Earlier this month, HBA submitted a letter opposing Oregon City’s proposed annexation code amendments and voter-approved annexation policy. The proposal violates clear and objective standards for housing pursuant to Oregon Revised Statute 197.307(4). Importantly, this housing statute applies to all residential land inside an urban growth boundary and does not include an exception for residential land that is outside city limits. As such, the city’s annexation code, which regulates the development of housing, must have a clear and objective path for bringing residentially-designated land in to city limits. Unfortunately, the proposed annexation code amendments would allow the city unfettered control to deny annexations, which are critical to providing land to accommodate the city’s housing needs. The proposed amendments are in response to a 2020 Court of Appeals ruling, which upheld Senate Bill 1573, and requires cities to process certain qualifying annexation applications without a vote. Unfortunately, the city’s current annexation policy still requires voter-approved annexation notwithstanding SB1573, and continues to stymie housing production. No land has been annexed into the city since the commission implemented its restrictive process last year. Following the Court of Appeals ruling, HBA encouraged the city to remove its voter-approved annexation policy, as reported in a recent Portland Tribune article. To learn more about HBA’s involvement in Oregon City, contact Roseann Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.