City of Banks developments still paused due to depleting water supply – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-09-08 11:00:00 –

KOIN, Oregon — When it comes to a small, idyllic town, Oregon checks a bunch of boxes, with views of the Coast Range and vineyards scattered on the hillsides of Banks, Oregon. It’s a fascinating city not far from Hillsboro and has the potential to grow, but the limited water supply makes it impossible to build new homes.

In December 2018, the city noticed that the water supply was so low that it could not support additional buildings. The city’s power lines lost one million gallons of water a month due to leaks.

“It’s the line 60 years ago. It wasn’t meant to last 60 years,” explained bank mayor Stephanie Jones. “So we can take advantage of it as much as possible.”

To prevent further burden on water resources, the city Placed the moratorium Projects that were under construction, that is, were not yet under construction, were suspended until the moratorium was lifted.

Mayor Stephanie Jones will take a photo at Banks City Hall on July 21, 2021. (KOIN)

In Oregon, cities are only allowed to maintain such a moratorium for two years, but banks have applied for an extension and are not yet ready to lift it.

Since the establishment of the Moratorium, the city has carried out conservation activities. Jones said she, her children, and some friends would visit homes in the city door-to-door, give notices, and ask people to reduce their water usage.

“What we were looking for was common sense measures such as watering the lawn every other day, and we just let people know that we don’t need to water for an hour at a time.” Jones said.

According to Jones, the city’s water storage has declined significantly as temperatures have exceeded 100 degrees Celsius for three consecutive days after the heat wave of late June. She said they were working on a new power line in the city that would block access to the fountain and emptied the water storage tank because the interior was recoated.

“We basically had to tell people, there was no external watering, and it lasted about a week,” Jones said. “So it was painful, many plants and grass died.”

The city of Wilsonville implemented a similar plan in 1998. It adopted a subset of the Moratorium Act called the Public Facilities Strategy. The catch was that the building was not allowed to include landscaping plans or irrigation equipment. In some cases, the building had limited plumbing that could be installed.

Chris Neamtzu is Wilsonville’s Director of Community Development. He worked in the city in 1998 and remembers one case where a church was built, but there was no toilet.

“We allow the construction of buildings, but not water-consuming fixtures or faucets, all of which need to be postponed at a later date,” he explained.

At that time, the city relied on six groundwater wells and was growing rapidly.

After considering that option, Wilsonville decided that it was best to take advantage of his rights to the Willamette River. In 2002, the city began operating a water treatment plant on the Willamette River. While the project was being designed, Neamtzu said the moratorium was lifted.

The city still maintains a well as a secondary water source.

At Banks, Jones said the developers were targeting the east and west sides of the city. Some developers tell her that there is a water source available for the project. The city has begun conversations with those developers, but can’t guarantee anything.

The Banks City Well Site is right next to Northwest Banks Road. Taken on July 21, 2021. (KOIN)

“The city can’t say’oh, this is happening’because we have no agreement and no proposal with the planning committee,” Jones said.

With one update to extend the moratorium, the city can build several types, such as multi-family homes, low-water use industrial projects, or projects that allow developers to provide 75% of the water they need for their projects. Added the one.

The city is looking for new water sources and sources of funding for infrastructure projects.

Transmission Lines-Banks are currently in the process of installing new transmission lines. This is a large pipeline for transporting and distributing water throughout the city. Jones said the city could not end the moratorium until the transmission line project was completed.

She said the contractor believed the line would be completed by November 2021 and that the city would not need to do any more if a new water system was installed. Water reduction limits.

A photo of the city of Banks taken in 2012 hangs on the wall of the city hall. Taken on July 21, 2021. (KOIN)

According to Jones, the city is also considering two or three sites where new wells can be built to connect to pumphouses if power lines do not provide enough water.

Even if the housing moratorium could be lifted and more development could be built, Jones said banks would remain small towns due to urban growth boundaries. For now, she enjoys the fact that the residential moratorium minimizes changes in the city.

“This was a great time to come, without having to worry about change. It’s part of the lives of all of us, so we can manage how these new developments are taking place. So, it happens that we are currently making all sorts of revisions in our planning code, “she said.

City of Banks developments still paused due to depleting water supply Source link City of Banks developments still paused due to depleting water supply

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