The city is under pressure to rezone large chunks of land for industrial use, and plans to propose rezoning Colwood National Golf Club, Broadmoor Golf Course, Riverside Golf and Country Club, and Columbia Edgewater Country Club. While one golf course is “open” to the idea of closing and selling the property, management from the other properties did not return the Portland Tribune‘s calls for comment.
Portland city planners are working on a proposal that ultimately could rezone as many as four golf courses due south of the Columbia River: Colwood National Golf Club, Broadmoor Golf Course, Riverside Golf and Country Club, and Columbia Edgewater Country Club, the Portland (Ore.) Tribune reported.
The city is under pressure to rezone large chunks of land for industrial use when it submits its updated comprehensive land-use plan to state regulators next year, the Tribune reported.
“There’s been declining revenues for a lot of these golf courses,” said Eric Engstrom, principal planner for the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
And, with demand for golf courses expected to decline more in coming years, analysts figure golf course owners might be open to have their properties rezoned and sold for industrial use, the Tribune reported.
Any rezoning would have to be similar to the pending deal setting aside 48 acres of the Colwood golf course for industry while reserving the rest for open space and a potential city park, Engstrom said. “The public would have to get something out of it” in each case.
The family that owns Broadmoor has an “open mind” about the idea, said Scott Krieger, General Manager and head PGA pro. “Anything’s for sale” if the price is right, he added.
“Business has dropped off dramatically, especially the last four years,” said Krieger, whose mother and five aunts developed Broadmoor on a family dairy farm in 1931. But Broadmoor is open to every player, while Riverside and Columbia Edgewater are private country clubs, the Tribune reported.
Riverside and Columbia Edgewater managers did not return phone calls from the Tribune seeking comments about the issue.
Corky Collier, executive director of the Columbia Corridor Association, said the proposal would make it easier for the golf courses to convert and sell their land in the future, the Tribune reported.
Rezoning of golf courses also is likely to provoke sharp opposition from influential environmental groups like the Audubon Society of Portland. “Audubon in general opposes the conversion of open space,” said Bob Sallinger, conservation director.
The city’s effort shows how difficult it is to meet the state mandate to supply more and more industrial lands, Sallinger said, at a time when the city is largely built out and its boundaries butt up against suburbs, the Tribune reported.
Portland falls short of state land-use mandates by roughly 630 acres of land zoned for industrial use. The mandates are designed to assure that each city can accommodate new industrial jobs, the Tribune reported.
The Planning Bureau appointed the Industrial Land/Watershed Health Working Group, which has been at work for nearly a year to devise a proposal for meeting the state targets. The group’s work still isn’t complete, but it has a detailed proposal that suggests the goal actually will be more like 720 acres. City planners now calculate that some 94 acres of currently zoned industrial land along the Willamette and Columbia rivers might be rezoned or unavailable due to environmental concerns or the desire for greenways, the Tribune reported.
The city is assuming that it will make up much of the shortfall by rezoning about 300 acres of west Hayden Island, Engstrom says. That will require three votes on the Portland City Council to approve the pending annexation and zone change proposal, which is still not assured, the Tribune reported.
The next-biggest chunk of new industrial lands, some 185 acres, would come from rezoning golf courses. Of that, 48 acres would come from Colwood, and the rest from other golf courses. All that land wouldn’t have to be available for new industrial jobs until 2035, the Tribune reported.
The third-biggest chunk of new industrial lands would come from reusing old contaminated sites known as brownfields. The city analysis calls for getting about 128 acres of the current 500-plus acres of brownfields cleaned up and put back into industrial use, Engstrom said. “There is land on the harbor that’s vacant, but it’s so contaminated and expensive to clean up that it can’t be used effectively,” he said. The work group proposes a new state tax incentive to help cover those costs, the Tribune reported.
City planners also hope that adding new roads and other access could enable greater use of existing industrial lands. That wouldn’t involve rezoning, but it could provide the equivalent in new industrial jobs on current acreage, the Tribune reported.
It’s unclear how the city meets its industrial land targets without the west Hayden Island or golf course conversions, which together account for about 485 acres under the current scenario, the Tribune reported.
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