Parks and Schools

While privately owned land is used to meet many of our needs, including most housing and employment, public land, such as parks and schools, contribute tremendously to our quality of life and community health. So when we plan for the future land needed by our community, parks and schools are included in that evaluation.

The future need for these uses is determined through the collective planning efforts of local school districts, the University of Oregon, the City of Eugene and other utility providers, and City Council direction. Some of the land needed for these uses can be found inside the current urban growth boundary, while other uses specifically require expansion to address the need.


Parks and schools  are the public uses of land addressed in Envision Eugene. Why and where are we adding park and school land? This page covers some of the big picture questions about how parks and schools are being addressed through Envision Eugene.

How do we plan for parks and schools?

Planning for parks and schools is primarily carried out by each school district and by the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space. The corresponding planning documents are:
Land needs identified in these plans that cannot be met within the current UGB result in a process to select appropriate land and bring it into the UGB. For both parks and schools, we plan 10-20 years out so that land can be developed in time to meet the needs of our increasing population. We also consider parks and schools to be key destinations in 20-minute neighborhoods, so we strive to provide more people with access to parks and schools throughout the community.

While parks and schools are the only public uses that we are currently expanding for, other public uses are also planned for including land need for the University of Oregon, utility facilities (water, wastewater, stormwater) and lands needed for other public uses (fire, police, other government). Master plans, projections, and capital improvement plans are some of the materials that inform this planning. Land need to accommodate major facilities for these uses is accounted for in the UGB planning (about 200 acres). Since these could all be accommodated on land inside the UGB, they are not the focus here.


What is the latest on parks and schools?

The Envision Eugene recommended urban growth boundary expansion includes land for two community parks and one elementary and/or middle school.

A total of 311 acres are needed for expansion for parks and schools. This includes 257 acres owned by the City of Eugene for developing community parks at Golden Gardens (222 acres) and Santa Clara (35 acres) and about 54 acres owned by Bethel School District for a new school.
2017 Clear Lake Recommendation
Santa Clara Expansion Recommendation

How do parks and schools relate to adopting our UGB?

The Urban Growth Boundary Adoption Package is the collection of legally required documents to formally set (adopt) the UGB. Parks and schools are addressed in multiple sections of the UGB Adoption Package.

Policies – The UGB Adoption Package includes a new land use policy related to school facility planning (Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan - Administration and Implementation chapter). The majority of park and school related land use policies will continue to be located in the Metro Plan (Public Facilities and Services Element for schools, and Parks and Recreation Facilities Element for parks) until future phases of the Envision Eugene Comprehensive Plan. Non-land use policies are located in park and school specific plans.

Code – New land use code language may address park and school land through zoning or other adjustments. For instance, the parks in the Clear Lake and the Santa Clara expansion areas will be zoned public land.
Supporting Documents – Documents presenting the fact base and analysis for decisions related to parks and schools include the legal findings for expansion, the Bethel School District 2013 Long Range Facilities Plan, Parks, Recreation and Open Space Comprehensive Plan, and the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Project and Priority Plan, May 2006. The UGB Adoption Package also includes a School Expansion Study and a Parks Expansion Study.

Urban Growth Boundary – The proposed UGB reflects the determination to expand for park and school land in the Clear Lake and Santa Clara areas.

Legal Findings - These documents specifically address the state's legal requirements, including those regarding parks and schools.

Because these documents are focused on showing the state that we are meeting our responsibilities in accordance with state law, most of the language in these documents is both legal and extremely detailed.


How do parks and schools relate to Envision Eugene: Vision to Action?

Envision Eugene: Vision to Action is the set of four documents that present the outcome of the Envision Eugene process and complementary ways to make the community vision a reality.

Parks and schools contribute to our local quality of life and must be planned to align with the values represented in the pillars.

The Community Vision explores the history, the values, and the goals that inform how Eugene should grow. Parks and schools are addressed as through the UGB expansion and as strategies for enhancing our natural resources and livability.

The Comprehensive Plan is the state-mandated land use policy plan for the City of Eugene. Land for parks and schools is reflected in the UGB, while other issues related to parks and schools are addressed in additional chapters such as public facilities.

The Urban Form Plan presents both local context and best practices to guide and inform the built environment in Eugene. These guidelines address the more specific design aspects of park and school development.

The Action Plan lays out specific steps to achieve the goals of Envision Eugene. Several of these actions relate to parks and schools through land supply and partnerships with other agencies and organizations.


What else might I want to know about parks and schools?

When will the parks and school be planned and developed?
Once the land is formally available for urban uses, specific planning and construction will need to occur before any of the sites are developed. Each site will have its own process for planning and development. The timing for each site will depend on a number of factors, such as available resources, community involvement, and coordination with other projects.