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Currently, growth management is Jackson County is overseen by numerous agencies, causing inconsistencies and potential conflict. The Greater Bear Creek Valley (GBCV) Regional Problem Solving process seeks to plan for long-term growth in the GBCV and attempts to invest in the future quality of life of its citizens by protecting valuable resource lands and open spaces, planning adequate, cost effective facilities for the provision of public services, and preserving community individuality and identity.

The current oversight of growth management in Jackson County by numerous levels of government, including one county, 11 cities, scores of special districts, and numerous state and federal agencies causes inconsistencies, redundancies, and conflicting requirements. As a result, the future of the valley is now being determined by an uncoordinated composite of decisions from a multitude of sources—some local, some not—rather than being shaped within the region by a shared, long-term commitment and vision.

The participants in this project believe that many present practices on the state, regional, and local levels are not equal to the increasingly interrelated and complex tasks that surround planning for the management of growth in Jackson County, especially in the Greater Bear Creek Valley. As the valley's urban centers have grown larger—and closer to each other—and it has been less and less possible for one city to make important decisions within its own borders that do not have a discernable impact on its neighbors, the valley has experienced contentious incidents between jurisdictions in the areas of air and water quality, transportation, and land use planning. These "incidents" between jurisdictions are not only symptomatic of the lack of a shared, coordinated process of planning throughout the valley, but also present an increasingly charged barrier to the eventual establishment of regional planning for growth, and, as a result, a guarantee of a greater inventory of problem areas to overcome in the future. The longer the situation persists, the more difficult the process and solutions will be, especially if regional growth continues to match or exceed projections.

Presently, individual governments in the Greater Bear Creek Valley, which has experienced the majority of recent growth in the county, are able to incrementally address and accommodate growth within their own boundaries according to State land use laws, administrative rules and local land use regulations. However, the cumulative, regional effects of growth will continue to present increasing challenges to all entities and citizens unless a regional set of solutions are derived that can respond to the issues that arise from the unique characteristics of the Greater Bear Creek Valley. This is essential if the region is determined to invest in the future quality of life of its citizens by protecting valuable resource lands and open spaces, planning adequate, cost effective facilities for the provision of public services, and preserving community individuality and identity.

The Regional Problem Solving process requires that the problems being addressed are delineated in detail, and that considerable effort must be taken to consider all aspects of not only the problem, but of the strategies and processes proposed to resolve them. In fact, the Regional Problem Solving Statute requires that the regional problem-solving process has included agreement among the participants on the following:
(A) Regional goals for resolution of each regional problem that is the subject of the process;
(B) Optional techniques to achieve the goals for each regional problem that is the subject of the process;
(C) Measurable indicators of performance toward achievement of the goals for each regional problem that is the subject of the process;
(D) A system of incentives and disincentives to encourage successful implementation of the techniques chosen by the participants to achieve the goals;
(E) A system for monitoring progress toward achievement of the goals; and
(F) A process for correction of the techniques if monitoring indicates that the techniques are not achieving the goals.

During the course of this process items A through F will be developed as part of the project's Problem Statement, which will be updated in draft form as the project continues.

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