Sauvie Island / Multnomah Channel Rural Area Plan
The Sauvie Island/Multnomah Channel Rural Area includes those portions of Sauvie Island and the Multnomah Channel within Multnomah County. The Plan Area is bounded by U.S. Highway 30 on the west, Columbia County on the north, the Columbia River on the east, and the Willamette River and the city of Portland on the south. The area is dominated by agricultural uses and a wildlife refuge, with various water-related uses on and along Multnomah Channel, ranging from protected wetlands to marinas.
The rural area encompasses approximately 15,400 acres of land and several thousand additional acres of water. Approximately 11,800 of these acres are designated in the Comprehensive Framework Plan as Exclusive Farm Use, with the remainder designated as Multiple Use Agriculture. A population of about 1,300 is housed in approximately 650 dwelling units, 200 of which are houseboats or sailboats used as permanent residences.
The Plan Area lies to the north and west of the Portland Metropolitan Area's Urban Growth Boundary, with a direct common boundary only along the west side of Multnomah Channel where it bounds the City of Portland. Sauvie Island and Multnomah Channel provide a mixture of agricultural uses (due to the fine soils on the island protected by the levees of the Sauvie Island Drainage District), recreational uses (due to proximity to the Portland Metropolitan Area), and natural protected areas (primarily wetlands and water areas) which provide excellent wildlife habitat. This combination is unique to both Oregon and the entire nation. The island and channel area have been protected from creeping urbanization and unwanted regional urban-serving facilities by the vigilance of its residents and recreational users and the Oregon State and Multnomah County land use laws.