District's growth demands good planning, creativity
Greetings from your elected THPRD Board of Directors! One of our responsibilities is to keep up with population growth and ensure that new and expanding neighborhoods have sufficient parks, trails, and natural areas. But it isn’t easy. Beaverton and eastern unincorporated Washington County, which together constitute THPRD’s service territory, are among the fastest growing areas in the Portland metropolitan area.
For example, Beaverton’s South Cooper Mountain expansion was originally planned as a 20-year development. Now, it may be built out in half that time. North Bethany and Bonny Slope West are also quickly developing.
To keep on top of this growth, we are beginning to update our Parks Functional Plan. The plan guides THPRD relative to land acquisition, development priorities, and the design, construction, and maintenance of new parks and trails. The team undertaking this update is being drawn from every aspect of the district’s operations and will include representatives from the City of Beaverton and Washington County. We will also actively seek input from district residents.
We typically have as many as 10-15 properties on our radar at any one time for possible acquisition as parks, trails, or natural areas. But in the face of today’s growth pressures, we are getting more creative. For example, as part of the plan update, we are considering phasing in the development of new parks to make some amenities available to the public faster. These amenities include open lawn areas and benches, which may be implemented well before such new properties are master planned and funded for complete development.
The updated plan should be ready for approval by the board sometime this summer. It will help us to better serve all residents within our district.
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THPRD Board of Directors