EUG Planning Newsletter
What's New with EUG Planning
February 28, 2021
This month's EUG Planning Newsletter provides updates on: What Are Land Use Applications, the Middle Housing project, the Urban Reserves project, the Clear & Objective Code Standards, and a new storymap from our interns. 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 third article in the series is below.
What Are Partitions?
As we mentioned in our last newsletter, we have several different types of land use applications in Eugene. Over the next couple of months, we will dig into a few of the applications and features that are reviewed. With the ongoing discussion about housing, we thought it was most appropriate to start with a partition.
Partitions are the land use applications that allow someone to divide property resulting in, at the most, three parcels where there was previously one. While we certainly see applications to divide industrial or commercially zoned property, the most abundant partition applications are those to divide residentially zoned property. This typically results in the development of one or two new homes in existing neighborhoods. As you likely know by now, this type of housing infill is important for Eugene as we continue to grow and make efforts to ensure that land within the City is efficiently developed.

The approval criteria used to determine if a partition should be approved are primarily related to public services. Before someone can build a home, it is important to ensure that the property it will be built on has access to things like water service, sewer service, and stormwater treatment. It is also important to ensure the land is being divided in a way that can accommodate a building that will be able to meet building codes and offer a safe and habitable space. This includes considering things like access for emergency personnel and of course the ability for a future resident to be able to get to their home from our public street system.

While interchangeable in other places, partitions and subdivisions are land divisions process of different magnitudes in Eugene. Next month we will explore some of the features of a subdivision and how it differs from a partition. 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 email

To see the zoning of a property please visit our digital zoning map, below. If 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.
Last Week to Take the Middle Housing Survey!
Final week! Take the Middle Housing survey by Friday, March 5th!
The survey is on Engage Eugene and is also now available in Spanish. Folks who take the survey will be entered to win one of two $50 gift cards. Please spread the word with your networks! The questions in the survey are based on levels of implementing House Bill 2001. The state adopted minimum standards in the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) that serve as a baseline for complying with the bill. By taking the survey, you can help guide how our Land Use code is shaped for generations to come.

Meeting in a Box
A new tool we developed is a Meeting in a Box: a set of materials that helps folks guide their own meeting with a neighborhood association, community group, friends, and family to provide input on the Middle Housing project. The materials include a Discussion Guide, Middle Housing Walking Tours, and Feedback Forms. If you are interested in sharing these resources, we are accepting feedback until March 28th
Roundtable Engagement Continues
February was a big month for Middle Housing! Throughout the month, we held meetings with the Healthy Democracy Panel, Equity Roundtable, Boards and Commissions Roundtable, and Local Partners Roundtable. The meetings focused on the levels of implementation outlined in the survey, including the social, environmental, and economic tradeoffs around choices for middle housing code standards. Meeting recordings and summaries will be available on the Middle Housing webpage.

Facebook Live Events
Additionally, we are excited to invite you to watch a series of live virtual events that discussed what land use has to do with a variety of different topics. The first four of these events can be found on our Facebook and focused on the connections between land use and transportation, equity, climate, and engaging the next generation. All the videos are available to watch on our Facebook and on the Middle Housing Engage Eugene.
Coming Up
Join us Tuesday, March 9th for a Planning Commission Work Session for updates on survey results, roundtable input, and next steps in the project, including code writing!
Thank you for spreading the word about opportunities to engage with this project! More resources can be found on the project webpageEngage EugeneFacebook, Instagram, and by signing up for our Interested Parties List. If you have any questions about the project, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley.
Eugene's Proposed Urban Reserve
Urban Reserve project staff are developing adoption materials to share with the public and decision-makers later this year, based on the direction received from the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners.

Eugene’s Proposed Urban Reserves designate enough land to meet the projected needs of 27 years of growth beyond Eugene's 2032 urban growth boundary (UGB), or to 2059. This assumes that approximately 258,000 people will live in Eugene then, and that we will continue to develop land in roughly the same way we have been. If either of those things change (which they may), then we could grow faster or slower than projected, which is okay. Land within Urban Reserves will stay rural and under the jurisdiction of Lane County until there is a need to expand our UGB; at that time, the specific amount of land needed for new neighborhoods, jobs, schools, or parks will be considered.

Eugene’s Proposed Urban Reserves is shown in the map here in orange; it strives to balance the City’s projected growth needs with the preservation of high-value farmland. To view a PDF of this map please click here

For more information, please see our project webpage. As always, 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 Project Manager Rebecca Gershow with questions, or use the Q&A feature on the Urban Reserves Engage Eugene page.
Clear & Objective Code Update
The Clear & Objective project was initiated by City Council back in 2015 as part of the Envision Eugene urban growth boundary (UGB) process. As identified through that process, Eugene would need to accommodate approximately 15,000 new housing units within our UGB from 2012-2032. To do this, we must efficiently accommodate the growth while also preserving the community's values regarding livability, public health and safety, and natural resource protection. 

Through the Clear & Objective project, Eugene’s existing clear and objective approval criteria for land use applications that involve housing have been reevaluated for potential updates. Proposed changes were crafted based on the following project goals:

  • accommodate housing on lands available within our current UGB
  • provide a clear and objective path to land use approval for all housing as required by State law
  • guide future housing development in a way that reflects our community’s values

To get started, we first identified key issues to address under the scope of this project (Phase 1) and then came up with preferred concepts for addressing the key issues (Phase 2). Next, we drafted code amendments to implement approved concepts (Phase 3). The last few months have been busy as the Clear & Objective project entered the formal adoption process (Phase 4). Planning Commission deliberations on the proposed land use code amendments to implement identified changes were recently wrapped up. After holding a public hearing last October—followed by five deliberation meetings to thoroughly review the draft language—the Planning Commission unanimously recommended Council adoption of the draft Ordinance reflecting their modifications. This completes the Planning Commission review portion of the formal adoption process.

Next Steps
On March 8, City Council will be provided a project overview before they host a public hearing on the proposed Ordinance later that evening. Due to Governor Kate Brown’s Stay Home, Save Lives Executive Order to combat the spread of Covid-19, the online option and instructions for participation will be available here.

We want to hear from you! There’s still time to weigh in. Written testimony may be sent to the project manager to be provided to City Council for their consideration. Council follow-up and possible action is currently scheduled for April 12, 2021.

Visit the project website for additional background information and documents associated with this project, as well as links to all agenda packets and webcasts. For more information, contact project manager, Jenessa Dragovich.
From our Interns: A New Kind of GIS Storymap
"We have been working throughout the last month on a GIS storymap to explain the Middle Housing Project to students and other Gen-Z members of our community. We went into this project with three guiding principles in mind:

  1. Start big! To catch the attention of our audience and keep them interested in learning about the project we wanted to start with big ideas and topics and clarify the details later throughout the storymap. 
  2. Keep language understandable. Students are a level removed from technical language and acronyms, so we sought to use broadly accessible language whenever possible. When we did have to use technical terms, we also compared them to ideas or things that students are more familiar with to help them make internal connections. 
  3. Connect to the topics that students are already passionate about. Housing itself may not be the most exciting topic to students, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care about it at all! Instead of just focusing on the housing market or availability of housing that this project will impact we connected it to topic areas students are already passionate about, like the environment and equity. 

Using these three principles, we’re proud to unveil our finalized storymap! We’ll be taking it to classrooms and other university settings the first week of March and are hoping to show students a project that will impact them for years to come as they decide where to live in Eugene as well as provide them with opportunities to make their voice heard and help shape the future of our city. We believe, with our guiding principles and other references to ideas and culture that Gen-Z is familiar with the city can see how engaged and thoughtful our student communities can be!"
--Middle Housing Interns Cody and Julian
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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