EUG Planning Newsletter
What's New with EUG Planning
January 2, 2022
This month's EUG Planning Newsletter looks back at the work accomplished in 2021 including: Meet the Planning Team, Planning's social media, 2021 conferences and awards, a Land Use recap, Middle Housing, Urban Reserves, the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan, Growth Monitoring, Historic Preservation, Planning Commission Vacancy, and Community Development Block Grant vacancies.

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.
The City of Eugene Planning Team
Happy New Year from the City of Eugene Planning Team! Our team is in the City’s Planning and Development Division and is led by the Planning Director. It’s split into two teams: the Land Use team (sometimes referred to as “current planning” and the Community Planning and Design Team (sometimes referred to as “long range planning”). Here’s who’s who:

Leadership: Denny Braud (Planning and Development Division Executive Director) and Alissa Hansen (Planning Director)

Land Use Team: Gabe Flock (Principal Planner), Jeff Gepper (Senior Planner), Althea Sullivan (Senior Planner), Nick Gioello (Associate Planner), Josh Hoff (Associate Planner), Rob Lilley (Associate Planner), and Linda Baker (Senior Administrative Specialist)

Community Planning and Design Team: Terri Harding (Principal Planner), Heather O’Donnell (Senior Planner), Rebecca Gershow (Senior Planner), Chelsea Hartman (Senior Planner), Jennifer Knapp (Urban Designer), Thea Evans (GIS Analyst), Sophie McGinley (Assistant Planner), Elena Domingo (Assistant Planner), and Zoli Gaudin-Dalton (Planning Analyst)

Interns: In 2021 the Planning Team had two interns: Cody and Julian. Both worked on the Middle Housing project’s outreach and, as part of their work, produced a Middle Housing GIS Story Map tailored for a Gen-Z audience. Interested in our internship program? Contact Internship Program Coordinator Jennifer Knapp.

New Faces in Planning: Please join us in welcoming Josh Hoff as a new Associate Planner on the land use planning team. Josh has been working in the planning field for 6 years, and most recently worked as a planner for the City of Redmond, Oregon. Originally from the Madison, Wisconsin area Josh took a detour through Seattle before heading south to Redmond and now to the Eugene area. Welcome Josh!

For Planning Team staff contact information, click here.
2021 Social Media and Engagement
The Planning team hopes to reach the community in a variety of ways. One of those ways is virtually through social media and email. You can follow along @EUGPlanning.

  • Instagram: Follow along for posts, stories, takeovers, and Trivia Tuesday! The Instagram has 786 followers.
  • Facebook: Follow along for posts and Facebook Live videos! The Facebook has 982 followers.
  • Reddit: This platform is new for us —the Middle Housing team hosted an “Ask Me Anything” and we are exploring more ways to interact with the r/Eugene subreddit.
  • Newsletter: And, of course, there’s the EUG Planning Newsletter that you’re reading now. The newsletter is usually shared once a month and contains project updates, job postings, and more. The Newsletter has 18,153 subscribers.

Have suggestions for other ways to engage? Contact Sophie McGinley at [email protected]
Conferences, Presentations, and Awards
We love conferences and other opportunities to learn, grow, and share. Here is a look at some of the things we were a part of this year:

  • Oregon-Washington American Planning Association Annual Conference (OAPA) Panel: Equitable Engagement in Predominantly White Communities
  • OAPA Panel: Middle Housing: How Traditional Living Will Shape the Future
  • International Association of Public Participation Annual Conference (IAP2) Panel: BINGO: Centering Public Engagement Around a Lottery
  • Engaging Local Government Leaders (ELGL) Social Media Series: Local Government and Reddit
  • Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission: City of Eugene’s implementation of House Bill 2001
  • OAPA Annual Legal Issues Training Panel: Jurisdictional Perspectives: Implementing Land Divisions & Entitlements under SB 458 & HB 2306
  • ELGL Pop-Up Conference Panel: Community Engagement in a Virtual World
  • GovLove Podcast: Engaging the Entire Community on Planning and Middle Housing

Land Use Recap
An integral part of the Planning Division is our Land Use team. This team processes land use applications. Since January 1st of 2021, we have received 279 land use applications. These land use applications range from simple to complex: some even go through public hearings at Planning Commission, City Council, the Hearings Official, and even the state’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA). Along with this work, the team also works on the Land Use Code components of Community Planning and Design projects. The team is currently working on the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan code, Middle Housing code, and Accessory Dwelling Unit code. Stay tuned for more information about the kinds of land use applications the team processed in a later newsletter. Want more information now? Check out the Land Use Application Search feature on our webpage.
Middle Housing Project
A lot of Middle Housing work happened in 2021. The beginning of the year focused on continued community engagement, as summarized in this February 2021 Public Involvement Summary. Then, the project team crafted draft code using the input we heard from the community. That draft code then went to the Planning Commission for their input and revisions. From there, the Planning Commission held their public hearing on the draft code on November 16, held the record open until November 29, and started their deliberations on November 30. We heard from 34 community members at the hearing and 252 unique individuals submitted written comments.

Many thanks to those who took the time to share their thoughts with the Planning Commission. This summary attached to the December 7 meeting packet provides a high level synopsis of the themes contained in the public testimony submitted thus far. Topics people wrote and spoke about include the cost of housing, long term affordability, trees and open space, parking, flexibility in the code, and providing a path for ‘deep affordability.’

The comprehensive Guide to the Adoption Process is the official city-prepared summary of the middle housing code proposals. It includes project background information, code summaries for all of the middle housing types, and information for how to provide public testimony. The Guide will be updated in the New Year to reflect the Planning Commission’s recommended version of the code.

Did you know? 
  • New middle housing cannot be required to be affordable to certain income levels. This is limited by state law. However, there are other tools in our toolkit! The City can do things to encourage affordability by reducing lot size, reducing required parking, and incentivizing smaller units and income qualified homes. Check out our Middle Housing Affordability FAQ for more information.
  • The proposed code amendments treat all areas of the city equally for middle housing, including special area zones. Special area zone standards will still apply to single detached dwellings and other development in the special area zone. 
  • More work to promote housing affordability and incentives beyond the land use code is planned through the Housing Implementation Pipeline. City Council heard updates on the HIP in October, November, and December. Action is scheduled for January 2022.

Extensive middle housing project and meeting information is posted on the Project Webpage. This is the place to go to find a complete list of public meetings, videos, fact sheets, and project documents like the proposed code and subsequent versions like Version 2 modified through the Planning Commission process.

The Planning Commission moved into the formal adoption process phase this fall. The agenda packets for the fall meetings can be found on the Planning Commission webpage. Middle Housing was discussed on September 28, November 16, November 23, November 30, December 7, and December 14. In addition, public information sessions were held on October 19, 21, and 26. View one of the presentations and Q & A time here. All three meetings were recorded and are available on the City’s YouTube channel.

The project team worked from a Planning Commission approved Public Involvement Plan to reach out to the general public, boards and commissions, local partners, an Equity RoundTable, and the Healthy Democracy panel to inform the draft code recommendations. The project team set up an email address for public comments about the middle housing project: [email protected]. Community members can send comments there, and staff will share them with the City Council as we approach the work session, public hearing, and action dates. The next Council work session is scheduled for March 9, with the hearing tentatively happening on March 14 and deliberations and action in April. The state deadline for implementation of House Bill 2001 is June 30, 2022.

For the latest project information, engagement opportunities, and dates, visit the project webpage, Engage Eugene, Facebook, Instagram, and sign up for our Interested Parties List. If you have any questions about the project, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley, Code Lead Jeff Gepper, or Project Manager Terri Harding.
Urban Reserves Project
Urban Reserves are a special designation, allowed by state law, for lands outside the urban growth boundary (UGB) that can be considered a first priority if and when Eugene needs to expand for its growing population. Land designated as Eugene urban reserves will remain rural, and cannot be urbanized, unless it is brought into the city’s UGB through a formal process for expansion.

This past year, the project team has been assembling the Urban Reserves adoption package based on direction from Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Directors to proceed with an Urban Reserve area that identifies enough land for housing, parks, schools and jobs needed for Eugene’s population through 2059 (the 27-year option). To view a map of the proposed Eugene Urban Reserves click here. To review the work preceding it, see the Urban Reserve Options Story Map.

From writing findings to developing draft land use policies in coordination with Lane County and assembling the land study, staff are making progress towards the public hearing process. Before public hearings begin, written public notice will be mailed to all property owners in and surrounding the proposed Eugene urban reserves as well as identified interested parties. 

Since designating Eugene urban reserves is a joint city-county effort, public hearings will be held with the Lane County Planning Commission, the City of Eugene Planning Commission, the Lane County Board of Commissioners, and the City of Eugene City Council. There will be opportunities for community members to provide public testimony. Complete meeting details will be posted to the Urban Reserves webpage.

If you would like to receive formal mailed notice for Eugene urban reserves public hearings, please sign up here

As always, stay tuned to this newsletter for monthly project updates, and feel free to contact Project Manager Rebecca Gershow with additional questions, or use the Q&A feature on the Urban Reserves Engage Eugene page.
River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan Project
The River Road and Santa Clara Community Organizations, City and County staff, consultants and neighborhood volunteers have been working together to create a neighborhood plan for the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods. The dedicated neighbors on the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Community Advisory Committee (CAC) continued to meet virtually for a total of seven meetings in 2021. 
During the spring, the project team met with the Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions and got support for moving the project into the adoption phase. Following those meetings, the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners both unanimously gave direction to move the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan project into the adoption phase and start preparing an adoption package for community review. 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.

During the summer, the project team had a work session with the Eugene Planning Commission to discuss and get feedback on key code questions to help inform the development of draft land use code concepts. The CAC continues to provide guidance on the draft code concepts as well. The project team is working with consultants to develop code to be implemented along parts of the River Road corridor to encourage mixed-use neighborhood centers, walkable, safe, and active streetscapes, and seek to increase density and housing choices along the River Road corridor.

2022 is expected to be a big year for the Neighborhood Plan as we work towards getting the plan adopted! The draft land use code concepts will be shared for broader stakeholder outreach and input from the CAC, Planning Commission, and River Road and Santa Clara communities. The draft adoption package will go through Eugene and Lane County Planning Commission hearings and recommendations before going to the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners for hearings and adoption. An adopted plan will help guide implementation with projects, policies, and programs for years to come.

For more information, contact Project Manager Chelsea Hartman, visit the project webpage, the Engage Eugene project page, or sign up for the project newsletter for updates and opportunities for input.
Growth Monitoring Project
The Growth Monitoring program helps identify growth trends and assess the effectiveness of the City’s growth management strategies. The program establishes a system for collecting, tracking, and reporting data, which allows Eugene to be in a better position to address changing trends and unforeseen circumstances. It also allows for the monitoring data to be more accessible to the community and to make regular reporting more efficient.

Creating this new collection and reporting system has been a collaborative process requiring expertise from across City departments including Planning, Information Services, Building and Permit Services, and Community Development. Throughout 2021, staff continued to develop and fine-tune data collection and tracking processes and review the resulting data, focusing primarily on the buildable lands inventory and building permit data, as well as write a draft of the first Comprehensive Growth Monitoring report. 

The Envision Eugene Technical Advisory Committee (EETAC), a group of appointed volunteers comprised of technical experts, community members, and representatives from City Boards and Commissions, met 11 times in 2021 to review preliminary monitoring data and started their review of the draft Comprehensive Growth Monitoring report in the fall.

Looking ahead to 2022, after the EETAC finishes reviewing the draft report, the report will be reviewed by the Planning Commission for their input and then brought to City Council for consideration. Also on tap is wrapping up the remaining quantitative data collection and analysis and developing an interactive community dashboard to report monitoring data.

For more information on Growth Monitoring, please visit the Growth Monitoring Webpage or contact program manager Heather O’Donnell.
Historic Preservation
We're beyond excited to announce that the City of Eugene Historic Preservation Program recently concluded the first stage in development of a report on our city's historic LGBTQIA+ community. The City tapped the expertise of the University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s historical archaeology team to produce a preliminary research design and historic context statement.

While ever-present, Eugene's LGBTQIA+ community hasn't been adequately documented in mainstream historical narratives, making the new project a critical step toward telling a more complete, inclusive Eugene story. Focused on the assessment of historic, above-ground resources, the museum team’s research to date has identified several buildings that are likely significant to the history. Historical themes identified in the research touch on social places and community formation, businesses and organizations, architecture and the arts, and health and fitness.

The project was sparked by the Lesbian Oral History Project at the University of Oregon. This preliminary historic context report for Eugene’s historic LGBTQIA+ community could serve as an introduction to a more thorough context statement produced at a later date, and as a starting point for a description of significance for a National Register listing or Multiple Property Document Form. Further interviews would be helpful for gathering information about historic built resources that are no longer extant or not yet identified.

Results of this study identified a preliminary list of twenty resources associated with the four thematic areas. They have not been assessed for age or integrity and a reconnaissance-level and intensive-level survey would be required to assess potential eligibility for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

To learn more about Historic Preservation, visit our webpage.
Apply to Serve on the Planning Commission
The City of Eugene Planning Commission is appointed by the City Council to help plan for growth and development within the city. Members of the Planning Commission provide an invaluable service to our community. They advise city council and city staff on a variety of land use and policy matters by making recommendations that influence how and where our community develops and grows.

The Eugene Planning Commission holds regular meetings twice a month: the second and fourth Tuesday at 5:30 pm. Occasionally additional meetings are scheduled, as needed. In addition, each commissioner typically has one or more assignments, such as serving as the Planning Commission representative at City Council hearings or representing the commission as a member of an advisory committee or subcommittee. There is currently 1 vacancy: we are looking to fill a 4-year Commissioner term.

Apply here. The recruitment will remain open through January 31, 2022.
Apply to Serve on the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Committee
The City of Eugene is seeking applications from interested community members to join the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Advisory Committee. The Committee advises City staff annually on the proposed use of approximately $1.4M federal CDBG funds. This committee is comprised of nine members with interests and backgrounds in understanding the needs of low-income persons and special needs populations, human services, affordable housing, real estate development, and program management. Members must live in Eugene and may not have a conflict of interest with respect to a CDBG funded activity, agency, or program. The committee meets three to four times a year in the winter and spring. In order to better allow low-income individuals to participate in this work, stipends are available. There are five vacancies to be filled. Additional information is available this document, on the City of Eugene's website, or by contacting Genevieve Middleton, Grants Manager, or by phone at: 541-682-5529. Applications are open until 5:00 pm on January 5, 2022.
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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99 W. 10th Avenue | Eugene | OR | 97401