Damascus /dəˈmæskɪs/ is an unincorporated community and former city in Clackamas County, Oregon, United States. First incorporated in 2004 it was disincorporated July 18, 2016 upon voters' decision on May 17, 2016. Damascus is located east of Happy Valley and Interstate 205 and west of Boring. The area that later became the city had a population of 9,022 in 2000. The population was 10,539 residents as of the 2010 census.
According to Oregon Geographic Names, Damascus can date its existence as a community back to 1867, when a post office by that name was established. That post office was closed in 1904. The original heart of the community is along Oregon Route 212, which as of 2004 served as part of the city's southern boundary.
A 2000 decision by Metro to expand Portland's urban growth boundary into the area prompted some citizens of the community to submit Measure 3-138, a measure on the ballot for the 2004 general election in November. The initiative's passage resulted in the incorporation of the former unincorporated communities of Damascus and Carver into the City of Damascus, a step which prevents nearby cities from annexing the community. The city was the first new city in Oregon in 22 years.
In a special election on September 21, 2005, a city charter was approved by 88% of its voters. Voters in eleven parcels of land between Damascus and Happy Valley were given the chance to vote on annexation to Damascus: six of the areas voted for annexation, four voted against, and in the eleventh no votes were cast.
Damascus sits 712 feet (217 m) above sea-level. Located in north-central part of Clackamas County, the former city's northern boundary was the Multnomah County line. Boring lies to the east, and Clackamas to the west.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 16.14 square miles (41.80 km2), of which, 16.04 square miles (41.54 km2) was land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) was water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 10,539 people, 3,621 households, and 2,984 families residing in the city. The population density was 657.0 inhabitants per square mile (253.7/km2). There were 3,769 housing units at an average density of 235.0 per square mile (90.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.3% White, 0.6% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.4% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.4% of the population.
There were 3,621 households of which 36.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.5% were married couples living together, 6.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 17.6% were non-families. 12.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.16.
The median age in the city was 43.2 years. 25% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.6% were from 25 to 44; 34.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.8% male and 49.2% female.
Fire protection in the Damascus is provided by the Boring Fire District and by Clackamas County Fire District #1 (CDFD1). One fire station, Boring Fire Station 149 - Damascus, is located in the community, with primary emergency response also from nearby CDFD1 Station 7 - Pleasant Valley and Boring Fire Station 140 - Boring. Damascus is served by the North Clackamas, Oregon Trail, Estacada, Centennial, and Gresham-Barlow school districts. The latter is the second-largest employer in the community.
As a city, Damascus went through seven city managers in eight years, and generally had a contentious existence as a municipality. This included a vote to disincorporate the city and to recall the mayor in 2013. In the May 17, 2016 primary, the citizens of Damascus voted a second time on a proposal to disincorporate. This time, the proposal was approved, and the city ceased to exist on July 18, 2016.