MEDFORD, Ore. — The city of Medford is looking to expand its borders and increase housing density…and those living in the region that’s being eyed for inclusion are very concerned.
Hundreds of people filled the Medford Council Chambers on Thursday night for a planning commission meeting about the urban rezoning. Almost fifty people voiced their opinions and it ran until 10 p.m.
Residents voiced their concerns about what’s ahead for the city of Medford and for surrounding areas. The planning commission is proposing a change to the urban growth boundary, or UGB.
The City Planner Jim Huber says that line is supposed to support 20 years of growth for the city and the zoning map shows we are apparently close to the edge of that line…a line that doesn’t support population growth, according to the commission.
The planning commission is studying areas of town where they believe land use could be intensified. The bulk of that being a change that would allow areas where single family homes are to become high density, multi-family housing areas with apartment complexes and condos.
Residents are worried that their quiet neighborhoods could become bustling with large complexes, but the planning director says that’s not an immediate guarantee.
The change in the growth boundary could also dip into the rural parts of land outside of Medford. So Huber says the commission is struggling with trying to balance growth of the city while still preserving the agriculture in the area.
Right now the commission is holding hearings to create a recommendation to submit to the city council. The next public hearing is February 13th in the city council chambers.