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Please join me in supporting Measure 2-121 at the ballot box by March 12. My fellow commissioners and I chose to support the urban renewal district, informed by careful staff deliberations about the scale and duration of the foregone tax increment. The affordable housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face — affecting all aspects of our economy and community well-being. I support the South Corvallis Urban Renewal District, because it is a strategic investment in housing and livability in our city.

I also support the urban renewal district as a South Corvallis resident, because I know the plan was built on hours and weeks of community planning and discussions over the years. Having a sound plan in place provides us governance and financial leverage to affect the trajectory of growth over the next 30 years. By providing loans and matching funding, the urban renewal agency will incentivize South Corvallis development based on our community vision, as laid out in the Urban Renewal Plan (available on the city of Corvallis website).

Perhaps most importantly, from a neighborhood perspective, the district will provide our community the leverage to work with Oregon Department of Transportation, to make Third Street/Highway 99 West a more walkable, bike-able and appealing thoroughfare. We envision a South Corvallis with more health care and grocery options, and an array of thriving small businesses. We would like to be able to reach those businesses and the local school and community centers without driving. Measure 2-121 will help us achieve that vision.

Xan Augerot

Corvallis (Feb. 25)

The writer is a member of the Benton County Board of Commissioners.

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