At their December 10 work session, the Eugene City Council heard the preliminary recommendation for expanding the urban growth boundary (UGB) to meet the community’s 20-year land need for jobs, parks, schools, and single-family homes.
Over the next 20 years, adopted population projections indicate Eugene can expect to add 34,000 new residents to the city. Eugene’s current urban growth boundary, which defines the area in which urban development can occur, currently includes 34,500 acres and has accommodated they city’s housing, employment, park and school needs for the past 30 years. The proposed expansion would add 1,250 acres specifically for employment lands for new or expanding businesses, two parks, a future Bethel school, and approximately 535 single-family homes.
While Eugene’s population is expected to increase by about 20% over the next two decades, the proposed expansion only increases the footprint of our community, or UGB, by 3.5% during that same time period. The recommendation includes:
• Adding about 924 acres near the Eugene airport and Clear Lake Road to provide land for over 3,000 jobs, a community park, and future Bethel schools.
• Adding 35 acres near Madison Middle School (Wilkes Drive and River Loop 2) for a Santa Clara Community Park.
• Adding 230 acres near Bloomberg Road, north of 30th Avenue and Lane Community College, to provide land for about 400 homes.
• Adding 60 acres near Bailey Hill and Gimpl Hill Roads to provide land for 135 homes.
The recommendation provided by City staff is based on more than 5 years of work that began in 2010 with Envision Eugene – a community process to establish a collective vision for our city’s future and how we will accommodate future growth. The recommendation must also take into account specific state land use laws that define what areas can be considered by Oregon cities when they need to expand their UGBs.
Based on the work of Envision Eugene, an extensive technical analysis was conducted over the last two years with the help of a community-based Technical Resource Group. In addition, a variety of community stakeholders, including the Planning Commission, expansion area property owners and residents, members of the Sustainability and Human Rights Commissions, the Toxics Board, and other interested parties provided input as the recommendation was refined.
The community is invited to review and provide feedback on the preliminary recommendation. An on-line open house will be launched at www.envisioneugene.org on December 12. The website will provide information about and maps of the proposed expansion areas as well as an online survey to collect community input.
An in-person Open House event will be held on January 13 from 4 -6 p.m. in the Atrium Lobby at 99 West 10th Avenue for community members to ask questions and share feedback.
The City Council will also hold a Public Forum to hear from community members on the topic on January 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Avenue.