Ashland could have trouble providing enough land for future businesses and homes if Jackson County doesn't change its low population forecast for Ashland, city officials fear.

Ashland could have trouble providing enough land for future businesses and homes if Jackson County doesn't change its low population forecast for Ashland, city officials fear.

The low forecast could also hamper efforts to provide adequate water, sewage and road systems.

Even though Ashland has long had an average population growth rate of about 1.35 percent per year, the county has estimated that the city will grow by 0.28 percent each year by 2040.

That would account for 2,176 more people in 2040 — 3,001 fewer people than the city of Ashland estimates it will already have by 2026.

City staff members are drafting a letter to be sent to the county asking for the Ashland population forecast to be increased. The letter must be approved by the Ashland City Council, but council members voiced support for its contents at a June 15 meeting.

The population forecasts for Ashland and other Rogue Valley cities are tied in with a multi-year, multi-city effort to create a plan to deal with a projected doubling of the valley population in 40 to 50 years.

Talent, Phoenix, Medford, Central Point and Eagle Point all designated urban reserves — places where they expect to expand their urban growth boundaries in the future.

Ashland did not designate an urban reserve. City officials instead said they would focus on high-density building inside Ashland's existing urban growth boundary.

— Ashland Daily Tidings