EUG Planning Newsletter

What's New with EUG Planning

Sunday, February 26, 2023

This month's EUG Planning Newsletter includes updates on: Black History Month, Urban Reserves, Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities, River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan, Rental Housing Protections, and a state grant for homelessness and housing projects. 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.

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Recognizing Black History, Exclusion, and Displacement in Eugene

February is Black History Month, a time to honor the triumphs and struggles of African Americans throughout U.S. history. It is also a time to acknowledge and reckon with past and current practices that have harmed Black community members, along with Indigenous people and other people of color. In the context of land use planning, these practices take the shape of exclusionary laws and racial covenants that limited where Black people could live within Eugene, Lane County, and Oregon, as well as the displacement of Black residents for both government sponsored and private development projects.

You may have heard about the Ferry Street Community where Black community members settled when it was illegal to live within City limits. In 1949, during the construction of the Ferry Street Bridge, this neighborhood was demolished, and its residents displaced. Some residents resettled in west Eugene, near what is today W. 11th and Sam Reynolds St. – an area again outside of city limits, with limited infrastructure and subject to regular flooding. The aerial photo below (circa 1945) shows the approximate location of the Ferry Street Community, which is now the present day entrance to Alton Baker Park.

Eugene’s history echoes other urban development and transportation projects across the country that displaced Black communities, including highway building that separated communities and urban renewal projects to remove “blight” from inner cities. Racism still exists in our current land use and zoning systems – exclusionary zoning segregates cities, development can lead to displacement, and low-income communities carry the burden of more pollution and other public health risks.

This Black History Month, and every day moving forward, we can continue to work with local partners to learn from our history, uncover and disrupt the potential for harm, exclusion, or displacement in current practices. Learn more about local Black history, including Eugene’s first Black residents, through this Lane County timeline and map, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s Racing to Change Exhibit, or through Oregon Black Pioneers.

Urban Reserves Adoption

Joint Public Hearing Scheduled for February 28, 2023

After receiving unanimous recommendations from both planning commissions and holding work sessions earlier this month, the Lane County Board of Commissioners and the Eugene City Council are scheduled to hold a virtual joint public hearing this Tuesday, February 28, at 6:00 pm to hear from the public on the proposed Eugene urban reserves.

Complete meeting information, including instructions on how to participate is available on the project web page.

We want to hear from you!

The project team has set up an email address for public comments about urban reserves. Community members can send their comments to, and staff will compile the public testimony for sharing with the Board of County Commissioners and City Council up until the time of final action.

To see where your property is in relation to the proposed Eugene urban reserves, check out the Urban Reserves Web Map.

Mark your calendars!

On April 10 and 11, the City Council then the Board of Commissioners are scheduled to deliberate and consider action on the proposed urban reserves. Complete information will be posted on the project web page closer to those meetings.

As always, feel free to contact project staff Zoli Gaudin-Dalton or Rebecca Gershow with additional questions.

Climate Friendly & Equitable Communities

Planning for Climate-Friendly Neighborhoods in Eugene

When you think about climate solutions – does land use planning and zoning come to mind? It should!

Transportation is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. In communities that have denser housing along with transportation options other than cars – like convenient walking, biking, and transit service – households generally have fewer emissions.

The City’s new Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) project looks to increase housing and create more options for people walking, biking, or using transit in these higher density, climate-friendly neighborhoods. The state-adopted CFEC requirements work to tackle two big problems for cities in Oregon – the need to significantly reduce Oregon’s carbon footprint, while also addressing a severe housing crisis.

CFEC is just one strategy to advance both the City’s 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. CFEC supports many of the CAP 2.0 actions to reduce the 53% of local greenhouse gas emissions that stem from transportation-related sources.

CFEC will result in updates to the Eugene Land Use Code, revisions to the Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan and 2035 Transportation System Plan, as well as revised requirements for development permits. First up – changes to the City’s requirements for off-street parking along frequent transit corridors and for certain types of development. Learn more about reduced minimum parking requirements effective as of January 1, 2023 and future parking reforms, or watch the Planning Commission webcast on CFEC Parking Reform.

River Road - Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan

Neighborhood Planning in Action: 

River Road-Santa Clara Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge

$6 Million in Funding Secured for New Safety Project 

U.S. Representative Peter DeFazio had an additional gift for Eugene residents before he retired. The $1.7 trillion spending bill passed by Congress and signed by President Biden includes $6 million for the proposed River Road-Santa Clara Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge over Beltline Highway. This project was included in the bill at the request of Representative DeFazio and the City of Eugene. 


“Rep. DeFazio has always been a supporter and advocate for safe and accessible transportation options in our region,” said Rob Inerfeld, Transportation Planning Manager. “This is another legacy gift for our area during his distinguished career. This funding will allow us to continue to move toward our transportation goals.” 


This bridge is expected to be especially beneficial to North Eugene High School students who live in Santa Clara and walk or bike to school. Currently, they must travel on River Road through the Beltline interchange and cross on and off ramps of Beltline. With a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge, these students and others will be able to travel on quieter neighborhood streets and avoid River Road, which is one of Eugene’s high crash corridors. In addition, River Road residents can use the bridge to access the Santa Clara Square shopping area and other Santa Clara destinations, knitting the two neighborhoods together.  


The bridge is included as a neighborhood priority in the Draft River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan, the Eugene 2035 Transportation System Plan, and is the highest-ranking project for the regional Safe Routes to School program (half of all North Eugene High School students live north of Beltline). This is a great example of how projects go from a plan to making a difference in the community! 


Visit theRiver Road Santa Clara Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge Project Websiteto learn more about the project, including how residents can get involved.

Rental Housing Code

Public Hearing on Phase II Renter Protections

The City of Eugene is engaged in a multi-phase process to review and update the city’s Rental Housing Code program to include renter protections that aim to keep people housed, lessen the costs associated with rental housing, and stop discriminatory rental housing practices. Enhancing renter protections is identified as one of the anti-displacement actions of the city’s Housing Implementation Pipeline (HIP). The renter protections under consideration are focused on: 1) protecting renter and vulnerable populations and 2) preventing displacement. For more information about next steps, please sign up for the Renter Protections Interested Parties email list or visit the Eugene Renter Protections Process webpage.

City Council will hold a public hearing on Phase II Renter Protections; on the tentative agenda for March 13, 2023 at 5:30pm. Council will listen to public input regarding Phase II items including: limit security deposits, process applications in the order received, and relocation assistance for certain circumstances (legal no cause evictions, rent increases by 5% or more and the tenant cannot afford the increased rate, certain landlord-based reasons for termination, non-renewal of a fixed lease, and substantial changes in the lease). Information about upcoming City Council meetings and how to provide testimony at a public hearing is available on the Public Webcasts and Meeting Materials page.


Million-Dollar State Grant Supports Homelessness and Housing Projects in Eugene

In 2021, the Oregon Legislature passed Senate Bill 5561 with funding to help cities address housing insecurity, lack of affordable housing, or homelessness and allocated $1 million each to several cities, including the City of Eugene. 

In alignment with Eugene’s Housing Implementation Pipeline (HIP), the City is using this unique and flexible funding to support urgent needs across the housing continuum. These projects have no other identified source of funding and will boost City efforts to preserve and create affordable housing and shelter over the next year.

Permanent Supportive Housing Services - $500,000

The bulk of the funding will go towards critical supportive services for residents of The Nel, a new 45-unit permanent supportive housing development for people experiencing homelessness. The Nel opened in August 2022. The funds will be used to enable The Nel to pay for staffing and provide necessary ongoing supportive services to residents who are exiting homelessness by reducing the long-term debt of the project.

Shelter Site Improvements - $250,000

Based on input from service providers across the City’s alternative shelter network, grant funds will enable infrastructure improvements at City shelter sites. Eugene’s alternative shelter network accommodates more the 460 people and includes Rest Stops, as well as vehicle and camping Safe Sleep sites. These sites provide safe and healthy shelter and allow residents to connect with services. Improvements will include enhancing heating options for shelters, adding electricity to common spaces, upgrading water provision and grey water removal, and upgrades to fences and pathways at all sites.

Land Acquisition for Future Affordable Housing - $200,000

A frequent barrier to the creation of affordable housing is finding suitable and usable land. The City’s nationally recognized land acquisition program is critical to addressing this on-going need by acquiring and preparing land to be development ready for affordable housing. Grant funds will support the purchase of land in the next year for future affordable housing.

Affordable Housing Preservation Inventory - $50,000

The HIP and related anti-displacement work outlines the need to preserve existing affordable housing. This commonsense approach to housing affordability is under-supported by most existing programs and processes. Grant funds are supporting groundwork for the preservation of naturally occurring affordable housing (NOAH). In partnership with the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, the City is conducting an inventory and assessment of existing multi-family units and needs (expected to be complete by March 2023).

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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