Multi-family Permits

Multi-family Development
A multi-family development has three or more dwelling units on the same lot. It may include buildings such as townhouses or apartment buildings.

Land Use
In order to encourage a mix of uses in our community, multi-family dwelling units are permitted in residential, commercial, and special area zones. The number of dwelling units allowed in residential zones is based on the zoning of the property and the density requirements for that zone. The number of dwelling units allowed in commercial zones is not regulated; however, special use limitations may apply. Special area zones also have applicable density requirements. Zoning maps are available online.

Each zone has specific regulations on use, building setbacks, height and other development standards. Additional standards may apply if the lot is located within an overlay zone (i.e. Transit Oriented Development, Nodal Development, Water Resource). The Eugene Code (EC), including Chapter 9 Land Use, is available online. When planning a multi-family development it is important to:
  • See appropriate zone (ie. Commercial, Residential, Whiteaker, etc.) for development standards that apply
  • See applicable overlay zone for additional development standards that may apply
  • Review special development standards for multi-family housing that may also apply (see EC 9.5500)
  • Understand all other general development standards beginning at EC 9.6000 (ie. vehicle and bicycle parking)
Building Code
A multi-family building can be designed under the residential or commercial building code. Below are examples of each:
Residential Building Code (ORSC):
  • Townhouses are single-family dwellings constructed in a group of three or more attached units where each unit extends from the foundation to the roof with an open space or public way on at least two sides. They are limited to three stories above grade.
  • Live/work units are one or two family dwellings or townhouses that include an area for commercial or retail use.
Commercial Building Code (OSSC). This includes all work not covered by the Residential code such as:
  • Apartments and condominiums.
  • Townhouses more than three stories above grade.
  • Live/work units in buildings not under the ORSC.
  • Mixed use buildings with apartments and commercial uses. This applies even if there is only one dwelling unit in the building.
When submitting plans for review, the commercial permit review process applies regardless of which building code is used. The plans should specify which code was used in the design. If the design uses the OSSC, please indicate whether Appendix N was used. Knowing the basis of the design will allow the plans to be directed to the proper review team and speed up the review process.   A separate multi-family application should be submitted for new construction.