A stand-out from the sprawl of Hillsboro is Orenco Station, a development planned to feel like an old neighborhood, with some row houses and parks plus retail businesses in a "mixed use" area. The whole thing is close to the Orenco Station MAX station.
In theory you could live here without a car and take the train into Portland, but in truth, the train is slow to Portland (40 minutes each way to downtown, plus walk and wait time), and aside from a New Seasons market and a few restaurants, there aren't many interesting shops in the development. (The Hillsboro Farmers Market is also open Sunday mornings during the spring-summer at Orenco Station.) Surrounding the Orenco Station area are numerous chain restaurants, fast food, and strip malls, which require a long walk to access. Your best compromise is to have a car but maybe use it less than you would in other suburbs.
But if you work at Intel or one of the neighboring businesses and really don't want to commute to/from Portland itself, yet you love public transit, this would be your best. If you work at the Intel Ronler Acres or Hawthorn Farms campuses, you could easily walk to work.
Note that some of the other MAX stations nearby - Quatama, Willow Creek, Beaverton Creek - do have apartment complexes built around them (all relatively new), but they have very mixed reputations, even for safety (yes, in the suburbs!)!!! You will want to dig up some online reviews of apartments around these stations before agreeing to move into one of these places. Orenco Station has a much more solid reputation, partly because there are many homes and condos in the area, too.
MAX Stop at Orenco Station
Pictures are all copyrighted by Andrew Hall and may not be used or copied without permission.