Here is some advice for how you can take action to help encourage the City Council to adopt sensible, evidence-based code amendments instead of the staff proposal to deregulate zoning and leave all development decisions to private investors. (These tips were updated February 23, 2022, by Paul Conte)
The city website for status: https://www.eugene-or.gov/4244/Middle-Housing
The Eugene Planning Commission has “rubber stamped” the staff proposal and recommend the City Council ignore public opposition.
The point of influence is now solely the Eugene City Council. Here is their current schedule in 2022:
* March 9th — A 30-minute City Council work session.
* April 11th — A one-hour City Council work session.
Obviously, 90 minutes this is absurdly inadequate meeting time for the
City Council to really understand the proposed amendments or the public opposition and alternatives before a specific, proposed ordinance goes to public hearing.
* April 18th — City Council Public Hearing
* May 11th — A 90-minute City Council work session. (So far this is the only post-hearing work session that is scheduled before the councilors vote.
* June — Vote to adopt an ordinance with code amendments.
Here’s a “handicap” of the Mayor’s and councilors’ attitudes and likely votes:
Mayor Lucy Vinis: Supports staff’s extreme proposal to deregulate zoning, regardless of facts. Will vote in favor.
Ward 1 Councilor Emily Semple: Strong supporter of neighborhoods and evidence-based policies and regulations. Likely to vote for a publicly supported alternative set of amendments.
Ward 2 Councilor Matt Keating: It’s not clear yet whether Keating has become well-enough informed to realize the major problems with staff’s extreme deregulation and fatally flawed code amendments. Keating has been inclined to simply follow the lead of the mayor and Councilors Yeh and Syrett. Nonetheless, there is some chance that Keating might vote for a publicly supported alternative, if enough constituents speak up and object to the extreme staff proposal.
Ward 3 Councilor Alan Zelenka: Appears to support the staff position. Plays his own hand without paying much attention to his non-student constituents. However, he has a nice single-family home in the Fairmount neighborhood, which he wants to protect from over development. Likely to vote for the staff proposal. Ward 3 is up for election in 2022.
Ward 4 Councilor Jennifer Yeh: Fanatical supporter of staff’s extreme proposal to deregulate zoning, regardless of facts. Will vote in favor. Ward 4 is up for election in 2022. Yeh has a strong opponent and is very vulnerable for defeat.
Ward 5 Councilor Mike Clark: Very sharp, constituent-oriented, and supportive of neighborhoods. Likely to vote for a publicly supported alternative. Ward 5 is up for election in 2022. The Eugene Chamber of Commerce and Realtors Association are going to throw big money in an attempt to defeat Councilor Clark and buy another seat on the City Council.
Ward 6 Councilor Greg Evans: Only Black member of Eugene’s City Council. Strong opponent of market-driven deregulation. Supports neighborhoods. Likely to vote for a publicly supported alternative. Ward 6 is up for election in 2022. Ward 7 Councilor Claire Syrett: Like Yeh, a fanatical supporter of staff’s extreme proposal to deregulate zoning, regardless of facts. Very anti-neighborhood attitude. Will vote in favor.
Ward 8 Councilor Randy Groves: Very sharp and articulate. However, it’s not clear yet whether Councilor Groves has become well-enough informed to realize the major problems with staff’s extreme deregulation and fatally flawed code amendments. Groves has been inclined to simply follow the lead of the City Manager and staff. No prediction on how Groves will vote.
3 Votes (Vinis, Yeh, Syrett) for staff’s proposed extreme deregulation
1 Vote (Zelenka) leaning in favor of staff’s proposed extreme deregulation
2 Votes (Keating, Groves) uncertain with apparent tilt toward staff proposal
3 Votes (Semple, Clark, Evans) likely for publicly supported alternative.
The five most basic ways to have an impact are:
1. Click to sign the “Housing and Climate Justice” petition.
2. Email the Mayor and City Council MayorAndCC@ci.eugene.or.us
3. Email and call your specific ward councilor. Addresses at: https://www.eugene-or.gov/537/Mayor-and-City-Council Note that the three “uncertain” councilors are:
Ward 2 Matt Keating firstname.lastname@example.org
Ward 3 Alan Zelenka email@example.com
Ward 4 Randy Groves RGroves@eugene-or.gov
4. Write letters to the editors of:
The Register-Guard — 200 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, mailing address and phone number.
Eugene Weekly — 250 words and sent to email@example.com along with your address and phone number
5. Get highly involved with your neighborhood association and be sure they are using their communications to make members aware. Include a link to: https://housing-facts.org/
6. Spread the word among neighbors, friends, work and other associates. Provide then the link to: https://housing-facts.org/