Housing Tools and Strategies


In July, the Housing Tools and Strategies team provided an update to City Council on progress of the items within the Action Inventory. The update includes a detailed visual 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).

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 Work Session for HTS, staff proposed a Next Step item to complete and adopt the Comprehensive Plan Map, with parcel-specific data. Since March, as an initial step staff has been working to initiate a contract with the Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) to develop a technical methodology to digitize the Metro Plan diagram, which is the current comprehensive plan map, and clarify locations of plan designation boundaries for City staff review that will inform the development of the parcel-specific map. This step with LCOG will take approximately 3 months. City staff will use this new spatial dataset to better understand the scope of the parcel-specific comprehensive plan map project and to inform a draft Project Charter and draft Public Involvement Plan that will be presented for review and input to the Planning Commission and City Council. This entire process will take approximately 18 months.

Creating a parcel-specific comprehensive plan map is a first step that will allow for future alignment of the Zoning map with the Comprehensive Plan map, which will clarify citywide policies about where housing is planned and reduce uncertainty about allowed housing types throughout Eugene. An aligned zoning and comprehensive plan map provides guidance and lays a foundation that will make it simpler to implement many other actions identified in the HTS Action Inventory.

At the March 2019 Work Session, staff also proposed a Next Step item to complete and adopt the Housing chapter of the Comprehensive Plan. Due to Planning staff changes and project needs, staff will be prioritizing more time to work on the River Road Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan throughout the summer. In the fall, staff will focus on developing initial drafts for all remaining Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan chapters. Since the chapters are interrelated, they will be reviewed and discussed as a whole instead of in pieces. This will be a more efficient use of people’s time and allow for more robust conversations on the connections between policies. The initial draft comprehensive plan chapters will be brought through the process outlined in the approved Public Involvement Plan. Please see the updated draft timeline for more details.

Completing and adopting the parcel-specific Comprehensive Plan map and the Housing chapter of the Comprehensive Plan will reduce the need for some administrative processes, which will reduce costs for building housing and provide guidance for future implementation.

River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan

In the River Road-Santa Clara neighborhood planning process, the community identified a need for more middle types of housing. A large portion of the land directly adjacent to the River Road corridor is zoned R-1, Low Density Residential. Conceptual ways to change the zoning and/or code to allow more housing types along and near River Road are currently being prepared by the project staff and consultant team. There will be outreach at community events and through an online survey in August and September to gather public input on the zoning and code concepts. This input will inform proposed draft zoning and code changes that will implement policies in the draft neighborhood plan.

Once assembled into a complete draft, the neighborhood plan and any proposed zone or code changes 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. For more information, please visit the project web page at www.RiverRoad-SantaClaraPlan.org


Future Implementation: State Legislation- HB 2001

The 2019 Oregon legislature passed legislation that directly affects the HTS initiative. On Sunday, June 30, 2019 the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001 with a 17-9 vote. 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 bill also requires cities with populations greater than 10,000 to allow duplexes in lands zoned as single-family. The new legislation will apply to Eugene.

Passage of the bill will affect several planning efforts underway in Eugene, including the ADU remand, the code audit, and the River Road Santa Clara neighborhood plan/corridor study, to name a few. Staff will be examining the final text of the bill and discussing impacts over the next few weeks and will keep you informed as our understanding evolves.

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