Housing Tools and Strategies

Progress

The Housing Tools and Strategies team provides quarterly updates to City Council on progress of the items within the Action Inventory. 

Below is a detailed visual from July providing a broad overview of project milestones and anticipated timelines. For better legibility, download the visual here.


Both completed and in-progress items are described in detail in the tabbed sections below.

HTS Infographic FINAL
  1. Land Use
  2. Reduce Time & Cost Burden
  3. Housing Opportunities

This strategy includes actions that require some change to the City's land use code (Chapter 9).


Implementation of State Legislation- House Bill 2001

In July staff provided a brief update on the state legislation, HB 2001. The bill seeks to address rising housing costs and limited supply. HB 2001 requires cities with populations greater than 25,000 to allow duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, “cottage clusters,” and townhomes in lands zoned for single-family dwellings. The new legislation will apply to Eugene. The bill language is very clear in its intent which will assist with implementation.


The implementation of HB 2001 aligns with many of the Working Group’s planning and land use recommendations shared in the July HTS update such as:

  • The land use code audit;

  • Completing Comprehensive Plan chapter on housing;

  • The ADU remand; and,

  • River Road Santa Clara neighborhood plan/corridor study

Planning staff are developing an approach to comply with the state legislation that will be brought forward to the Planning Commission and Council for direction. Conceptually, the idea is to leverage the City’s efforts already underway to address housing affordability, availability, and diversity in a manner consistent with HB 2001, including elements of the HTS work plan along with necessary land use code and comprehensive plan amendments. The approach will enable the City to comply with the legislation within the State’s timeframe.


Complete land use code audit of regulatory and process barriers to housing production

This audit is a process and regulatory audit of the land use code will identify barriers to ADUs and missing middle housing. By identifying these barriers we can amend the code in the future to facilitate easier development of these housing types. 


On March 18th, the Planning Commission provided input on the scope and methodology to analyze the City’s comprehensive plan, land use code, and other land development documents and regulations. The Planning Commission reviewed the draft audit on April 22nd. The presentation is available online as slides or as a webcast


The audit was completed in June. To see the completed audit and more details, visit the project website.


Improve the Clear and Objective standards

Revision of the Clear and Objective language will allow residential development to have a clear path forward for land use applications for housing, thus saving time and saving money. This is a set of approval criteria that are intended to be objective and measurable, which is useful for straightforward developments that don't require flexibility.


City Council gave the green light to advance proposed code amendments to the formal adoption process at the May 20 work session. The draft language provides the basic framework for code amendments that will implement the approved concepts for key issues identified at the beginning of the project, which range from simple maintenance fixes to addressing more complex items like tree preservation and geotechnical requirements. Refinements to the language are likely as the formal adoption process will include opportunities for community input at public hearings. We anticipate holding the Planning Commission public hearing this fall, followed by the City Council meeting this winter. The process will take approximately six to nine months before amendments are adopted. Stay tuned to the project website for upcoming meetings.


Align the zoning map with the Comprehensive Plan map

At the March 2019 City Council work session for HTS, staff described two steps to implement the action item identified by the HTS Working Group: Align the Zoning map with the Comprehensive Plan. The two steps are:

  1. To complete and adopt the Comprehensive Plan map with parcel-specific data;

  2. To complete and adopt the housing chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.

These two steps will reduce the need for some administrative processes for some development applications, which will reduce costs for building housing. The Housing chapter and the map will provide guidance and lay a foundation that will make it simpler to implement many other actions identified in the HTS Action Inventory.


Since July, Planning staff have continued working with Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) to develop a technical methodology to digitize the Metro Plan diagram for City staff review. Staff recently hired an intern who will assist in clarifying land use plan designations boundaries and improve the accuracy of the map at the individual property level through research and documentation of land use decisions, neighborhood refinement plans and other planning documents.


River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan

The River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan includes draft goals, policies, and actions that support adding more housing types along River Road, a key transit corridor, as well as along major streets. Elements of the neighborhood vision relating to the corridor and allowing more housing types are consistent with the intent of HB 2001.


The neighborhood planning process is in the Action Planning phase, where community volunteers are refining a list of draft actions to implement each of the neighborhood plan goals. The neighborhood plan survey presents draft actions for community input, and the results will guide the Community Advisory Committee as they continue to refine actions and work to identify neighborhood priorities. In addition, the River Road Corridor Study survey presents two draft land use concepts for how to plan for housing near the River Road corridor – should we plan for denser apartments along River Road and major side streets, or allow middle housing such as triplexes, cottage clusters, and rowhouses over a wider area within walking distance of the corridor? The results of this survey will inform refined draft code concepts that allow a variety of housing types.


This fall refined draft actions and draft code concepts will be vetted at a community event, River Road and Santa Clara Community Organization meetings, a triple bottom line sounding board, and Planning Commission meetings. This community vetting and input will help inform the development of a draft neighborhood plan and any proposed zone or code changes, which will go through a public land use process with community, Planning Commission, and City Council/Board of Commissioners meetings leading up to plan adoption and implementation. 


Learn more about the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan.


Accessory Dwelling Units

At City Council’s October work session on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), council discussed and voted on several potential changes to the draft ordinance before them. The draft ordinance was prepared in response to City Council direction, a recent Land Use Board of Appeals decision and recent changes in state law. Among other things, it includes the removal of owner/occupancy requirements and the removal of on-site parking requirements. At the meeting, Council voted in favor of amending the ordinance to remove barriers to ADUs on sloped lots and to remove barriers to ADUs being built above garages. Council is expected to take action on the full ordinance before the end of the year.


At the request of City Council, HTS staff are researching tools to lower the cost of building ADUs in Eugene. There are certain costs that stem from the process of developing an ADU that fall within the City’s purview. However, all these cost savings tools will need to be discussed at a policy level in order to understand the impacts of forgoing fees. Understanding how these costs may impact development will help to inform any attempts at lowering the cost of building ADUs in our community.

 


HTS for web

HTS logo on city webpages

If you’ve been noodling around on the City of Eugene website you will have noticed this icon on more pages. These little houses have been used throughout the HTS process and now serve to link initiatives to the goal of increasing housing affordability, availability, and diversity of type. These initiatives may be recommendations from the Working Group, existing projects or programs, or new approaches. By connecting programs, initiatives, plans, and projects we can begin to visually show the cumulative effect of these efforts. And, we can connect everything to the same narrative- that housing affordability, availability, and diversity of type is a wicked problem that crosses many departments and work groups; solutions take time, process change, and thoughtful balancing of values; and that all these items can contribute to the goals within HTS.

Community Input and Feedback Options:

Contact Us

    1. Community Development


      Anne Fifield
    2. Economic Strategies Manager
    3. 99 W 10th Ave 
      Eugene, OR 97401 
      Ph: 541-682-5451
      Fx: 541-682-5572
      Email