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 August 2020 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 Inforgraphic 08.05.20 UPDATE Reduced
  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).


Middle Housing Code Amendments (Implementation of HB 2001)

The Oregon State Legislature passed House Bill 2001 in June 2019, a law that is intended to provide more opportunities for a variety of housing types in traditionally single detached neighborhoods, and to increase the overall housing supply in and around cities. The new law requires that, no later than June 30, 2022, the City of Eugene must amend its land use regulations to allow the following.


  • A duplex on each lot or parcel, that is located within city limits, that is zoned for residential use, and on which the City’s land use regulations allows the construction of a single detached dwelling.
  • Triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in residential zones within the City that allow single detached dwellings.

The City has received a $150,000 grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to implement the law. The grant can fund code writing and public outreach. More information is available on the Middle Housing Code Changes website.


The implementation of HB 2001 aligns with and leverages many of the Working Group’s planning and land use recommendations shared in the July 2019 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. The approach will enable the City to comply with the legislation within the State’s designated time frame of implementation by June 30, 2022.


Currently, the two-year approach to implementation of the State’s legislation is as follows:

  • Project scoping and drafting of a public involvement plan began in winter of 2019/2020 

  • Design and code concepts will be prepared and vetted in late summer and fall of 2020.

  • Code writing and code package preparations will be developed in winter and spring of 2021.

  • And, the formal adoption process is planned for summer and fall of 2021.

Planning staff have developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to share information. To get involved in the process and stay informed of next steps members of the public should contact planning@eugene-or.gov.


Improve the Clear and Objective standards

In May 2019, Council advanced the proposed Clear & Objective land use code amendments on to the formal adoption process. As a reminder, these updates will apply to land use applications that involve housing such as land divisions, planned unit developments, conditional uses, and site reviews when an applicant elects to have the project reviewed under clear and objective requirements as they are entitled by State law. The proposed changes to our existing clear and objective approval criteria range from simple maintenance fixes to addressing some more complex items like tree preservation and geotechnical requirements.


To stay up-to-date regarding meetings, check the project website for upcoming event announcements and links to the agendas and webcasts. You can also email the project manager, Jenessa Dragovich, at JDragovich@eugene-or.gov if you want to receive project updates directly.


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 summer 2019, Planning staff worked with Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) to develop a technical methodology to digitize the Metro Plan diagram for City staff review. Staff also hired a fall intern who assisted in clarifying land use plan designations boundaries and improving 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. Staff has focused this research on the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan area to develop a parcel-specific map that will be part of the plan’s adoption package. This effort will also help to inform a citywide approach for completing and adopting a parcel-specific map.


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 River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan is still in the Action Planning phase, which includes refining and prioritizing strategies to turn the neighborhood vision into a reality. The Community Advisory Committee (CAC) for the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan met on June 16th via Zoom to discuss next steps for the Action Plan, which includes developing a strategy for ongoing plan implementation. 


The project website has updated Topic Area pages with the latest draft vision statements, goals, policies, and actions with links to provide feedback or ask questions.  Two new outreach reports from Fall 2019 and Winter 2020 summarize community input on the initial draft actions and River Road Corridor Study draft preferred zoning concept. This input is informing the CAC and project staff as they refine actions and begin to develop the components to be included in the neighborhood plan adoption package. There is also a new River Road Corridor Study web map to explore the draft preferred zoning concept in more detail. More detailed draft code language is being developed this summer, and the project team is working to understand how state rulemaking for HB2001 may impact the code. 


For more information, visit the project website or sign up for the project newsletter for updates on next steps and opportunities for input.


Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 21, 2020, City Council passed an ordinance making changes to the City’s accessory dwelling unit (ADU) regulations. The process started in January 2018 to implement changes to state law (SB 1051 and eventually HB 2001), and this action was a long time in the making after a remand from the Land Use Board of Appeals on Council’s first ordinance, and several changes in state and case law.


There are a several items in the ordinance that should have a positive impact on the number of ADUs that Eugene will see. In addition to removing owner/occupancy and parking requirements, the most impactful changes include increasing building height/sloped setback inflection point from 8 feet to 10 feet (meaning the ADU can now be 10 feet in height at the interior yard setback, before sloping up to the maximum height) and removing barriers to above garage ADUs and ADUs on slopes by increasing the building height and sloped setbacks. 


Additionally, the changes include the following:

  • Replaces all references of “secondary dwelling” with “accessory dwelling”

  • Clarifies that accessory dwellings are not accessory buildings

  • Aligns the definition of accessory dwelling with that provided in ORS 197.312(5) (aka SB 1051).

  • Adds accessory dwellings as an explicitly permitted uses in the following zones:

    • AG Agricultural

    • R-2 Medium Density Residential

    • R-3 Limited High-Density Residential

    • R-4 High Density Residential

    • S-E Elmira Road Special Area Zone

    • S-HB Blair Boulevard Historic Commercial Special Area Zone

  • Clarifies that uses allowed in the S-JW Jefferson Westside Special Area Zone and S-C Chambers Special Area zone include what the State defines as an “accessory dwelling unit,” but the two zones refer to the use as an additional “one-family dwelling”

  • Applies the R-1 Low Density Residential zone standards for accessory dwellings to accessory dwellings in the following zones:

    • AG Agricultural

    • R-2 Medium Density Residential

    • R-3 Limited High-Density Residential

    • R-4 High Density Residential

    • S-E Elmira Road Special Area Zone

  • Removes regulations that regulate dog keeping separately for an accessory dwelling

  • Allows for accessory dwellings on new flag lots

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