South Hillsboro Project History
The South Hillsboro Plan Area has been a candidate for future urban growth since the 1990s.
Its development is a key component of the City's effort to provide adequate housing products and types to encourage people working in Hillsboro to live in Hillsboro. South Hillsboro represents the most significant residential and mixed-use expansion of the City planned in the next 20 years, complementing the industrial-oriented urban growth boundary expansion areas to the north.
Initial concept planning began in the late 1990s, followed by the first large scale South Hillsboro community planning project in February 2007. This project resulted in a draft Community Plan in 2008. This draft was updated and refined beginning in 2012, and ultimately adopted in 2014 as the present South Hillsboro Community Plan. These projects were the first steps in establishing a set of goals and objectives for the future growth of the planning area and described a development program that emphasized a "complete-connected-green" approach.
Citizen involvement has been a critical component of work to build the Community Plan. Public outreach has included citizen-led Task Force meetings, a Technical Advisory Committee, numerous open houses and community forums, individual and group meetings of local property owners and service providers, mailings of newsletters and notices, a scenario planning workshop, briefings to local Citizen Participation Organizations, and booths at town halls and community events. Worksessions and public hearings were held with the Hillsboro City Council, Planning Commission, transportation Committee, Finance Committee, and other bodies as appropriate.
The maps and documents available online represent the latest versions of the Community Plan and supporting materials. If you have questions about previous iterations of the Community Plan or other maps and documents, contact the Planning Department.
South Hillsboro Area History
The South Hillsboro planning area has played a locally significant role in the area's agricultural heritage.
The area planned for the Reed's Crossing development, near the north of the planning area, was historically the Ladd-Reed Farm. This farm was named for William S. Ladd, a former mayor of the City of Portland, and Simeon G. Reed, the namesake of the community of Reedville immediately to the east of South Hillsboro, as well as the founder of Portland's Reed College. Founded in the 1870s, the Ladd-Reed farm produced a variety of livestock, carious crops, and trees, and Reed experimented with a number of agricultural innovations including steam powered farm equipment and new systems for irrigation. The operation later evolved into the first large dairy farm in Washington County.
Following the death of the founders, the farm became the basis for the endowment for Reed College. John Kelly purchased the property from the endowment in 1925, and the property was willed to the Sisters of St. Mary of Portland in 1957. The last dwellings on the farm were demolished in 1963, and all of the main farm buildings were subsequently removed. The Sisters of St. Mary of Portland sold the property in 2001.
Through the various owners of the Ladd-Reed Farm, the property has remained in agricultural production, most recently through contract arrangements with local farmers. Other areas of South Hillsboro have also supported agricultural production, including a large tree farm in the area planned for the Butternut Creek development and Village Center, and other smaller agricultural operations in the southern portions of the planning area.
Over time, areas surrounding South Hillsboro have urbanized to various degrees, particularly in Aloha and Reedville to the east and northeast, both unincorporated communities immediately adjacent to Hillsboro. Collectively, the population of Aloha and Reedville totals over 50,000 as of 2010.
- Reedville, located near the intersection of Tualatin Valley Highway and SW 209th Avenue, was originally platted in 1889 and served a a commercial center for surrounding residences and farms through the 1950s. Much of the original town was lost to highway expansion, as well as damage from the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.
- Aloha, located to the east of the planning area, was also originally farmland, but experienced a rapid influx of new residents beginning in the 1960s as residential uses replaced agricultural production. Development in Aloha has followed traditional suburban patterns to a large extent, although development of supporting infrastructure including urban scale roads, complete sidewalks, and adequate stormwater facilities has been less consistent.