Middle Housing Code Changes | HB 2001 

Middle Housing graphic

House Bill 2001

The Oregon State Legislature passed a law in June 2019 that is intended to provide more opportunities for a variety of housing types in traditionally single-family neighborhoods, and to increase the overall housing supply in and around cities. No later than June 30, 2022, Eugene must amend the City’s land use regulations to allow:

  • 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 detached single-family dwelling; and
  • Triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in residential zones within the City that allow detached single-family dwellings.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is drafting and adopting minimum standards for complying with the bill as well as a model code. All rulemaking meetings are virtual and attended by stakeholders around the state and are available to be attended by the public. Visit the DLCD website for meeting information. Eugene has until June 30, 2022 to adopt changes to the city’s land-use regulations that comply with DLCD’s minimum standards. Given that the law was just passed, the City is still evaluating the law, discussing its impacts, and formulating a plan to implement its requirements.

Duplex for Web

Middle Housing Implementation Timeline

MH Timeline Button 2

Middle Housing Public Engagement

Public engagement will include opportunities for the community to engage in the planning process, information on how individuals and organizations can effectively participate and will be consistent with the City’s Public Participation Guidelines and Statewide Planning Goal 1. Read the Middle Housing Public Involvement Plan. An emphasis will be placed on online methods that comply with current health guidelines and engage a broad spectrum of the community to gather feedback on the design and code concepts, code framework, and hearings-ready code.  

Meet the Housing Types

The City is beginning a series on each housing type we’ll be discussing in the project. We will be writing a series of articles debuting in the EUG Planning Newsletter each month. Along with regular project updates, the articles will introduce:

  • Accessory Dwelling Units
  • Triplexes
  • Fourplexes
  • Cottage Clusters
  • Row Houses
  • Duplexes

Planning Commission and City Council

City staff is in the process of drafting a Public Involvement Plan for the Middle Housing project. In June, the Planning Commission reviewed a draft public involvement plan and later approved the plan in August. The meeting recordings can be watched on the City of Eugene Webpage. 

Healthy Democracy

We are exploring ideas to expand public outreach and make it easier to include more community members in important conversations that affect everyone. In December, Healthy Democracy presented a new outreach method to the Eugene Planning Commission. Healthy Democracy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Portland, and presented about their citizen juries; diverse groups that are designed to be more representative of community demographics than traditional committees. 

Participants are compensated for their work reviewing complex issues for policy impacts on people across the community. This presentation was an opportunity for the Planning Commission and the community to learn about the organization and new opportunities to move forward and grow the effectiveness of equitable engagement.

Where Middle Housing Can Currently Be Built in Eugene

  1. Quick Guide
  2. Accessory Dwelling Units
  3. Duplexes
  4. Triplexes
  5. Fourplexes
  6. Cottage Clusters
  7. Row Houses

This information is a high-level summary of where middle housing types can currently be constructed in our existing Land Use Code. For more information on regulations, visit our searchable, online Land Use Code. To see the zoning of Eugene, visit our searchable Zoning Map.

R-1: Low-DensiZoning Map Linkty Residential

R-1.5: Rowhouse

R-2: Medium-Density Residential

R-3: Limited High-Density Residential

R-4: High-Density Residential

For examples of Middle Housing in Eugene, check out the Missing Middle Housing Handbook!

The Complicated History of Residential Zoning 

To move forward, we must first look back and acknowledge actions in the past that have harmed and excluded members of our community. Residential Zoning has a complex history that resulted in exclusion of low-income, black, indigenous, and people of color from certain neighborhoods. In Oregon this history was especially harmful with direct exclusion of non-white people from the state from 1844 until 1926*. Although those exclusions are illegal today, their negative impacts are still affecting our community through the legacy of exclusionary zoning. Housing policy and code changes are an opportunity to mitigate those. 

*After the passage of the 14th amendment in 1866, this law was rendered moot, however, remained in the Oregon Constitution.

The Mims House

Mims House

Resources to Learn More

In The Color of Law, author Richard Rothstein tells how early zoning ordinances specifically banned blacks from certain zones. The Supreme Court outlawed that in 1917, but in many cities, Rothstein writes, “To prevent lower-income African Americans from living in neighborhoods where middle-class whites resided, local and federal officials began … to promote zoning ordinances to reserve middle-class neighborhoods for single-family homes that lower-income families of all races could not afford.” View the videos below and borrow The Color of Law from the Eugene Public Library for more context about the history of zoning.

Segregated by Design (video, ~18 mins)

Watch The Color of Law author Richard Rothstein deliver a rapid-fire primer on exclusionary zoning and racist federal policies.

Zoning Matters: How Land-Use Policies Shape Our Lives video (video, ~3 mins)

Watch the video from the Urban Institute below to learn how zoning affects communities.

  1. Terri Harding

    Principal Planner

  1. Sophie McGinley

    Assistant Planner