The Hamlet and Village Program was initiated in 2006 in response to grassroots efforts by residents to become more involved with county government and to help support their community.
While each hamlet or village has unique goals and activities, they share a common interest in retaining the flavor of their community, promoting activities to benefit the community, working with the County and outside organizations, and providing their residents increased access to (and information about) the County. Each group has a slightly different way of achieving these goals.
The structure of hamlets and villages is composed of community-elected Boards of Directors.
Review the Community Involvement Handbook to learn more.
These are the established hamlets and villages in Clackamas County:
Read the 2016 Hamlets and Villages Ordinance.
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Both hamlets and villages:
- Are voluntary grassroots organizations formed by the local community.
- Give areas a greater identity with more influence than a non-organized unincorporated area.
- Allow for communities to decide on advisory board members, bylaws, services, activities, boundaries and other matters.
- Have boards that are advisory to the Board of County Commissioners and are agents of Clackamas County.
- May raise funds by accepting donations and fundraising projects. Hamlets cannot request a tax levy or impose any other fees.
- With Clackamas County approval, may develop intergovernmental agreements or memoranda of understanding with neighboring communities, governmental agencies and other entities.
Villages (not hamlets) can:
- Raise funds by accepting donations and fundraising projects. Villages may also raise funds via a county service district with approval of county commissioners and registered voters within the village boundary.
Who can join a hamlet or village?
Everyone who is at least 18 years old and resides, owns property or has a business within a hamlet or village boundary is a member of that hamlet or village. Hamlets and villages are not permitted to charge dues, fees or assessments to be a member.
How do hamlets and villages differ from Community Planning Organizations?
Community Planning Organizations (CPOs) are Clackamas County's recognized community involvement organizations that provide input to land use matters, though many CPOs take up other issues.
Hamlets and villages are agents of the county and are insured by the county for actions taken during hamlet or village business matters. CPOs are not insured by the county. Hamlets and villages participate in community projects, can have intergovernmental agreements with other governmental groups, conduct joint projects with other organizations, and raise funds.
What are the advantages of becoming a hamlet or village?
With additional opportunity comes additional responsibility for residents. Advantages include increased participation in discussions that affect their communities, enhanced relationships with the county, and the likelihood of recognition and consultation by other jurisdictions. Being a hamlet or village means having a need for active community participation, leadership, commitment and accountability.
How are hamlets or villages formed?
For hamlets, either 10 percent or 100 residents – whichever is fewer – must sign a petition to start the process. For villages, either 15 percent or 150 residents must sign a petition to start the process. Residents then vote. If the residents approve the formation, the Board of County Commissioners accepts the vote and officially creates the hamlet or village.
How can hamlets work with neighboring communities and jurisdictions?
Upon approval by the Board of County Commissioners, the entities may develop a Memorandum of Understanding and other agreements to ensure communication and collaboration on matters of mutual concern.
Where are the hamlets and villages in Clackamas County?
- There are currently no villages.
- Hamlet of Beavercreek (formed September 2006)
- Stafford Hamlet (formed December 2006)
- Hamlet of Mulino (formed May 2007)
The Oregon Public Meetings Law (ORS 192) requires that meetings of advisory bodies be open to the public. A hamlet or village is a public body which makes decisions and recommendations, and therefore is subject to the Public Meetings Law. The Public Meetings Law requires that written minutes be taken at all meetings, and forwarded to the resident involvement desk as part of the county community planning organization recognition requirements.
Role of Public & Government Affairs
The Clackamas County Public & Government Affairs Department (PGA) serves in a liaison role to Clackamas County CPOs, hamlets and villages. PGA may be reached by calling 503-655-8751 or by visiting the Public Services Building at 2051 Kaen Road in Oregon City.