Are the existing buildings the maximum height and area allowed under the current code?

No.  Existing buildings are rarely built to the maximum height and area that the zoning allows.  For example, houses in the R-1 zone (Low-Density Residential) can be up to 30 feet tall (2-3 stories) and can occupy half of the area of the lot.  For a typical 60’ x 120’ lot, that would be a 7,000 – 10,000 square foot house.  The C-2 commercial zone that lines much of south Willamette Street allows buildings that are 120 feet tall (10-12 stories), cover 90% of the property, and have no setback.

The distinction between existing buildings and zoning can be confusing when single family houses are built on properties zoned for higher density, such as R-2 (Medium-Density Residential).  Today in South Willamette, there are 40 properties zoned R-2 with single family houses on them and 32 properties zoned R-3 with single family houses on them.

Zoning is a tool the city uses to regulate development within the context of our larger land use plan, or blueprint for growth in the region, the Metro Plan.  In 1982, the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan General Plan was adopted, establishing basic Plan Designations across the entire Metro Region. These designations, such as LDR - Low Density Residential, HDR - High Density Residential and COM - Commercial, were established as a regional policy to guide future zoning changes.  Where city zoning is in conflict with the Plan Designation, property owners typically have legal grounds to rezone their property to a zone consistent with the Plan Designation.  Today in South Willamette, there are 36 properties currently zoned R-1 that have a Plan Designation of MDR – Medium Density Residential or higher. The South Willamette planning process started with the Metro Plan as a guide to determine, with the community, where taller buildings would be appropriate in the district, and then developed an implementing zone focused on design standards and compatible transitions.

Show All Answers

1. Why adopt the SW-SAZ now? What purpose does this plan serve?
2. How does South Willamette connect to Envision Eugene?
3. Are the existing buildings the maximum height and area allowed under the current code?
4. Were legal notices sent to residents?
5. Has city staff gone above the minimum public engagement required by state and city law?
6. How and when was the study area boundary established?
7. Are multi-family residential uses currently allowed on Willamette St. in the commercial area?
8. Has the City studied how the proposed code would impact the area differently than the current code?
9. Does proposed code account for the need for light, air and views on Willamette Street?
10. Can I renovate or add on to my building without triggering the new code design standards?
11. Does the plan reduce existing problematic adjacencies between high density development and low density houses?
12. Will my Property Taxes be affected?
13. Will the City of Eugene rezone other properties adjacent to the SW-SAZ, or across South Eugene?
14. Is the outcome already decided?
15. Will EmX serve the South Willamette area?
16. Is MUPTE being adopted in South Willamette?