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The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rules in mid-2022 to help meet the state’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while also increasing housing choices and creating more equitable outcomes for all Oregonians.
Eugene and Springfield, among other metropolitan areas across the state, are required to change housing and transportation planning systems and development standards to encourage more climate-friendly development and reduce emissions from transportation.
Project implementation will comply with the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities rules to:
The key elements of the CFEC implementation include:
The new requirements are mainly about making is easier to do climate-friendly development where people want to build it and the market calls for it. Neighborhoods where people can access everything they need within a 20-minute walk are part of Eugene’s community vision. While single-unit homes (previously known as single-family homes) will continue to be allowed and provide most housing, Oregonians have a diverse set of housing desires and need and deserve more affordable and climate-friendly choices.
The requirements look to address the current climate crisis, improve equity in housing and transportation investments, and plan for a more climate-friendly future in Oregon cities.
The City of Eugene has heard through years of engagement efforts that residents want more housing choices, more transportation options, less pollution, and more equitable outcomes. CFEC helps communities across Oregon to achieve these outcomes.
Initially, there are two ways an area of the city will be directly impacted by CFEC:
The City will designate Climate-Friendly Areas where people are allowed to build taller buildings and at higher densities, providing more housing and jobs. Climate-Friendly Areas will likely include downtown and some of the city’s core commercial areas and key transit corridors. In 2023, Eugene will complete a study of the most promising Climate-Friendly Areas across the city. According to the CFEC requirements, the study will include technical analysis of the potential areas, considering whether the areas are suitable (for example, they are not in the floodway or other hazard areas), require fewer policy changes (such as changes to the land use code), and achieve, or could achieve, certain housing and employment capacity targets. Importantly, the Climate-Friendly Areas Study will consider equity implications, such as potential displacement of historically marginalized community groups, as well as ways to prevent or reduce displacement.
Climate-Friendly Areas designation is one tool the City has to encourage more compact development within the current Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). These tools are referred to as land use “efficiency measures” because they enable land to develop more efficiently. They are revisited each time Eugene reviews the UGB to determine if more are needed to accommodate projected population growth. The Eugene City Council will designate Climate-Friendly Areas and adopt changes to the land use code and comprehensive plan in alignment with state requirements. These changes will be adopted with the next UGB analysis in 2026.
CFEC also requires that the City change its approach to parking requirements. Right now, most new development requires a certain number of off-street parking spots be built. In Climate-Friendly Areas and in parts of the city with good transit access, this requirement will no longer exist.
As of January 1, 2023, Eugene eliminated minimum off-street parking requirements in certain situations, in alignment with the CFEC requirements. There are no longer required minimum parking for certain types of development, such as smaller housing types, childcare facilities, affordable housing, publicly supported housing, and shelters. Additionally, there are no longer minimum off-street parking requirements within one-half mile walking distance of frequent transit corridors. These changes don't mean that people can’t build parking, just that the City doesn’t require it. Most people will continue to provide some parking, but they will have more flexibility on what to provide on their individual lot, including more housing, commercial space, trees, or open space.
This change to the development review process is the first of several changes to parking requirements as a part of CFEC. At a broader scale, Eugene will also select one of three options to reform parking requirements city-wide. City-wide parking reform will include certain improvements to parking regulations, including carpool/vanpool placement, allowing shared parking, and requirements for solar panels or tree canopy in parking lots, among other policies.
The State of Oregon has an adopted goal that 90% of new vehicles sold will be electric by 2035. To help meet that goal, the City needs to ensure people can charge their vehicles. The most convenient place to do so is at home. As of April 1, 2023, new multi-unit housing and mixed-use developments with 5 or more dwellings must now include electrical conduit (pipes) to 40% of their parking spots, ready for adding wiring and charging stations to support electric vehicles as the market expands.
CFEC also requires changes to the Eugene Land Use Code so that new development is more pedestrian-friendly and supports compact design across the city. Neighborhoods must be designed with connected street, sidewalk, and accessway networks where it is safe for walking, using mobility devices, and bicycling. Commercial and mixed-use areas must have compact, walkable design, such as with building entrances oriented to the street, pedestrian-friendly parking areas, and other site design requirements. Bicycle parking for new development will also need to meet the CFEC standards which may mean more and larger spaces.
A Climate-Friendly Area is intended to be an area where people can meet most of their daily needs without relying on a car. They are urban mixed-use areas that contain, or are planned to contain, a mixture of high-density housing, jobs, businesses, and services. These areas are served, or planned for service, by high quality walking, biking, and transit infrastructure to provide frequent and convenient connections to key destinations within the city and region.
By designating a Climate-Friendly Area, Eugene will update its housing and transportation plans for these areas to have:
To help the state meet its climate goals, more development will need to occur in urban areas where people are less dependent on their cars. Over the last 100 years planning practices have served to separate activities, creating greater inequities within cities and widespread dependence upon the automobile to meet daily needs. Climate-Friendly Areas will help to reverse these trends.
The Climate-Friendly Areas designation process will have three steps: 1) Study, 2) Select and Adopt, and 3) Evaluate and Increase.
In 2023, Eugene will identify potential and study the most promising locations for Climate-Friendly Areas across the city. This study is primarily a technical analysis of where in Eugene can meet certain state requirements and criteria.
An important part of selecting Climate-Friendly Areas will be engaging historically marginalized communities to identify any areas where people might be at risk of being displaced from increased development and propose strategies to prevent or mitigate displacement.
In 2024, the City will begin the process to select Eugene’s Climate-Friendly Areas. Selection will include community engagement, a recommendation from Planning Commission, and a decision from Council to adopt the final Climate-Friendly Areas.
Adoption will require revisions to the Eugene Land Use Code, as well as revisions to the Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan – which staff expect will include two new chapters for Housing and Compact Development, as well as revisions to the Eugene Transportation System Plan.
City staff intend to adopt these plan and code amendments alongside Eugene’s next Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) analysis, which is scheduled to be adopted in 2026.
Climate-Friendly Area designations will not be static. The City will monitor and potentially increase areas with this designation during future UGB analyses. Climate-Friendly Areas will function as an important land use efficiency measure, which is a strategy for more compact development within the current UGB.
Climate-Friendly Areas are intended to be higher-density, mixed-use areas with plenty of housing, services, jobs, and businesses. Downtown Eugene is a promising area for the designation, along with some other core commercial areas and key transit corridors. The Climate-Friendly Areas designation aligns with Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan policies and the community’s vision for future growth and investment in these priority development areas.
Climate-Friendly Areas designation will have certain implications. The City will adopt policies or land use code amendments for CFAs to:
Climate-Friendly Areas must have the capacity to meet at least 30% of Eugene’s current and future housing needs (currently, that is approximately 25,600 units). Alongside designation, the City will also adopt housing production strategies to enable increased housing development within the designated areas, along with measures to retain affordability and mitigate or avoid displacement of vulnerable residents. These strategies will align with other City policies and priorities and will be a part of the city-wide housing production strategy program developed during the next UGB analysis which is due for adoption in 2026.
The policy requirements for Climate-Friendly Areas align closely with the 2023 proposed amendment to the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan. The proposed Urban Renewal amendment identifies three focus areas of possible projects:
Assuming downtown is designated a Climate-Friendly Area, the designation could stretch beyond the Downtown Plan boundary and the Downtown Urban Renewal District boundary. The exact boundaries of Climate-Friendly Areas in Eugene will not be determined until 2024 based on City Council direction. Adopted Climate-Friendly Areas policies will further Eugene’s vision for a downtown that is vibrant, connected, and safe, with plenty of housing that is affordable to all income levels, in alignment with Envision Eugene, the Downtown Plan, and other guiding housing and transportation policy documents.
This project aims to avoid displacement as a result of designating Climate-Friendly Areas, as well as other required land use code changes. The City recognizes that rent and housing costs are too high. In Eugene, almost half of community members pay more than they can afford for housing and it’s an even higher percentage for those that rent. Eugene also has a low amount of housing that is vacant; this limits movement between dwellings which makes affordable rental housing difficult to access and creates instability for many people and families. CFEC joins several recent and ongoing projects in Eugene that work to increase housing production and affordability, including Middle Housing, Renter Protections, the Housing Implementation Pipeline, and other affordable housing investments. CFEC specifically works to allow for more housing production in areas that are walkable and have good access to transit. Long-term, more housing in accessible areas is a primary strategy to reduce the cost of housing.
Eugene is committed to centering and elevating the voices of communities who have historically been left out of or harmed by past planning efforts. Many communities have experienced real harm through racist and other discriminatory planning practices in the past, including prohibition on owning property or living in certain areas, forced relocation, highway building, lack of investment, and more. This project will intentionally engage these communities in decision-making.
The state requirements define these historically marginalized community groups to include Black and African American people, Indigenous people, People of Color, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, low-income Oregonians, renters, people experiencing homelessness, youth and seniors, LGBTQ+ people, and more. While studying Eugene’s potential Climate-Friendly Areas, project staff will complete an equity analysis. This analysis includes a review of data on Eugene’s neighborhoods and meetings with community partners to understand where there may be potential for displacement of marginalized communities. As part of the analysis, City staff and community organizations will identify and recommend strategies to reduce or eliminate this potential displacement. Each CFEC project will include specific attention to marginalized communities and ensure their engagement in the planning effort, as well as monitoring progress towards achieving more equitable outcomes.
The opportunity for local discretion in CFEC implementation varies between projects. Some requirements, including parking reform and new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, go into effect regardless of if Eugene amends its Land Use Code. Other projects, including the study and designation of Climate-Friendly Areas, require equitable community engagement and offer some opportunities for local discretion. Project staff are committed to a meaningful and accountable public participation process throughout the entire CFEC implementation process. We will focus public participation efforts where the community will have the greatest impact, within the requirements of the rules and related state laws. Staff are also committed to a realistic participation process. We will be transparent about the project’s constraints, scope, and timeline, including the requirements (and limitations on input) of the CFEC rules and related state laws.
Luckily, CFEC encourages the City to stay the course and furthers existing goals that residents and the Eugene City Council have supported through other community projects such as the Climate Action Plan 2.0, Envision Eugene, Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan, Middle Housing, the Housing Implementation Pipeline, continued investments in downtown, affordable housing, and active transportation infrastructure, as well as other sustainability, housing, and transportation efforts.
Each CFEC project will have its own public involvement approach that reflects its unique deadlines, resources, and available opportunities for input within the CFEC requirements. In 2023, community engagement will focus on parking reform and the study of Climate-Friendly Areas. The best way to stay involved is to follow the project on Engage Eugene. The Engage Eugene page will include public involvement opportunities through the lifecycle of CFEC implementation (2023-2026). This page also includes links to public meetings where staff provide updates and receive comments on CFEC.
Project staff will share updates and ways to engage on the webpage, Engage Eugene, social media, and through our various City department newsletters. You can sign up for the EUG Planning newsletter here, InMotion Transportation newsletter here, and the News to Build On newsletter here.
To submit comments on parking reform, please email CFECParking@eugene-or.gov.
The state’s CFEC requirements were adopted in July of 2022 and apply to cities and counties across Oregon, with specific focus on regions with a population over 50,000 people, including Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene/Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford/Ashland, Portland Metro, and Salem/Keizer. Eugene is actively following the progress of other cities and using tools provided by the Oregon Dept. of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to learn alongside other Oregon cities as we implement the new requirements.
DLCD’s CFEC Implementation webpage includes some research and lessons learned from other cities and states. There are several resources summarizing the impact of reducing parking minimums, as well as the relationship between car ownership and parking.
While CFEC as a statewide initiative is new, the foundational principles are not. CFEC aligns closely with current City projects and priorities, including the Climate Action Plan 2.0, Envision Eugene, Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan, Middle Housing, Housing Implementation Pipeline, continued investments in downtown, affordable housing, and active transportation infrastructure, as well as other sustainability, housing, and transportation efforts.
The City of Eugene has worked to advance the ’20-minute neighborhood’ concept for more than a decade. Neighborhoods where people can access everything they need within a 20-minute walk are part of Eugene's community vision. While single-unit homes (or single-family) will continue to be allowed and provide most housing, Oregonians have a diverse set of housing desires and need and deserve more affordable and climate-friendly choices.
The Eugene Planning Commission will recommend CFEC implementation strategies for adoption by the Eugene City Council, including parking reform city-wide, designation of Climate-Friendly Areas, revisions to the Eugene Land Use Code, and updates to the City’s Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan and the Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan. Adoption by the Lane County Board of Commissioners may also be required in some cases. Some CFEC requirements, including some parking reforms and electric vehicle charging infrastructure, will automatically go into effect regardless of changes to the Eugene Land Use Code.
Oregon is grappling with a troubling history and current patterns of inequity and discrimination, including in land use, zoning, and transportation investment (and disinvestment) decisions. Wealth and health have been concentrated among the privileged, at the expense of others. This project takes some steps towards redressing past harms.
Increasing the density of jobs and affordable housing in attractive neighborhoods – those where people can live, work, and play – counters displacement in lower income areas. Offering more climate-friendly transportation options and reducing emissions helps to achieve environmental justice by reducing pollution and negative health impacts in neighborhoods.
The state requirements define historically marginalized community groups to include Black and African American people, Indigenous people, People of Color, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, low-income Oregonians, renters, people experiencing homelessness, youth and seniors, LGBTQ+ people, and more.
While studying Eugene’s potential Climate-Friendly Areas, project staff will complete an equity analysis. This analysis includes a review of data on Eugene’s neighborhoods and meetings with community partners to understand where there may be potential for displacement of marginalized communities. As part of the analysis, City staff and community organizations will identify and recommend strategies to reduce or eliminate this potential displacement. For this CFEC project, centering historically marginalized communities means intentionally planning with the people who have been left out of planning decision-making in the past. Staff will work to engage community members to understand their housing and transportation needs, the risk of displacement, and their priorities for community investment.
Each CFEC project will include specific attention to marginalized communities and ensure their engagement in the planning effort, as well as monitoring progress towards achieving more equitable outcomes.
The CFEC requirements work to tackle two big problems for cities in Oregon – the need to significantly reduce Oregon’s carbon footprint, while also tackling a severe housing crisis.
In 2007, Oregon legislators adopted a policy to reduce Oregon’s climate pollution by 75% from 1990 levels by 2050. That’s what the science calls for to avoid catastrophic impacts to the environment, communities, and economy. Fifteen years later, Oregon is far off track in efforts to meet those goals – and already experiencing real-world impacts of climate disruption.
CFEC is just one strategy to advance both our climate action and housing production goals. Eugene’s approach to climate action is guided by the 2014 Climate Recovery Ordinance and 2020 Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0. The CAP 2.0 includes strategies to reduce emissions through 1) Transportation, 2) Building Energy, and 3) Fugitive Emissions. CFEC supports many of the CAP 2.0 actions to reduce the 54% of local emissions that stem from transportation-related sources.
Oregon is particularly off-track in reducing pollution from transportation. On the current path, Oregon will only reduce transportation pollution by about 20% by 2050. In response, Governor Brown directed state agencies to promote cleaner vehicles, cleaner fuels, and less driving. If current trends continue, Oregon will release more than four times more transportation pollution than our goal by 2050. Stemming from Governor Brown’s Executive Order 20-04, CFEC primarily focuses on reducing transportation-related emissions.
CFEC does include some strategies to increase the use of renewable energies and increase the local street tree canopy, specifically within Parking Reform. By Dec. 31, 2023, new developments with more than 1/4 acre of surface parking will require either installation of solar panels or tree canopy covering at least 50% of the parking lot. Additionally, the Eugene City Council will need to select one of three options for city-wide parking reform. If the City retains some minimum off-street parking requirements, the State requires that Eugene provide the option of reducing those minimum parking requirements by providing solar or wind capacity within new development.
Outside of CFEC, Eugene City Council directed staff to advance an effort on building decarbonization, the second group of actions listed in the CAP 2.0. Renewable energy technologies are a main pillar of decarbonization and are expected to play a role in Eugene’s decarbonization efforts. Outreach and engagement on the decarbonization work will begin later this year. The City’s webpage provides more information on sustainability efforts and the CAP 2.0.
The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) conducted two years of extensive community engagement in the development of CFEC. The Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities rules on July 21, 2022. To learn more about CFEC implementation across the state or to contact DLCD staff directly, visit DLCD’s CFEC Implementation webpage here.
The City of Eugene is regularly in contact with DLCD staff to ensure thoughtful and effective implementation of the CFEC requirements in alignment with the rules and other applicable state laws. Each project will have an opportunity for meaningful public engagement based on its unique deadlines, resources, and available opportunities for input within the CFEC requirements.
CFEC implementation crosses several City of Eugene departments and divisions. Below is the staff project manager for each CFEC project:
You can always check out the CFEC webpage and Engage Eugene page for the most updated CFEC news and ways get involved. Sign-up for the EUG Planning Newsletter for regular updates about all CFEC projects.