MEDFORD — Medford will join forces with six other Jackson County cities in an effort to shape growth within the Rogue Valley for the next 50 years.

MEDFORD — Medford will join forces with six other Jackson County cities in an effort to shape growth within the Rogue Valley for the next 50 years.

The Medford City Council unanimously voted its approval Thursday night to adopt the Regional Problem Solving plan, a process attempting to create a vision for growth based on a projected doubling of Jackson County's population in the next half century. The effort requires all seven cities in the county to sign on.

"As mayor, I can tell you how excited I am to be signing this," said Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler. "It's been a long process."

Though the plan has at least two more years before it is implemented, the process calls for Medford to set aside 6,476 acres of urban reserve land, 1,877 of which already are defined as parks currently outside of the city limits and will remain park land.

Medford already has proposed 592 acres currently zoned commercial farmland, 318 of which are pending state approval — near South Stage and Coker Butte Road — for future development.