oregon Transportation Commission from adopting or enforcing rules that plan or zone, or otherwise limit development on, private land.

SB 795:  Prohibits adoption or enforcement by Land Conservation and Development Commission of transportation planning rule with specified function.