Yes, property that is included in urban reserves can continue to be used as it is currently. Urban reserves do not trigger any changes in use.
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To see if your property is included in the proposed urban reserves, visit the Proposed Urban Reserves Web Map and use the address search function in the upper right corner. Click on your property, and a pop-up will appear on the left side of the page detailing if your property is included.
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 until it is brought into the City’s urban growth boundary (UGB) through the formal state-directed process for UGB expansion and then you apply for annexation into the city limits.
Having your land included in urban reserves will not change your current service provision. Property is eligible for services, such as sewer and EWEB water, when it is annexed into the City of Eugene. To receive City services, property in urban reserves 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 is currently 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 and their annexation application is approved. There has been no discussion of requiring properties to annex if they are brought into the UGB. To annex into the city limits, property must:
See the property owner matrix for more information on City and County differences in services, land use, and taxes.
Inclusion in urban reserves will not trigger any change in the use of a property, meaning current uses can continue. Based on state rules, some land-use policies have been developed to ensure that land in urban reserves will remain rural while also being prioritized for future urban growth. For example, under the proposed policies, single-family dwellings will still be allowed on legal lots if the County’s regulations would have allowed them prior to inclusion in urban reserves, but requests for zone changes allowing more intensive uses on exception areas and non-resource land (e.g., land with residential or industrial land use designations) will not be allowed until the land is brought into the UGB. Similarly, property owners cannot request farm or forest land to be changed to a non-resource designation (like residential or industrial) until after it is included in the UGB. Requests for zone changes or re-designation are very complex, include a lengthy application and review process, and approval is not guaranteed. The proposed policies can be reviewed in the plan amendments which are part of the adoption materials posted on the Urban Reserves web page.
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 the proposed urban reserves. Written testimony can be submitted by e-mail to UrbanReserves@eugene-or.gov.
No, if your septic system fails and you are within the UGB but outside of city limits you may be required to connect to the City’s sewer system depending upon the distance between your property and a sewer line. If this is the case, then you may need to enter into an annexation agreement. An annexation agreement details that at some point in the future your property will be annexed, however, even with such an agreement in place, annexation still remains voluntary based on existing City Council policy.
This is hard to say. The proposed urban reserves include enough developable land to meet the city’s growth needs through 2059. 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 first. Essentially, urban reserves become the first priority land to grow into. However, how much the UGB expands, where within urban reserves the UGB expands, and when, 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.
Being identified 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 can discuss this process in detail with individual property owners.
Bringing property into urban reserves (or the UGB) does not change the property’s tax rate. The tax rate would only change if 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.
There is no effect on the taxable value of land as a result of solely including property in urban reserves. 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 property redevelops or changes use, Oregon state law limits the increase in a property’s assessed value to 3 percent 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 in urban reserves was later brought into the UGB it is likely that its market value would change, but this alone would not necessarily change the tax rate or the assessed value. If a property is annexed into the City limits, the tax rate applied to the taxable value of the property 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.
All meeting dates, including public hearing dates, are posted on the Urban Reserves project webpage .
Currently, meetings are being held virtually or hybrid (i.e., with options for participating virtually or in person). The most up to date information about public meetings can be found on the Urban Reserves project webpage.
Staff are available to answer your questions. Please contact Project Manager Rebecca Gershow or Assistant Planner Zoli Gaudin-Dalton. Written testimony can be submitted by e-mail to UrbanReserves@eugene-or.gov and it will be forwarded to decision-makers. Additionally, you may provide verbal public comment at the public hearing. When that time comes we will share meeting information on the project’s webpage. Sign up for the project’s interested parties list here.