Why a New Station?
The current station was originally constructed in 1970 as a residential home. In 1984, TVF&R purchased the property and adapted it for use as a two-person fire station with one mini pumper. The aging structure does not meet current seismic standards, and has dated mechanical and electrical systems, reduced capacity to house multiple modern fire engines, and no provisions for
a full emergency response crew (4-person company) or female firefighters.
The decision to relocate a fire station is based not only on the demands faced by a specific community (population, incidents, traffic), but also the needs—and assets—of the surrounding community. The proximity of other fire stations (including two
Hillsboro fire stations now located on TVF&R’s Western border) and over 100,000 incidents confirmed that relocating Station 68 would help
TVF&R continue to provide excellent emergency services to the Oak Hills and Bethany community for the next 30+ years.
After an extensive search for property that was properly zoned, adequately-sized, financially feasible, and had good access for emergency response, TVF&R purchased land at the corner of NW Thompson
Road & Evergreen Street.
Current Location (A):
- 3260 NW 147th Place
- Residential Home Constructed in 1970
- 3,210 square feet
New Location (B):
View Larger Map
- 13545 NW Evergreen Street
Portland, OR 97229
- Tentative Construction Start Date
- Proposed 10,111 Square Feet
with Community Room
On May 15, a Washington County hearings
officer approved TVF&R's newest application to build a fire station at
Evergreen Street and Thompson Road. The permitting process will begin in
early June, as will work on underground utilities. Construction is expected
to begin in September and will last 10-12 months. At the May hearing, county
staff and the hearings officer noted the high level of community support
expressed since the initial application in 2011.
A public meeting has been scheduled for
January 28 from 7-8:30pm at Findley Elementary School to discuss a proposed
fire station at Evergreen Street and Thompson Road. It's expected the Fire
District will submit the land-use application to Washington County in
On Tuesday, October 23 the Washington County
Board of Commissioners approved Land Use Ordinance 754, which revised the
community development code to allow police and fire stations to be built in
urban unincorporated areas, with certain standards for buffering and
In coming months, TVF&R will conduct
additional community outreach. In addition, the Fire District will resubmit
an application in early 2013 to build a station at the lot located at NW
Evergreen Street and Thompson Road. The design of the station will be
similar to the station recently opened in West Slope.
The lot at NW Evergreen Street and Thompson Road remains undeveloped, and is currently clear of debris and structures. Last summer Washington County approved TVF&R’s land-use application to build a new fire station at the site. That decision was appealed by a neighbor to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) based on concerns about traffic and proximity to nearby Findley Elementary. LUBA did not reject the initial approval, but asked that the County clarify aspects of the community development code that are confusing or outdated. Because of the appeal, work on the site must be suspended indefinitely.
The Washington County Planning Commission held the
public hearing on August 15 to consider changes to the
community development code relating to special uses for public buildings,
including fire stations. The Planning commission recommended that Land Use
Ordinance 754 be approved by the Washington County Board of Commissioners
with some clarification of public building definitions. The next public
hearing will take place on September 18.
The ordinance removes confusing wording. The current
language was developed in 1984 and is out of step with how the county looks
and operates today. That’s one of the reasons why the Commissioners work on
the community development code annually.
The revised code will still require public buildings, including fire stations, to be compatible with neighborhoods on issues such as building height, setbacks, landscaping, screening, parking lot locating and lighting.
If you are interested in submitting written or oral testimony, you can call Cassandra Ulven at 503.259.1513 or contact Washington County’s
Board of Commissioners or Planning Commission by fax or letter prior to the public hearings scheduled for September 18.
With 10 of its 21 fire stations in neighborhood settings, TVF&R has a long-standing history of being a good neighbor, to include
Hear what our neighbors say about Fire Station 50 (located in a Tigard neighborhood).
The lot has been cleared of old structures
and debris. Some light grading will be done in June, and the site will be
secured until land-use issues are resolved.
TVF&R has requested a code amendment, and the
Washington County Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners will review
it as part of the 2012 Land Use Ordinance Work Program (likely occurring in
late summer or early fall). TVF&R is seeking a code change to CDC 430-103.3,
which provides review standards for public buildings in a residential
district that are not located on a collector or arterial street. As written,
430-103.3 applies only to “satellite” buildings or stations in residential
districts, and LUBA determined that the proposed Station 68 did not meet
this definition. The second issue will focus on the assumptions used to
assess potential traffic impacts of the new station. See more details:
The community’s number one priority for TVF&R is fast fire and emergency medical response. Drawing on years of response data and demographic trends, TVF&R can identify the ideal location for new or replacement fire stations. The requested changes will allow TVF&R to place fire stations in a manner that is responsive to community expectations, while also providing the County with review standards designed to minimize potential development impacts.
The County Commissioners voted to include TVF&R's code amendment in the 2012 Land Use Ordinance Season. Their decision to include Station 68 on the work plan does not presume a specific outcome, but simply means that the code needs to be clearer. The outcome of this process (e.g. where fire stations can be sited) is critical not only to Station 68, but all fire stations in the future.
The process of a code amendment and subsequent land use application, public hearing(s), etc. is expected to take approximately 18-24 months. The site will be secured during that time.
Station 65 Facebook Photo Album to see the building design planned for Station 68.
TVF&R’s land use application continues to be temporarily on-hold following an
Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruling. LUBA ruled to remand the case back to Washington County for potential code amendment. On March 27, 2012 at 6:30 p.m., the Washington County Board of Commissioners will consider and decide whether to include Fire Station 68 in this year’s work plan. Written comments about Fire Station 68 received by the Long Range Planning Division before 5 p.m., on March 9, 2012 will be included in the staff report prepared for the March 27 meeting. Comments may also be provided in person at the March 27th meeting. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the Public Services Building located at 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro, Oregon. A link to the staff report for the March 27th meeting will be posted to this site prior to the meeting.
TVF&R’s land use application continues to be temporarily on-hold following an
Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) ruling. Although Washington County approved TVF&R’s land-use application last summer, LUBA ruled to remand the case back to Washington County for potential code amendment. The two code issues in question center on whether this station fits the definition of a ‘satellite station' and traffic count for that site. In addition to pursuing a code amendment, the District also plans to appeal LUBA’s decision to the Oregon Court of Appeals.
Status of Code Amendment: The County Commissioners ultimately decide which issues get reviewed at their
2012 Land Use Ordinance Season beginning in March. Indications are that TVF&R’s code amendment will be included in the County's 2012 session.
Status of Oregon Court of Appeals: The District has filed our case with the Court of Appeals and expects to receive a decision in late April.
We would like to thank the citizens who continue to call and email our
office expressing their support for this project. Fire Station 68
plays a critical part in protecting not only the immediate neighborhood, but
the northwest corner of TVF&R’s service area. Individuals interested
in expressing their support may send a letter to the
County Board of Commissioners or contact TVF&R Public Affairs Officer
Cassandra Ulven at 503-259-1513.
Last summer, Washington County approved Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue’s land-use application to rebuild Fire Station 68 at 13545 NW Evergreen Street. County staff and the Hearings Officer based their approval on comprehensive analysis and review. However, the decision was appealed to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) by an individual who disagreed with Washington County's code interpretation.
LUBA had the authority to make one of three rulings: approve, reverse, or remand the case back to the Washington County Hearings Officer. LUBA ruled to remand the case back to Washington County for potential code amendment. In simple terms, a Washington County Hearings Officer approved the Land Use Application and LUBA did not agree with their interpretation of the code. Some work needs to be done to clarify the code for the purposes of this project. Until that work is complete, our application is on hold and further work at the site must cease.
The District sees a code amendment as a critical step in helping guide future land use decisions, not only as it relates to its own fire station construction, but also other public buildings that serve the community like libraries and police stations. In addition to pursuing a code amendment, the District also plans to appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals. A code amendment and appeal are expected to take at least six months.
Until Washington County reinstates its approval for construction, work at the site may not be undertaken. In the past month, the District had removed an existing home from the property and began some grading and excavating work. The site will be secured until a land use decision is rendered.
With strong support and approval from Washington County, TVF&R is now working to take advantage of cost-savings by coupling construction activities with
Fire Station 65 being rebuilt in West Slope. Over the next couple months, we will begin getting the property ready for construction. This will include removing the existing building; installing underground utilities including storm drains, building and site electrical, and plumbing; and grading and preparing the ground for the foundation, driveway, curbs, and footings. The site will then be winterized from November through February, with construction expected to resume in the spring.
It is our understanding that a small number of neighbors have filed an appeal with the
Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals
(LUBA). Unless reversed by LUBA, the Washington County Land Use
approval for our fire station stands. A ruling may take up to six
months. TVF&R appreciates that the land-use process ensures that
decisions are fair and reasonable, and is an important means for citizens to
be heard. Concerns expressed by the citizens who filed the appeal are
centered on noise and property values. Outreach efforts have been
ongoing since the project’s inception in 2010 and our goal is to continue to
provide factual information on the reality of living near a fire station.
With over half of our 21 fire stations located in neighborhoods, TVF&R has a
longstanding history of being a good neighbor. See our video:
Next to a Neighborhood Fire Station.
July / August 2011
Following the required land use process, Washington County approved TVF&R’s Land Use Development Application. The process included strong support by the Washington County Planning Department and Hearings Officer.
Using the same contractor and building in tandem with Station 65, is expected to save the taxpayers at least $80,000. The District hopes to begin site development work in September/early October.
The exterior design and floor plans for the new station have been finalized and TVF&R has submitted its Development Application to Washington County for review.
TVF&R officials attended a CPO 7 meeting to discuss the re-location of the station and answer questions. A Coffee Chat was held at Station 68 on February 20th. The event provided an opportunity to update the community on the current status of the new station and furnish safety tips on heart attacks and CPR.
A Land Use Application Public Hearing is scheduled for April 21st (time TBD).
A Community Meeting was held at Findley Elementary School. With over 100 people in attendance, the event was a great opportunity to discuss why the station is being rebuilt and relocated.
Many of the questions centered on
how fire stations
integrate into a neighborhood setting.
(Includes maps and exterior design options)
Funding for Fire Station 68
The rebuild of Station
68 was identified in
TVF&R’s 2006 Bond Measure 34-133. The projects funded by this bond are occurring throughout TVF&R’s entire 210 square mile service area and are expected to improve and maintain emergency response for the next 50 years.
The bond measure was supported by 68.6% of voters and costs the average taxpayer approximately $29/year. Station 68 will be built in tandem with Fire Station 65 being rebuilt in the Oak Hills/Bethany area. Using the same design for both stations offers a significant cost-savings to taxpayers and will expedite the construction process.
Please feel free to contact us
if you have any questions about this project.