EUG Planning Newsletter
What's New with EUG Planning
August 1, 2021
This month's EUG Planning Newsletter provides updates on: Who Reviews Land Use Applications (Part 2), We Want to Hear from EUG, River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan Update, Urban Reserves Update, Middle Housing Update, and the Planning Commission Schedule Change. We hope you'll find this information useful and reach out if you have questions. As always, you can find more information on all of our work by visiting our website. We wish you and your families good health and hope to see you, soon.
Let's Talk About Planning!
Have you ever wondered how one of the housing types from our meet the housing types series got built, what a flag lot is, or even how to testify at a public hearing? This informational series hopes to answer some of these questions.

This series will focus more on what is being built today and will set you up to have fun conversations with friends about what can be built next to where they live, how zoning works, and what a Planned Unit Development is. Or, perhaps those are just the conversations we have with our friends. Our eigth article in the series is below.
Who Reviews Land Use Applications? Part 2
Both the Eugene Planning Commission and Eugene City Council play a role in the review of land use applications. Their review roles can be generally split into two main functions, legislative and quasi-judicial

In a legislative capacity, the Planning Commission makes recommendations to City Council on proposed code amendments or broad changes to refinement plans or the Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan. City Council reviews the recommendations of the Planning Commission and ultimately makes a decision. Often, these legislative decision processes involve extensive public involvement and work sessions where both bodies advise staff ahead of being ready to make a recommendation or deciding on a particular issue. 

In a quasi-judicial function, both bodies work similarly to a legislative function in the review of site-specific refinement plans or Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan amendments. The difference is that private parties often request such changes and the timing of decisions is shorter. 

Finally, the most common quasi-judicial function the Planning Commission serves is as the decision-maker on appeals of decisions made by the Eugene Hearings Official. As a body that hears appeals, the Planning Commission is responsible for acting more like a judge and deciding whether the Hearings Official made a correct decision on a particular land use application such as a zone change, or planned unit development. 

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting emails when the City receives Land Use Applications, you can sign up to receive our Land Use Activity emailIf you are curious about standards and regulations for a particular zone, you can visit Chapter 9 of the Eugene Code. For more questions about zoning, you can contact Althea Sullivan.
We Want to Hear from EUG!
What kind of stuff should we include in the EUG Planning newsletter?
Project Updates
Staffing Information
Educational Articles
Videos (meeting highlights, events, etc)
Boards and Commissions Recruitment and Activity
Other- if so, email with your ideas!
River Road‐Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan Update
The River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan project team has started preparing a Neighborhood Plan adoption package after getting direction from the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners to move into the Adoption Phase in May 2021. The adoption package will be comprised of the Neighborhood Plan document and associated comprehensive plan and refinement plan amendments, zone changes, and land use code amendments to help implement the community vision. 

Consultants with a local planning firm, Cameron McCarthy, have joined the project team to further develop and refine the draft land use concepts from the River Road Corridor Study. The Corridor Study conducted an in-depth analysis of the River Road corridor and included stakeholder interviews, public workshops, economic and demographic research, and conceptual design work, which resulted in draft land use concepts and multimodal recommendations to encourage mixed-use neighborhood centers and a variety of housing types. See the draft Proposed Zone Changes Map.

At the July 20 Community Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting and the July 26 Eugene Planning Commission work session, community members and commissioners discussed and provided feedback on key code questions, which will inform the development of draft land use code concepts for broader stakeholder outreach and input from the CAC, Planning Commission, and River Road and Santa Clara communities this fall. 

For more information, visit the RRSC Engage Eugene page for updates and opportunities to provide input in the coming months. You can also sign up for our RRSC Neighborhood Plan Interested Parties Mailing List and find more information on the project webpage. If you have questions, please contact project manager Chelsea Hartman.

For more information, visit the project webpage and stay tuned to this newsletter for monthly project updates, and sign up for our Interested Parties Mailing List to be notified in advance of public meetings. Feel free to contact City Project Manager Rebecca Gershow or Lane County Principal Planner Lindsey Eichner with questions, or use the Q&A feature on the Urban Reserves Engage Eugene page.
Urban Reserves Project Update
Last month, project staff provided an update to the Lane County Planning Commission on proposed Urban Reserves draft land-use policies and next steps.  

As part of Urban Reserves planning, Lane County is required by State law to adopt or consider a range of policies related to continuing to plan and zone Urban Reserve land for rural uses until it is brought into Eugene’s urban growth boundary (UGB) sometime in the future. The intention of these policies is to help maintain the development potential of Urban Reserve land so that future urban growth can happen in a smart, predictable way.

Since the Eugene Urban Reserves will affect both county land and residents, the policy framework is being led by county staff. County staff have developed draft land-use policies, based on state rules, to ensure that Urban Reserve land 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 a single-family dwelling prior to inclusion in Urban Reserves, but changes allowing more intensive uses will not be allowed until the land is brought into the UGB. Similarly, farm or forest land in Urban Reserves will not be allowed to be changed to a non-resource zone or designation until after it is included in the UGB. Inclusion in Urban Reserves will not trigger any change in the use of a property, meaning current uses can continue.  

To learn more about the proposed policies please see our Property Owner FAQ. You can also review the meeting materials from the June 15th Lane County Planning Commission meeting. Please contact Lane County Principal Planner Lindsey Eichner with questions.  

This fall, the public hearing process will begin. Public notice will be sent to all property owners in the proposed Urban Reserves and identified interested parties. If you would like to receive formal notice and you are not sure if you are already on our list, please email Zoli Gaudin-Dalton with your name and mailing address. As always, stay tuned to this newsletter for monthly project updates, and feel free to contact City Project Manager Rebecca Gershow with additional questions, or use the Q&A feature on the Urban Reserves Engage Eugene page
Middle Housing Project Update
The Middle Housing project is continuing work and is now in the adoption phase! This phase follows 10 months of extensive public involvement, technical analysis, and code writing. The main opportunity for early public input centered on levels of implementation: we asked community members whether the City should Allow, Encourage, and/or Incentivize middle housing through the land-use code requirements.

Over the month of June, the project team presented the Planning Commission with draft middle housing land-use code language. At these meetings, the Planning Commission reviewed and provided comments on draft sections of land-use code to put forth for the public hearing process to implement House Bill 2001.

Highlights of the Planning Commission’s guidance to staff in preparing the draft land use code for public hearing include:

  • Focus on equity and inclusion as code choices are made through the adoption process. 
  • Honor the public outreach process outcome to encourage and incentivize middle housing across the community by exceeding the minimum standards set by the state and treating all areas of the community equally.
  • Near transit routes, encourage compact development by reducing parking requirements and allowing smaller lots and taller buildings. 
  • Encourage and incentivize middle housing options within the code, and pursue incentives and programs beyond the code as part of the City’s ongoing housing work.

The adoption process for land use code amendments includes a Planning Commission public hearing and recommendation, followed by a City Council public hearing and action. The adoption package is anticipated to be shared with the Commission and the public in September, and the Planning Commission public hearing is currently planned for October.

For more information, visit the project webpageEngage EugeneFacebook, Instagram, and by signing up for our preliminary Interested Parties List. If you have any questions about the project, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley.
Alert: Planning Commission Schedule Change
The Eugene Planning Commission is adjusting its schedule! The Planning Commission will no longer alternate between daytime and evening meetings. Now, the Planning Commission will meet only during the evening. Regularly scheduled meetings will be held on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month with additional meetings scheduled on alternate Tuesday evenings, as needed.

Planning Commission meetings will continue to be live-streamed and, until further notice, will continue to be held virtually via Zoom. Stay tuned for more updates!
Interested in Land Use Updates?
It’s important to us that community members know when someone has applied to develop their property through the land use application process. City staff are always happy to discuss a project before the formal review, and can provide information about what the formal review process will be to ensure that you have a fair opportunity to review and comment on a project. Sign up to start receiving emails that list recently submitted projects.
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