Natural Resource Inventories & Protections for Springfield’s UGB Expansion Areas


Willamette River

Since the State’s acknowledgment of Springfield’s Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) expansion in March 2019, the City is now able to make progress on a planning framework for how and where future development may occur in the areas where the UGB expanded (“UGB expansion areas”). The purpose of this project is to identify and evaluate the natural resources in these areas so the Springfield community and its partners can determine which resources offer significant benefits and should be locally protected, and can determine other locations in the expansion areas where development may be best-directed. Future development actions and other activities within the UGB expansion areas rely on an understanding of the land’s existing characteristics—including its wetlands, riparian corridors, and wildlife habitat —to make informed decisions on best uses and the siting of those uses. Protection measures for these resources must be adopted for compliance with Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 5. This project will also allow Springfield to make connections to related work about water resources. Specifically, the project team will work toward applying Springfield’s existing Water Quality Limited Watercourse (WQLW) protections to UGB expansion areas pursuant to Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 6. The project is supported by a combination of local funds and grant funds from the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.

Based on the results of the inventory and assessment work performed by environmental consultants, City staff and the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) will identify options for protection measures for consideration by the community, appointed officials, and elected officials. A set of recommended updates to the Springfield Natural Resources Study will follow, which will involve the City and Lane County co-adopting these changes.

Project Goals

  • Promote a healthy, safe, and clean community by making wise use of natural resources.

  • Provide better understanding and certainty for property owners and developers by making development decisions streamlined and predictable.
  • Enable urbanization of Springfield’s designated employment areas by meeting State-mandated planning requirements based on Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 5 (Natural Resources, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Open Spaces).

  • Identify ways to enhance Springfield’s work by addressing other Statewide Planning Goals: air, water, and land resources quality (Goal 6), natural hazards (Goal 7), recreation (Goal 8), and economic development (Goal 9).

  • Further Springfield’s conformance with the Springfield Comprehensive Plan.

Wetland Georgia Pacific Mill Race Study Area

Project Updates

April 1, 2022:

The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development has awarded Springfield a grant for this project! The grant will allow us to continue working with our project partners and to expand the project by looking at wildlife habitat and identifying Water Quality Limited Watercourses in UGB expansion areas. To reflect this expanded project scope, we have updated the project title to Natural Resource Inventories & Protections for Springfield’s UGB Expansion Areas.

Springfield’s draft wetland and riparian inventory report is in review by the Oregon Department of State Lands. Next, Springfield will make any revisions needed for approval regarding local wetlands, which we estimate will come later this year.

August 18, 2021:
The project team closely reviewed the feedback we received in February on the draft inventory report by SummitWest and Terra Science. Click here for a summary of the feedback we heard through our survey. Following report revisions to incorporate feedback in response to our questions to project stakeholders about whether the locations and descriptions of the resources looked accurate, the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) received the updated draft of the report at the end of May 2021 for review. (This updated draft is a large file and may take a while to download.) We estimate DSL approval this winter.

February 9, 2021:
With our official comment period on the first draft of the inventory report now closed, we want to express a big thank you to everyone who took time to understand more about the project and to those who provided input! Your phone calls, e-mails, virtual meetings, and survey responses added value to this work. One next step will involve the project team’s review of the feedback we heard to consider edits to draft report. We also look forward to sharing a forthcoming summary of what we heard from the 45 people who responded to the survey. You can still review the materials below (note: the links to the report will be to the same draft version that was available between January 15th and February 8th):

June 23, 2020:

  • Riparian North Gateway Study AreaSpringfield Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI) Approves CommunityEngagement Plan: The Springfield Planning Commission in its role as the Springfield CCI held a Special Session on April 21, 2020 to review and provide direction on a draft of the Community Engagement Plan (CEP). A presentation accompanied this Session, and staff updated the CEP based on the CCI’s input.
  • Project Team Holds Online Information Session: The original plan was to provide an opportunity for property owners in the UGB expansion areas and staff to meet in-person to discuss the project. With COVID-19 precautions in mind, this meeting changed to a virtual format. See the Meetings & Events section below for more information.
  • Consultant Comes on Board & Begins Inventory: The City received several, thoughtfully prepared proposals from environmental consultants interested in completing the inventory phase of the project. The project team is pleased to announce SummitWest Environmental, together with Terra Science, as members of the project team. SummitWest and Terra Science have completed the initial field work for the inventory and will begin evaluating the resources they found to inform future written reports (Task 2 of the project timeline).

April 9, 2020:
A Request for Proposals from qualified wetland consultant firms was issued in March, 2020. Bids were opened on April 9th, 2020 and are being evaluated. The City hopes to have a qualified consultant secured in May to allow field work for the inventory to begin promptly.

Please check back for ongoing project updates.

Meetings & Events

This project aims to provide several opportunities for engagement in a variety of formats. Opportunities range from contacting project staff directly with questions, to virtual events, to formal hearings.

  • Wetland Mill Race Study Area December 15, 2020: The Springfield Committee for Citizen Involvement approved the proposed revisions to the Community Engagement Plan (CEP). Learn more about this meeting on the City’s Planning Commission webpage and at Springfield Oregon Speaks, and see the current CEP under Project Documents below.
  • May 14, 2020: The project team invited owners of properties in the UGB expansion areas to talk more about properties of interest and about the work ahead. Participants had the option to view a presentation screen and interact with others by tuning in remotely from a computer and/or phone and the option to do so at City Hall while practicing physical distancing. This meeting was recorded.
  • April 21, 2020: The City drafted a Community Engagement Plan, which the Springfield Committee for Citizen Involvement is scheduled to review and potentially approve. Learn more about this meeting on the City’s Planning Commission webpage.

Project Contact Information

Project Manager
Monica Sather, Senior Planner

Para Español
Molly Markarian, Senior Planner