During this past session, Oregon’s legislature passed Senate Bill 795, which directs the Land Conservation Development Commission (“LCDC”) to adopt revisions to the Transportation Planning Rule (the “TPR”) (OAR 660, division 12). Senate Bill 795 also directed the Oregon Department of Transportation to consider changes to the Oregon Highway Plan that are consistent with the TPR revisions prior to January 2012. The purpose of these revisions is to achieve a better balance between economic development and efficiency of urban development with the needs of the transportation system. In its current form, the TPR often stymies efforts to increase residential densities or allow for mixed-use development, because those efforts generally increase vehicular trips on already congested roadways.

A rulemaking advisory committee to LCDC has completed a set of proposed revisions to the TPR in response to Senate Bill 795, and those revisions are now available for public review and comment. Note that LCDC will be holding a hearing on the proposed rules at its December 8, 2011, meeting in The Dalles, and it expects to adopt the new rules at that time. Therefore, time is short for comments!