Yes, property that is included in Urban Reserves can continue to be used as it is currently. Urban Reserves don’t trigger any changes in use.
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To see if your property is included in the proposed urban reserves area, visit the Proposed Urban Reserves Web Map and use the address search function in the upper right corner and then click on your property, a pop-up will appear on the left side of page detailing if your property is included. If your property is included, we will notify you before the public hearing process begins.
Being included in Urban Reserves means your property will be among the land considered first when a UGB expansion is necessary. Land designated as Urban Reserves will remain rural, and can’t be urbanized, unless it is brought into the City’s urban growth boundary (UGB) through the formal state-directed process for UGB expansion, and is subsequently annexed into city limits.
County staff have developed draft land use policies, based on state rules, to ensure that land designated as Urban Reserves will remain rural while also being prioritized for future urban growth. Any new policies will need to be agreed to by both Eugene and Lane County as part of the Urban Reserves adoption process. Since the Eugene Urban Reserves will affect county land and residents, proposed policies are being led by county staff. The intention of the draft policies are to ensure that development and land division will not hinder the transition to urban land uses and services before land is brought into the UGB.
The short answer is not many. Proposed policies include:
Prohibiting landowners of non-resource land (primarily rural residential or industrial land) to apply to change plans, land use code or zoning to allow a more intensive use on their property than what is currently allowed, until included in the UGB. An example of this would be applying to change your zone from rural residential to industrial because the proposed new zone would allow more intensive uses.
Prohibiting landowners of resource land (farm or forest land) to apply to rezone or redesignate their land to a non-resource zone or designation, until included in the UGB. This is meant to keep these larger and mostly undeveloped parcels as a resource use until urbanization can occur. An example of this would be applying to change your designation from farm land to residential land. This process is already difficult, however, if land were designated Urban Reserves, it would not be allowed at all until it is brought into the UGB.
Also being proposed is a policy to review Eugene’s Urban Reserves no later than 10 years after Eugene’s first UGB expansion following the initial adoption of Urban Reserves. This policy was a recommendation from the Lane County Board of Commissioners with the intent to ensure that the Urban Reserves do not contain too little or too much land, depending on how the city grows.
The answer, in short, is yes. If a single-family dwelling would have been permitted before Urban Reserves, it will still be permitted after property is included in Urban Reserves. A policy to this effect will be included in the adoption package pursuant to State law. To learn more about proposed policies you can review the meeting materials from the June 15th Lane County Planning Commission meeting. For more information about County policies and regulations, contact Lane County Principal Planner Lindsey Eichner.
CC&Rs and other types of HOA agreements are private contracts and are not enforced by the City or County. Urban Reserves cannot change private neighborhood agreements. These private agreements can be more restrictive than zoning laws and may include details on things like accessory dwelling units and minimum lot sizes. The City enforces its zoning laws; it will not enforce CC&Rs even if a property owner applies for a permit to use property in a way that conflicts with their CC&Rs. If a neighborhood is eventually brought into the Urban Growth Boundary, the zoning would change to allow for future urban uses.
Based on State land use requirements, we have to consider specific areas for Urban Reserves regardless of property owner desire, but staff and decision-makers want to know your opinion about any proposed Urban Reserve area.
Having your land included in an Urban Reserves area will not change your current service provision. Property owners are only eligible for services, such as sewer and EWEB water, when their property is annexed into the City of Eugene. To annex and receive City services, Urban Reserves land would have to first be brought into the Urban Growth Boundary and then meet the requirements for voluntary annexation. See the next question for more information on this.
Annexation into the city limits is voluntary. Annexation typically occurs when a property owner proposes to develop a property that is within the UGB but is not within the city limits. There has been no discussion of requiring properties to annex if they are brought into the UGB. To annex into the city limits, the property must:
See the property owner matrix for more information on City and County differences in services, land use, and taxes.
This is hard to say. There is a chance that the city could need to expand sooner than expected, or that land designated as Urban Reserves would never be included in the urban growth boundary (UGB). In the future, if analysis shows that we need more land to accommodate more people, we will consider expanding the UGB and will look to Urban Reserves areas first. Essentially, Urban Reserves become the first priority land to grow into. However, how much the UGB expands and where within Urban Reserves the UGB expands will depend on several factors, including how fast Eugene’s population grows, how densely we are growing within the UGB, and what kind of land we need (residential, employment, etc). Our Growth Monitoring Program is tracking this. See the graphic illustration on the next page for more information.
Bringing property into the UGB does not change the tax rates applied to the property. The tax rates would only change if the property was brought into the UGB and then the property owner chooses to annex into the City limits. See the property owner matrix for more information.
Being designated as Urban Reserves will not change your farm tax deferral. Property owners who currently farm their land and receive the farm deferral can continue to do so, even if their property is brought into the UGB. The farm deferral program is tied to the use of the land, so property owners can continue to receive the farm deferral even if their zoning changes when they are brought into the UGB. For land currently zoned for Exclusive Farm Use (EFU), property owners would need to reapply for the farm deferral if they were brought into the UGB but can continue to receive it. When a farm deferral property changes use (i.e. is no longer farmed), it will be disqualified from the deferral. Lane County Assessment and Taxation staff are happy to discuss this process in detail with individual property owners.
There is no effect on the taxable value as a result of solely changing the land use designation of a property. For private property, the taxable value is equal to the property’s ‘assessed value,’ which is, by law, lower than the market value of the property. Unless the property redevelops or changes use, Oregon state law limits the increase in a property’s assessed value to 3% per year, and it cannot exceed the property’s real market value. It is normal for the market value of a property to fluctuate year-to-year and this does not trigger a recalculation of the Assessed Value.
If a property were brought into the UGB it is likely that its market value would change, but this alone would not change the tax rate or the assessed value. However, if property is brought into the UGB and then the use of that property changes to be consistent with the new zoning then the assessed value would be recalculated. If the rezone occurs, but no new development occurs that shows use is consistent with the new zoning, then the billed taxes proceed as normal. If a property is annexed into the City limits, the tax rate applied to the taxable value will increase, and the overall tax burden will increase accordingly. See the property owner matrix for more information.
In the beginning of the Adoption Phase, staff assemble the adoption package—this is a package that shows all the work, outreach, and justifications for the staff recommendation to decision makers. Then, when the adoption package is ready, it will be presented to the Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions. Those Commissions will hold public hearings to review the adoption package, hear public comment, and make their recommendation to the decision makers. Then, the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners will consider the staff recommendation, public input, and the City and County’s recommendations before making a joint decision to adopt Urban Reserves.
The public hearings will begin in Fall 2022 with a joint City Planning Commission and County Planning Commission scheduled for October 18, 2022. Public Hearing dates will be posted on the Urban Reserves project webpage.
Currently, meetings are being held virtually and will continue to be held virtually for the upcoming Joint Planning Commission Public Hearing on October 18 and for the prior work sessions. The project team will provide the most up to date information and updates about public meetings on the Urban Reserves project webpage.
There are numerous ways to provide your input. You can e-mail testimony to UrbanReserves@eugene-or.gov. If you’d like to provide comments directly to staff, you can contact Project Manager Rebecca Gershow. You may also contact the Lane County Planning Commission, City of Eugene Planning Commission, Lane County Board of Commissioners, and City of Eugene City Council. Additionally, you may provide public comment at the public hearings in the fall. When that time comes, property owners and interested parties will receive notices, and we will share meeting information on the project’s webpage. Sign up for the interested parties list here.