Sherwood has long harbored ambitions of expanding its city limits into unincorporated rural areas to the north and west of town.
But what could pop up in place of the fields and trees?
A concept plan that answers those questions is nearing completion. According to draft documents, the city expansion — if it goes through — likely will include retail ventures, a variety of housing, and the creation of an area dedicated to those traveling further south to explore wine country.
Later this decade, the regional government Metro is expected to add land into the urban growth boundary, paving the way for cities — many of them hungry for more housing, jobs or both — to annex and develop it.
Sherwood has its eye on 1,291 acres of land known as Sherwood West. The city is poised to ask Metro to bring the expansive property into the urban growth boundary, so the process of developing it could begin.
A history of planning
The city adopted a preliminary concept plan for the area, which currently includes 126 pieces of property and 110 property owners, in 2016.
Now, city planners are taking another look at Sherwood West along the western side of Sherwood city limits.
The parcel in question is bounded on the east by Highway 99W, Southwest Elwert Road and Southwest Roy Rogers Road. Chapman Road serves as a border on the south, and Southwest Lebeau Road and Southwest Scholls-Sherwood Road are northern borders. There is no specific road or landmark that identifies its western boundary.
For months, City Hall has been taking a so-called “re-look” at the 2016 plan, looking for new opportunities for employment and economic growth in Sherwood.
In addition, new land-use and growth patterns, updated transportation plans, and recent legislative mandates requiring attention to middle housing are factors of revamping the plan, Erika Palmer, Sherwood’s planning manager, recently told the Sherwood planning commission.
That could include office or so-called flex space, as well as industrial development.
“We are really looking at the right kind of jobs, in the right places in Sherwood West,” Palmer said. “We really want to see it being focused on higher-wage jobs to help balance the city’s tax base so we can build a self-sustaining and vibrant local community for Sherwood.”
To help with the new concept plan, Sherwood has enlisted both citizen and technical advisory committees for suggestions and input. Palmer said that citizen advisory committee will ideally have suggestions ready by April.
New homes in new Sherwood
“I think what sets this plan different from the 2016 preliminary plan that was completed (is) we have more balance of uses in the Sherwood West area. We’re planning for more employment, where the 2016 (plan) was really focused on housing,” Palmer said during a recent interview.
The advisory committee is taking a more innovative approach to housing, including looking at a way to zone land specifically for cottage clusters — small homes that are traditionally placed around an outdoor commons or greenspace. That type of housing doesn’t currently exist in Sherwood, Palmer said, although it can be found in neighboring Tualatin.
Also under consideration is how to incorporate “middle housing,” a category that includes duplexes and townhomes as well as cottage clusters, into the eventual development of Sherwood West.
House Bill 2001, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2019, directs cities to allow for middle housing within all single-family residential zones.
Palmer emphasized that a concept plan doesn’t set specific zoning, something that would have to be done later through another process.
Retail, recreation and tourism
While housing is one focus of the Sherwood West concept plan, retail uses figure prominently as well.
“People have talked about kind of (a) mixed-use area down near the high school and then creating kind of a hospitality or destination area between Chapman along Highway 99W up to Elwert (Road),” said Palmer. “We’ve talked about this area being a gateway into Sherwood, a gateway into wine country.”
The southern part of Sherwood West could include tasting rooms and maybe even a boutique hotel, with hopes of drawing people into Sherwood before they venture out to the surrounding wine country, said Palmer. Farm-to-table restaurants and boutique shops are possibilities as well.
The city has consulted with wine experts to get their take on what might work in the area too.
Also under consideration is a robust trail system in Sherwood West that would include a focus on Chicken Creek, which crosses Roy Rogers Road near the north end of city limits, said Palmer. That could mean both Chicken Creek trails and a greenway that would connect all the way up to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge.
Palmer said officials are planning to wrap up the draft plan by the end of spring, then hold public hearings before the planning commission and eventually the Sherwood City Council vote on whether it should be formally adopted as the city’s blueprint for Sherwood West.
If the plan is in place, the Sherwood City Council could ask Metro about bringing the land into the urban growth boundary as soon as 2024, Palmer said.
“We can’t do anything before that,” Palmer said.
Sherwood West construction is anywhere from six to 10 years out.