October 7, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

City wants to upzone your property for high-density multiplexes

3 min read
The City’s proposal would allow 3-story quadplexes like this (at 15th and Olive).

The City’s proposal would allow 3-story quadplexes like this (at 15th and Olive).

submitted by Carolyn Jacobs, South University Neighborhood Association

Your property is being upzoned by the City of Eugene. This notice is being sent to inform you and provide an opportunity for comment on proposed zoning changes that would affect your lot and the residential lots in proximity to you.

What This Means: HB 2001 will give Eugene the opportunity to increase the City’s housing supply. However, the City’s proposed zone changes go far beyond what is required by the state law. It would increase the allowable density by five times over what is currently permitted for a minimum single-family lot and allow your lot and others to be developed with four (4) or more detached or attached dwellings. Typical lots would be dividable into multiple lots as small as 850 square feet for each dwelling added to the original lot.

The proposed code changes would allow buildings up to three stories and 42 feet high within five feet of your property line and would reduce or eliminate off-street parking requirements for additional housing on your street. On most lots, new buildings would be allowed to cover the entire area within the lot’s setbacks. Development of duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes and row houses would not have any requirement to preserve natural open space or protect existing mature trees.

What You Can Do: City officials need to hear from you about these proposed zone changes to low-density (R-1) zoning. Consider whether existing affordable homes should be demolished to make room for new market-rate units with no requirements for affordability? Should there be a limit on the size of new units? Is it acceptable for these units to become Airbnbs rather than providing needed housing? To what degree should the City exceed density, height, and lot coverage beyond what state law requires? Should the capacity of existing infrastructure (water, sewers, stormwater, and roads) be considered? We urge you to email your elected officials now.

Contact your City Council Representative and copy your correspondence to the whole Council and add it to official testimony: Eugene Mayor and City Council (mayorcouncilandcitymanager@ci.eugene.or.us), middlehousingtestimony@eugene-or.gov

Why we’re so concerned about the Middle Housing draft code:

  • Three-story plexes will be allowed everywhere.
  • No requirements for affordability and no size limits on units.
  • City planners have exceeded the requirements of state law to allow larger, taller and denser developments than required.
  • Small, affordable homes will be the first to be demolished and replaced with new, market-rate multiplexes.
  • A single “middle housing” development on one lot can use up all the available street parking for the entire block.
  • The City’s proposal allows buildings to cover virtually the entire site within setbacks.
  • No consideration is given for limited infrastructure capacity (water, sewer, stormwater, roads).
  • Once changed, this zoning will be nearly impossible to undo.

The City Council will hold its first public hearing on this April 18, 2022.

Brought to you by concerned neighborhood volunteers – because the City failed to notify you.

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