EUG Planning Newsletter
What's New with EUG Planning
September 27, 2021
This month's EUG Planning Newsletter provides updates on: Pre-Approved ADU's, the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan, Urban Reserves, and Middle Housing. 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.
Announcing the Pre-Approved Accessory Dwelling Unit Program!
Eugene is in a housing crisis. Years of underproduction, high construction costs and low wages have created an environment where many community members struggle to find housing they can afford. The City is classified as severely rent-burdened, meaning that a majority of community members spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs. To address this, the Eugene City Council asked staff to recommend possible strategies and tools to address the barriers to housing affordability, availability, and diversity. The Pre-Approved Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program is one tool to work towards that goal.

The City of Eugene has launched a Pre-Approved ADU Program to encourage the construction of ADUs by offering property owners a selection of pre-approved building plans that can be downloaded for free or purchased for a set fee. This program aims to assist property owners in creating architectural plans, expediting the building permit process, and reducing pre-construction costs.

The City has created two free, pre-approved accessory dwelling unit plans that are available to download now on the City website. These plans include options for variations in exterior materials and roof style. In the near future, additional plans will be available in an online library created by local architects.

Property owners will still need to develop a site plan and pay applicable systems development and building permit charges, however using the pre-approved ADU plans saves the cost of plan review fees, in addition to saving time by streamlining the process.

Here are some facts about building ADUs in Eugene:

  • ADUs are currently allowed in all neighborhoods.
  • ADUs can be a maximum of 800 sq. ft. or 10% of the lot area (whichever is less) in most zones.
  • ADUs in most zones only need to meet the design standards required for ADUs and are not subject to other residential design standards.
  • ADUs do not require additional off-street parking.
  • Owner occupancy of either the ADU or the primary dwelling is not required.
  • ADUs are not restricted by minimum lot size, lot dimension or maximum density.
  • ADUs are allowed on alley access lots and flag lots.
  • System Development Charges (SDCs) can be financed through the City for up to 10 years

Please visit the City of Eugene website to view the preapproved plans, download an ADU checklist, view stormwater information, learn about types of ADUs, and to view frequently asked questions. For questions regarding the Pre-approved ADU Program, contact Urban Designer Jennifer Knapp or for questions related to a specific property or building questions, contact Permit Intake at 541-682-5505.
Continued Progress on River Road‐Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan Corridor Code Concepts
The River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan 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. 

Local consultants have been working on draft land use code concepts and staff are in the process of sharing and reviewing those concepts with the Community Advisory Committee (CAC). These concepts encourage mixed-use neighborhood centers, walkable, safe, and active streetscapes, and seek to increase density and housing choices along the River Road corridor. These outcomes are consistent with the community feedback gathered during the River Road Corridor Study, an in-depth analysis of the corridor which included stakeholder interviews, public workshops, and economic and demographic research.

The CAC started to review the draft corridor code concepts at their September 21 meeting and will continue to discuss and refine the concepts at their October 19 and November 16 meetings. The CAC meetings are currently being held on Zoom and are open to the public. For those who would like to join, the link for upcoming meetings can be found on the project calendar.

For more information, visit the project website, the Engage Eugene project page, or sign up for the project newsletter for updates and opportunities for input.
Urban Reserves Project Update
Work on the Urban Reserves adoption package is continuing, and we are getting closer to beginning the public hearing process! Staff have been writing findings, assembling the land study, and working in collaboration with Lane County to develop draft land use policies.

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 input through public testimony, and meeting details, along with information for how to provide public testimony will be posted to the Urban Reserves webpage.  

In addition, before the public hearing process begins, written public notice will be mailed to all property owners in the proposed Eugene urban reserves and identified interested parties. 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 City Project Manager Rebecca Gershow with additional questions, or use the Q&A feature on the Urban Reserves Engage Eugene page.
Save the Date for Middle Housing Public Hearings!
The city is entering an exciting phase of work in planning for middle housing options - the formal adoption process!

Project staff kicked off the project in the summer of 2020, and spent 10 months reaching out to an Equity RoundTable, Healthy Democracy panel, boards and commissions and local partners, and the general public. To learn more about our outreach efforts to date for this project, check out this infographic. Outreach will continue as we reach more people and work our way through the formal adoption process. 

Earlier this summer, the project team drafted middle housing land use code language, using the results of the technical analysis and community engagement work as a foundation. Highlights of the Planning Commission’s guidance to staff in preparing the draft land use code include:

  • Focus on equity and inclusion as code choices are made. 
  • Encourage and incentivize middle housing across the community.
  • Near transit routes, encourage compact development by reducing parking requirements. 
  • Pursue incentives and programs beyond the code as part of our ongoing housing work.

The project team completed technical and legal review of the draft code this month. The draft land use code and plan amendments are published on our website and will be presented to the Planning Commission in work sessions on September 28 and October 12.

The Planning Commission’s public hearing will be held over zoom on October 26, and deliberation sessions are scheduled for November. Once the Commission completes its recommendations, the Council will hold its own work sessions and public hearing, anticipated for January 2022.

We want to hear from everyone! The project team is planning a variety of outreach strategies to assist people in adding their voices at this important stage of the process. Look to our website over the next month for a summary of the middle housing proposal, informational videos, links, FAQs, and ways to get involved. To receive formal mailed notice or informal email project updates, sign-up for the new Interested Parties List.

The project team has set up an email address for public comments about the middle housing project! Community members can send their comments to, and staff will compile the public testimony for sharing with the Planning Commission and City Council at their respective points in the process.

For more information, visit the project webpageEngage EugeneFacebook, and Instagram,. If you have any questions about the project, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley.
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99 W. 10th Avenue | Eugene | OR | 97401