Regionally Significant Industrial Areas

The Economic Recovery Review Council (ERRC), in coordination with local governments and private industry, will identify and designate five to 15 regionally significant areas based on the definition below and the relative importance of the areas in terms of potential long-term job creation.

A "Regionally Significant Industrial Area" is an area planned and zoned for industrial use that:

  • Contains vacant sites, including brownfields, that are suitable for the location of new industrial uses or the expansion of existing industrial uses and that collectively can provide significant additional employment in the region;
  • Has site characteristics that give the area significant competitive advantages that are difficult or impossible to replicate in the region;
  • Has superior access to transportation and freight infrastructure, including, but not limited to, rail, port, airport, multimodal freight or transshipment facilities, and other major transportation facilities or routes; and
  • Is located in close proximity to major labor markets.

Local Management

Once the council has made the designations, local governments with land use authority over a regionally significant area must maintain the area for employment uses. The city or county may not:

  • Adopt a provision of a comprehensive plan or land use regulation that prevents industrial uses within the area.
  • Adopt a provision of a comprehensive plan or land use regulation that allows new non-industrial uses within the area that conflict with existing or planned industrial uses.
  • Decrease the land area planned or zoned for industrial uses within the regionally significant industrial area.

Development Standards
A local government may adopt additional provisions that restrict the type or extent of current or future industrial uses within the area, but only if the local government mitigates at the same time the effect of the new provision by:

  • Clearly maintaining or increasing the industrial employment potential of the area; and
  • Clearly maintaining the important site characteristics and functions that led to the designation of the site as a regionally significant industrial area.

Terms and Conditions
Designation of a Regionally Significant Industrial Area (RSIA) does not limit the use of the properties when designated, and uses allowed at time of designation remain intact. The legislation does allow changes in zoning and uses not currently allowed in the designated area, but the local government may not decrease the area of land planned and zoned for industrial use within the designated RSIA.

The designation is in effect for at least 10 years. If 50% of the developable land within the designated area has not been developed within 10 years of the designation, the designation will be removed unless the majority of land owners within the designated area submit a formal request to the department that the designation remains. Annually, the department will request reports from RSIA sponsors regarding infrastructure improvements, planning, and business development.

Based on the reported 2016 annual unemployment rate for Oregon less than 6%, the final date for the ERRC to consider additional nominations is January 2, 2018, at which time the ERRC will be dissolved.