EUG Planning Newsletter
What's New with EUG Planning
June 1, 2021
This month's EUG Planning Newsletter provides updates on: What Are Land Use Applications, the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan, Middle Housing, and Urban Reserves. 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 sixth article in the series is below.
What's the Difference Between Building Permits and Land Use Applications?
A common misconception in the planning world is that land use applications are used to approve the development of buildings. Most development is regulated under two different codes: the Land Use Code and the Building Code. Receiving a Land Use application is generally the first step in the development process, followed by applying for and receiving a Building Permit. 

The Land Use Code is oriented toward how a project fits into a community: it regulates setbacks, types of uses, height, parking requirements, design (for some types of projects), and similar concerns. Essentially, the Land Use Code says what is allowed to be done to a piece of land: how it can be split up and what kind of development can go on it. If a property owner submits a Land Use application to partition their property, it results in the creation of a new land parcel and lot lines. Then, afterward, if a property owner wants to construct a building, they begin the process to submit a Building Permit.

The Building Code is oriented toward ensuring that structures are constructed to an appropriate standard and are safe for the uses intended. Application for most Building Permits must be accompanied by detailed construction drawings. After a Building Permit is approved, then buildings can be developed.

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.
River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan Moves into the Adoption Phase
The River Road-Santa Clara (RRSC) neighborhood planning process has reached a big milestone and is moving into the adoption phase! The Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners both unanimously gave direction to the project management team to prepare a plan adoption package for community review. The Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions were also supportive of the project moving into the next phase. 

The adoption package will include: 

  • Neighborhood Plan Document: articulates the community vision in a goal and policy document that will be a formally adopted, legally binding land use plan
  • Action Plan: a non-regulatory document to guide implementation of the vision
  • Plan and Code Amendments: to implement certain actions and support the vision for the area
  • Plan Designation and Zone Change Tables and Maps: to encourage active neighborhood centers and a variety of housing types

The adoption package preparation will include community outreach and opportunities for input as the Community Advisory Committee, River Road and Santa Clara Community Organizations, and staff will prepare and recommend a draft plan to the Planning Commissions. Then, the Planning Commissions will form a recommendation to City Council and the Board of Commissioners. The Council and Board will then consider and ultimately act on the adoption package.

Stay tuned to 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
Middle Housing Project Update
The Middle Housing project is continuing to move towards the Adoption Phase. We have completed nine months of technical analysis and community engagement work including panel discussions, roundtables, online forums, and meetings with the Planning Commission. Our February outreach efforts serve as a foundation for the Land Use Code recommendations for implementing House Bill 2001 for middle housing.

Over the month of April and into mid-May, the middle housing project team held our final set of roundtable meetings with Boards and Commissions, Local Partners, and Equity-focused organizations, plus meetings with the Healthy Democracy panel and a Local Developer focus group that included both market-rate and affordable housing developers. These meetings included discussion of how the Land Use Code recommendations are likely to affect housing affordability. To hear how some of the Healthy Democracy panelists felt at the end of the process, check out this 5-minute video.
Additionally, since the last newsletter staff met with decision-makers. On May 24, 2021, staff provided an update to the City Council at their work session that included a public engagement recap and preliminary work on land use code recommendations for middle housing across Eugene. Then, the Planning Commission held two work sessions on May 17, 2021 and May 25, 2021 to learn more about the history of residential zoning, hear from Healthy Democracy, Equity RoundTable, and Developer Focus Group participants, and work through a straw poll that will guide the development of draft code amendments. The preliminary draft code will be shared with the Planning Commission at their June 14, 2021 work session. Meeting materials will be posted to the project webpage, when available.

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.
Lane County Planning Commission to Receive Update on Proposed Urban Reserve Policies
The Urban Reserves project may seem quiet lately…but only because staff have been busy assembling the pieces of the project’s adoption package since receiving direction on a proposed Urban Reserve area. The adoption package will contain a variety of elements including City and County ordinances, land use findings, service provider coordination agreements, a public engagement summary, plan amendments and land use policies. 

Urban Reserves is a joint City and County project because it involves land outside of Eugene’s urban growth boundary. Land within Urban Reserves will remain under the jurisdiction of Lane County until it is needed to accommodate future city growth. County staff have developed draft land use policies, based on state rules, to ensure that Urban Reserves land will remain rural while also being prioritized for future urban growth. 

Lane County staff will share an update with the Lane County Planning Commission at 6 pm on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Tune in to hear about the project, draft policies and next steps as we prepare for the public hearing process later this year. The meeting link will be posted to the Urban Reserves webpage before the meeting. 

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 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.
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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