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April EUG Planning Newsletter: Middle Housing and Growth Monitoring

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This email newsletter is sent from the City of Eugene Planning & Development Department to subscribers interested in staying on top of work in progress.

What’s New with EUG Planning April 11, 2022

This month’s EUG Planning Newsletter includes updates on: Middle Housing, Growth Monitoring, Planning Commission Vacancy, and Planning and Development Department Job Postings. We hope you’ll find this information useful and reach out if you have questions. As always, you can find more information on all of our work by visiting our website.

Middle Housing Public Hearing April 18th

The Middle Housing Code Amendments are heading to City Council for a public hearing April 18th at 7:30pm. The Code Amendments implement House Bill 2001, legislation that requires large cities in Oregon, including Eugene, to allow middle housing (duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, rowhouses, and cottage clusters) to be built in all neighborhoods. This legislation is intended to increase our housing supply and allow for more housing types of all shapes and sizes in more places. As part of the bill, the Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted two things:

  • A set of Minimum Standards that establish the minimum cities must do to comply with the bill. Generally, these standards are based on those that apply to single family dwellings in our R-1 zone.
  • A Model Code that is an example of how to meet the Minimum Standards. In some cases, the Model Code meets the Minimum Standards and in others it goes beyond the Minimum Standards. Cities can choose to apply the Model Code, and if our code amendments are not in place by June 30th, the Model Code will directly apply in Eugene.

Our Choices After 10 months of a robust and diverse public engagement process, we heard that our community wants to go beyond the minimum standards when doing so would result in: lower costs, smaller housing, Affordable (income-qualified) housing, transit-oriented development, and increased opportunities for homeownership. Although much of the proposed code meets the Minimum Standards and Model Code, there are parts that differ. Here’s what the Planning Commission’s proposal includes that differs from the State standards to better meet our community values and goals:

  • Smaller minimum lot sizes result in lower land costs and smaller dwelling units. Our economic feasibility analysis showed that this results in lower-cost housing that would be available to folks making right around our area median income. New single family housing is currently being sold or rented at rates double what can be afforded by folks making the area median income.
  • Lot size reductions if there are units smaller than 900 square feet and for income-qualified units available only to folks making less than 80% of area median income. This encourages smaller, lower-cost dwellings as well as income-qualified housing. There are no affordability incentives in the State Minimum Standards or Model Code.
  • Parking reductions for middle housing built within walking distance of frequent transit and for income-qualified units available only to folks making less than 80% of area median income. Parking can take up a lot of space on a lot that could be used to build housing. This allows property owners to decide how much parking they’d like to provide and gives them the option to provide less. The reduction does not prevent property owners from building parking.
  • Allowing detached plexes would allow for flexibility, encourage tree preservation, and allow for backyard development that would reduce displacement. It would also encourage home ownership opportunities since the code will allow people to own individual units of middle housing and the land beneath them.

For background information and more details about the proposed code, including a code summary, check out the Guide to the Planning Commission Recommendation

We Want to Hear from You! Public Hearings are an opportunity to share your voice and provide input. If you’d like to provide comment on the project; for things you support and things you’d like to see change, sign-up to provide spoken testimony at the City Council Public Hearing Monday April 18 at 7:30pm. Instructions and more information for how to provide live testimony will be posted on the project webpage ahead of the public hearing. Please log on to Zoom a few minutes early and raise you virtual hand as soon as you can! People wanting to speak must raise their hand to get in the queue by 7:35.

Spoken testimony is often limited to 3 minutes. If you are unable or prefer not to provide spoken testimony, you can email your comments to middlehousingtestimony@eugene-or.gov any time before the public hearing. Those emails will be shared with the City Council as part of their meeting packet.

For the latest project information, engagement opportunities, and dates, visit the project webpage, Facebook, Instagram, and sign up for our Interested Parties List. If you have any questions about the project, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley, Code Lead Jeff Gepper, or Project Manager Terri Harding.

Planning Commission to Discuss Growth Monitoring

On April 12, 2022, the Planning Commission will receive an overview of the draft Growth Monitoring Report in preparation for presentation of the report to City Council. The work session begins at 5:30 pm, see the Planning Commission webcast webpage to watch. The draft report is anticipated to be presented to City Council in June 2022.

For more information on Growth Monitoring, please visit the project webpage, or contact Program Manager Heather O’Donnell.

Help Shape the Future of Eugene — Join the Planning Commission

Recruitment has opened for two positions on the Eugene Planning Commission (video). We are seeking residents living within Eugene’s urban growth boundary who are interested in helping plan for our community’s future. Participation on the Planning Commission is an excellent way to get involved in local government and is an interesting and challenging experience that can truly make a difference.

Members of the Planning Commission provide an invaluable service by advising City Council and city staff on a variety of land use and policy matters and by making recommendations on issues that affect our community, including housing, economic development, natural resources and transportation.

Previous experience with planning or development is NOT a requirement. The unique perspective of community members and a willingness to learn about different aspects of the planning process helps the City better consider the impacts of City decisions. The Eugene City Code requires that every effort be made to ensure that the composition of City committees reflects the diversity of the community.

Regular meetings are held twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesday at 5:30 pm. Occasionally additional meetings are scheduled as needed. Meetings are currently held virtually.

More information on Eugene’s Boards and Commissions is available here; more information on the Eugene Planning Commission is available here. Apply hereThe recruitment will remain open through April 15, 2022.

Planning and Development Department Jobs

Planning Specialist
Do you want to play a part in making a great Pacific Northwest City the most livable, prosperous, and thriving place it can possibly be? The Planning Specialist position plays a key role in promoting and implementing the community’s newly adopted vision to accommodate future growth while preserving and enhancing what we love about our city. The City of Eugene’s Planning and Development Department is looking for a positive, productive and collaborative individual to help us turn our community vision into reality. The successful candidate will enjoy providing excellent customer service to the community, thrives in a team environment, and demonstrates adaptability to a dynamic and fast paced work environment.  

This position involves a wide range of work related to the land use code and current planning projects, including providing information and assistance to developers and the public on land use and planning related matters including but not limited to, development standards, land use and building applications, interpretations of development standard, and other work to further our community vision of a compact, connected, livable Eugene. To learn more and apply, click here.

For all City of Eugene jobs, visit our careers webpage.

Interested in Land Use Updates?

It’s important to us that community members know when someone has applied to develop their property through the land use application process. City staff are always happy to discuss a project before the formal review, and can provide information about what the formal review process will be to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to review and comment on a project. Sign up to start receiving emails that list recently submitted projects.

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