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Tualatin votes 'Yes' on Measure 34-220 to get final say on light rail

Passage puts brakes on regional transit planning for city leaders

Early results from Tuesday's special election show Tualatin voters support Measure 34-220.

The passage of 34-220 forces the city to hold a public vote before it can build, or study, a light-rail line coming to Tualatin, which is something city and regional officials have been considering for several years.

Reports posted at 8 p.m.,Tuesday night, show 74.95 percent of voters (2,121 total) approved of the measure, while 25.05 percent (709 total) were against it.

Tualatin Measure 34-220 asked voters to prohibit the City Council from authorizing the use of “city resources for public rail transit systems” without a public vote. In this instance, city resources are described as: public funds, staff time, lobbying agreements, property interests and tangible or intangible city assets.

Also prohibited would be the right to direct or permit using the aforementioned resources for financing, design, construction or operation of public rail systems without voter approval.

The city has been a part of the SW Corridor Plan for years. That plan, currently being studied, is looking at several traffic improvements from Portland to Tualatin, and planners are considering bringing either a light-rail MAX line to town, or a less expensive rapid bus system, similar to one used in Eugene.

No decision has yet been made on which of the two, if any, will be built. Tuesday's vote does not impact plans for rapid bus.

This is the second such vote in Washington County this year. In March, Tigard voters approved a less severe measure, which calls for a public vote before the city can approve plans to build any kind of "high-capacity transit" system, including rapid bus and MAX, but allows the city to continue studying both plans.

Check back tomorrow morning for updates as they become available.

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