Here I am taking a leisurely ride on a breezy afternoon and once again I’m impressed by the scenery just outside of town.
As the video fails to make plain, I’m less than a mile from the Albany city limits and right in the middle of farm country. Oregon’s land-use controls come in for their share of complaints, including from me, but give them credit for keeping the city out of the country to a great extent, and especially out of farm country. The land-use laws accomplish this with urban growth boundaries that are intentionally difficult to breach and impossible to ignore.
The main benefits include that farming does not disappear because of development pressure, at least not at a break-neck pace, and that urban development is confined to land that can be served with utilities and other essentials more easily than subdivisions a great distance away.
One side benefit, inexplicably overlooked in the law and not even mentioned in the state’s several land-use “goals,” is that city residents on bicycles don’t have to pedal far or work up a big sweat to get out in the country, out among the fields where this time of year, the harvest is not far away. (hh)