City Wide Residential Code Revision
Planning Commission comments are due by November 11, 2017, to make sure they are included in the public record. Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and copy to email@example.com
Staff proposes that deregulation of the R-1 (single-family) zone without any requirement for what gets built under the increase in density will lower housing costs. In contrast, opponents argue that this substantial upzoning, which leaves all development decisions to investors and developers, will lead to gentrification and worsen housing affordability.
For the JWN, staff proposes elimination of our special area zones and reverting the neighborhood back to R-2. The democratic process that created our special area zones, approved by neighbors and votes of the Planning Commission and Eugene City Council, were carefully crafted and never appealed. The special area zones were created due to problems with the applications of the R-2 code.
The staff proposals represent the most significant changes to residential zoning in the history of Eugene and will forever alter our neighborhoods. The proposals will impact everyone and every home in some way. If you want a say in Eugene’s future, you need to get informed and submit comments.
- Eugene Middle Housing Code Amendments Page. Sign up for their updates list.
- Eugene Housing Facts – a critique and alternative viewpoint site.
The state legislature passed HB 2001, eliminating single family residential zoning, by one vote. Eugene City staff have drafted new code for Eugene that far exceeds what HB 2001 requires. See the staff’s code summary here.
For example, the lot size required to build a:
- Duplex: currently 8000 sqft, under HB 2001 4500 sqft
- Triplex: currently 12000 sqft, under HB 2001 5,000 Sqft
- Quadplex: currently16,000 sqft, under HB 2001 7000sqft
However, staff staff have proposed further reductions in minimum required lot sizes:
- Duplex: reduced to 2250 sqft
- Triplex: reduced 3500 sqft
- Quadplex: reduced to 4500 sqft
These proposed changes represent an increase in density of 5 times what is currently allowed. To achieve this:
- Lot coverage of 70% – minimum 5 foot setback from neighboring property.
- Increasing allowable height to 42 ft (three stories or about the height of a standard utility pole).
- No required off-street parking.
- No tree, solar, and air access protections.
Protections of Existing Affordable Housing
California passed similar deregulation this year, but unlike Oregon, California built in rules to try and protect existing affordable housing, especially rentals. The California law requires:
- A proposed project cannot result in the demolition or alteration of affordable or rent-controlled housing or market-rate housing that has been occupied by a tenant in the past three years.
- If someone chooses to split their property in two, each new lot must be at least 1,200 square feet.
- Any unit created as a result of the law cannot be used for short-term rentals. They must be rented for a term longer than 30 days.
So, here are the questions for neighbors:
- Are the increases in density/height proposed appropriate for your street?
- Will the changes proposed increase housing availability and affordability?
- Should we have more protections for existing low cost rentals, trees, air, and light?
Should the city follow what is required under HB 2001 or exceed it? If so, by how much?