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City FAQs

City Council and Public Meetings
City Council and Public Meetings When are Council Meetings held?
Council Meetings are held the first and third Monday of each month from 7:00 - 9:00 pm.  If that falls on a holiday, the meeting is held the next day.
Where are Council Meetings held?

City Council meetings are conducted in person at the Jessie Mays Community Hall (30975 NW Hillcrest St). They are also broadcast via Zoom and we encourage the public to attend virtually at this time. Visit the City’s online calendar for Zoom links for upcoming meetings. Those who want to attend in person must observe the following rules:

-Upon entry, attendees should wear a mask and may remove it once seated.
-Attendees may remove their mask if speaking or asked to speak.
-Attendees should maintain social distancing of 6 feet or more.
If you are sick or show signs of an illness, we ask that you stay home and join us virtually.

What is the term for Councilors and Mayor?
The Councilors and the mayor serve for a four-year term. Learn more about the Council here.
How can I find minutes from city meetings
The city site has a full listing of recent meetings, our ordinances etc. Those containing text will be found via the search box at the top of each page.
Who is on the City Council, and how could I join a City board or commission?
The City of North Plains operates under the council-manager form of city government. The Mayor and the six City Councilors are elected by the citizens, and they develop the policies that direct the operation of the city. The Mayor and Council hire the City Manager to implement their policy direction and manage the operations of the city. The Mayor and Councilors serve four-year terms and are volunteers who receive no compensation for their service. Visit our Meet the City Council page to learn about our current City Council.

The City of North Plains welcomes community involvement on various boards and commissions. These are Council-appointed positions for residents (except for a few groups that have seats for non-residents). The timeline and details are slightly different for each opportunity, and you can learn more on our Boards and Commissions page.
Community Development
What is economic development and why do we do it?
How is regional growth going to affect traffic and transportation options?
North Plains has enjoyed a very gradual growth, ensuring that it remains a small semi-rural community. However, growth is occurring in our town, and our residents and elected officials work continuously to make sure North Plains is planning for the future - including transportation needs. 

The City recently updated its Transportation System Plan (TSP), which provides a long-range vision for the transportation system. The TSP outlines strategies and projects to accommodate a balanced and safe transportation system and enhance the quality of life for North Plains residents. The plan is intended to provide flexibility on the timing and implementation of projects and to allow the City to make improvements that are responsive to how the community changes over the next 20 years. Through coordination with Washington County, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), and the community of North Plains, the TSP helps guide the priorities and budgeting to address transportation needs.
How are you going to accommodate the additional people moving to North Plains?
North Plains is facing increasing residential development pressure, with development or proposals for the development of more than 900 new dwelling units since 2015. The City is in the process of expanding the urban growth boundary to prepare for housing needs. A 2018 Portland State University Population Research Center report determined a need for 1,547 new dwelling units in total, 756 within the current urban growth boundary, and 791 outside of the current urban growth boundary.

Growth in population will increase demand for retail services in North Plains, such as the need for a grocery store and additional restaurants. As the population grows, the City wants to ensure there are opportunities for other commercial and industrial growth as well, to provide opportunities for people to live and work in North Plains. Due to the needs listed above, we have formed an Economic Development Committee that is working to foster proactive economic development in North Plains and encourage increases in both the local tax base as well as opportunities for local employment within the City
What is the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), and what does a UGB expansion mean?
Each of the state’s cities and metropolitan areas have created an urban growth boundary around its city limits as a land use planning line to control urban expansion onto farm and forest lands. Metro, our area’s regional government, is responsible for managing the Portland metropolitan region's Urban Growth Boundary and is required by state law to have a 20-year supply of land for future residential development inside the boundary. 

Over the years, North Plains voters have encouraged slow growth through the urban growth boundary so that the city remains a small semi-rural community. This has helped North Plains to retain its small-town character. However, with major regional growth anticipated in the next 20 years, the City is preparing to address housing and employment needs by expanding the urban growth boundary. This way, North Plains can maintain its charm while thoughtfully planning to welcome new residents and businesses. Learn more in our "Urban Growth Boundary Expansion Project" article.
Do you have affordable housing, and if so, what sort of options are available?
The City is committed to working with our partner agencies and developers to encourage development of affordable housing to meet our community’s needs. We are a partner with the Housing Authority of Washington County, an entity working with developers, financial institutions, and government agencies to build or acquire/rehabilitate thriving affordable housing communities in Washington County. At this time, there are two apartment communities in North Plains geared toward low-income seniors and people with disabilities: North Plains Senior Plaza and Kaybern Terrace.
Finances and Budget
How do I learn more about the City of North Plains budget?
The City of North Plains is on a biennial budget cycle and the 2022-23 biennial budget is in process and must be approved by City Council by June 30, 2021. Read a North Plains Budget 101 here, and see the current approved budget as well as the draft 2022-23 budget on the Finance budget web page.
What are current budget challenges and what is the city doing to plan for the future?
In summer, 2022, we created a 3-part City 101 series on the City’s budget and planning for the future. See each at these links:

City 101: Budget Perspective Part 1 (an overview of the current challenges)
City 101: Budget Perspective Part 2 (more details about short and medium-term solutions)
City 101: Budget Perspective Part 3 (longer-term vision for fiscal sustainability)
City 101: Floodplains Explained
You’ve probably heard of floodplains, and may even live in or near one. But what exactly is it and how does it affect community development and where and what things can be built? Read our full City 101: Floodplains Explained here.
City 101: How does the city work?
Given the role of city governments to serve their communities and provide essential services, they function quite differently from other organizations and private businesses. Here is an overview of how your North Plains City Government works.
How much are my property taxes in North Plains?
The combined North Plains property tax rate is $15.4832 per $1,000 of assessed value. That rate includes agency levies such as the Hillsboro School District and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Of that portion, North Plains property owners pay $2.17 per $1,000 toward the permanent City (local) levy.  According to the Washington County Assessor’s Office, as of FY 2020  the City of North Plains property tax rate is by far the lowest City property tax burden among any western Washington County city; Banks is next at $4.32/$1,000 of AV (see figure below). Property subject to taxation in Oregon includes all privately-owned real property (e.g., land, buildings, and fixed machinery and equipment), manufactured homes, and personal property used in a business over $15,500. Read our "Property Tax Explained" article for more information.

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Who Provides Services in North Plains?
The City of North Plains provides a variety of services including clean drinking water, streets and street light maintenance, library, economic development, infrastructure & land use planning, parks, and police within the city limits. There are also many other public agencies and organizations that provide services to our community. Read our City 101: Who Provides Services in North Plains for an overview of some of the key services provided to you by our partner agencies along with links to their websites if you’d like more information. 
What are the job opportunities in North Plains and broader Washington County, and how far is the community from major employment centers? What is the driving distance to downtown Portland?
Located in the heart of Oregon’s Silicon Forest 17 miles west of Downtown Portland, North Plains is part of a thriving tech scene and is within a short drive to larger cities via Highway 26 along the City's southern boundary. Our residents have access to jobs at multinational employers such as Intel (5 miles/15 min drive away), Genentech (5 miles away), and Nike (12 miles away), along with diverse industries including education, healthcare, agriculture, and craft beer brewing. Oregon Canadian and Jewett Cameron are two of North Plains’ larger employers.
How good are the schools, and where would my kids go to school in North Plains?
North Plains is located within the Hillsboro School District, the fourth-largest public school district in the State of Oregon. We currently have two grade schools, North Plains Elementary and Atfalati Ridge Elementary, that both feed into Evergreen Middle School and Glencoe High School in nearby Hillsboro.

The Hillsboro School District is the fourth largest school district in Oregon and has 35 schools serving more than 20,000 students from preschool through twelve grade. The district has a skilled, caring, and dedicated staff who are committed to supporting each student’s academic and personal growth in safe and inclusive environments. For more information about schools, visit https://www.hsd.k12.or.us/.
Who provides law enforcement services in North Plains?
In mid-2019, City Council voted to enter into a contract partnership with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) to provide law enforcement services in North Plains. Our dedicated staff includes Police Chief James Haxton, who reports directly to the North Plains City Manager, and two other full-time officers. All are outfitted in City of North Plains Police Department uniforms and patrol the City in North Plains marked vehicles.

As our community continues to grow and expectations for law enforcement service continue to evolve, this partnership leverages the economies of scale and administrative support that already exist within the Sheriff’s Office, saving the City money. It creates and maintains a more sustainable, high-quality police service that safeguards the liveability and safety of our community. 

Visit our police page for more details.
What kind of community events are there in North Plains?
During this time of COVID-19, the City of North Plains - along with its community partners the North Plains Events Association and the North Plains Chamber of Commerce - have made the difficult decision to cancel or postpone all 2020 summer events for the health and well-being of community members. See the press release here

We hope to resume the events our community loves and is known for in 2021. These include our world-famous North Plains Elephant Garlic Festival the second week of August and an annual Fourth of July Celebration. Throughout the year, the City also sponsors concerts in the park, dances, and library programs for kids and adults. 

Check the status and learn more about our wide variety of events by visiting the North Plains community calendar.
What is the business community like in North Plains?
The City has a vibrant business community that spans a variety of sectors, from retail to maritime, and aerospace to high-tech. The North Plains Chamber of Commerce provides business networking opportunities, education, and support. The City started an Economic Development Committee in 2019 to focus on creating a more vibrant economy in North Plains for its current and future residents. For more information on the business community, visit our Business page.
What are the nearby entertainment and recreation options in North Plains?
North Plains is perfectly located to provide access to a wide range of entertainment and recreation. Bike riders can be seen on the rural roads in and around our community every day, rain or shine. North Plains Gliderport provides unique glider and sailplane experiences for flights over the Willamette Valley. Pumpkin Ridge Golf features two 18-hole golf courses designed by Bob Cupp and are considered among the best anywhere. The courses have hosted events with more than 100,000 spectators for the USGA, LGPA, and US Amateur Championships. Hornings Hideout offers fishing, camping, picnicking, and disc golf and is a nationally known venue for popular events like the Warrior Dash and Northwest String Summit. 

North Plains offers easy access to the scenic Oregon Coast (about an hour away), Oregon’s vineyards and wineries, the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, Henry Hagg Lake, and great hikes in the Tillamook Forest. Great art galleries, community theater, and other cultural and entertainment opportunities abound in the larger nearby communities of Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Beaverton, and Portland.
Public Works
Where does my water come from?
The City of North Plains delivers safe, high-quality water to meet the health and fire protection needs of the City’s residents and businesses. Learn more about where North Plains' water comes from and how it is treated to ensure safety in our "Where does my water come from?" news article.
Where does my used water go?
Ever wonder what happens to your used water after it drains from your sinks, showers, washing machine, dishwasher, or toilet? Similarly, you may wonder what becomes of the stormwater run-off around town. These sanitary sewer and stormwater services are very much behind the scenes but they are essential to our health and quality of life. Read our "Down the Drain: Where does your used water go?" article for more details.