Neo-Traditional Community Review
Orenco Station:
High Density Development
Denver (Longmont)

  • Size: 190 acres (0.30 square miles).

  • Planned development: 450 detached houses and townhouses and 1400 "luxury" apartments

  • Located in the Portland metropolitan area in the city of Hillsboro, approximately 15 miles from downtown.

  • Recipient of the National Association of Home Builders "Master Planned Community of the Year" award in 1999.

  • Generally designed more consistently with new urbanist principles than most other developments. Higher density, well designed retro homes, a community small enough that all homes will be within walking distance of most, if not all retail establishments.

  • Neo-Traditional Rating: 2.00 (Fails to achieve neo-traditional ideals) on a scale of 1 to 5.
Criteria Objective Case Rating
Walkable Community Stores within walking distance (1/4 mile) of all residences. Plan: all residences appear to be within 1/4 mile of stores. 3
Transit Oriented Development Automobile competitive transit service providing service to entire urban area Transit competitive service provided only to downtown Portland (11 percent of metropolitan job market) 2
Housing Prices Mix of housing prices, including affordable housing. Housing prices generally higher than median Portland price. 1
Density 7 housing units per acre minimum (12,000 per square mile) Estimated 9.7 units per acre (16,800 per square mile, 40 percent above percent of the 12,000 objective). No green belt. 4
Impact on Suburbanization Infill -- does not contribute to suburbanization Greenfield --- contributes to suburbanization 1
Balance of jobs and residences Community provides a balance of jobs and residences, reducing the necessity to commute by automobile Retail stores within the development. Employees in these establishments are not likely to have the income to live within the community. 2
Market oriented development No subsidies or tax breaks Some subsidies. 1
Composite Rating 2.00
Rating System:

5: Substantially Exceeds Objective

4: Exceeds Objective

3: Meets Objective

2: Fails to Meet Objective

1: Substantially Fails to Meet Objective

Nothing in this review is meant to suggest that any neo-traditional development is not a desirable community. Most are well designed and attractive. To the extent that any such development fails to achieve neo-traditional (new urbanist) objectives is more than likely a reflection that the objectives themselves are impractical and largely unachievable in an environment that depends upon consumer choice in a free market.

Demographia is "pro-choice" with respect to urban development.
People should have the freedom to live and work where they like.

is an undertaking of
P. O. Box 841 - Belleville, IL 62222 USA
Telephone: +1.618.632.8507 - Facsimile: +1.618.632.8538


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