South Willamette Area Plan

Latest Update

The proposed South Willamette Special Area Zone and design code that followed the recommendations of the South Willamette Concept Plan has been withdrawn. The land use application was withdrawn by the Eugene City Council as of May 10, 2016. This information page is for reference only.

South Willamette Area: Concept Plan

history 1

The vision includes an attractive, healthy, walkable neighborhood with successful businesses and new opportunities for jobs and housing.

The study of the South Willamette district is part of Envision Eugene, the city’s plan for how to accommodate jobs and places to live for our growing population over the next twenty years. The South Willamette Concept Plan began as a pilot for the Envision Eugene area planning strategy. The district encompasses the vital South Willamette Street area from 23rd to 32nd Avenues and from Amazon Park to the base of College Hill.

The Concept Plan is a product of a robust community process involving over 600 people through workshops, online and email input, presentations and regular updates. Following extensive public engagement and discussion, the final draft of the South Willamette Concept Plan was accepted by the Planning Commission on April15, 2013, and presented to the City Council on June 19, 2013. The Concept Plan provides a vision for the South Willamette district to successfully blend a range of housing and jobs in a desirable community setting.

Public Engagement Milestones

September 4, 2013 Beyond the Travel Lanes

October 30, 2012 Revised Concept Plan

June 29, 2012 Revised Concept Plan

December 2011 Workshop Design Ideas

October 2011 Design Workshop

Spring 2011 UO Architecture Design Studio

March 2011 Community Ideas for South Willamette

South Willamette Area: Design Code

history 2

The South Willamette Special Area Zone was developed to implement the South Willamette Concept Plan (SWCP), created by the community between 2011 and 2013. The vision includes an attractive, healthy, walkable neighborhood with successful businesses and new opportunities for jobs and housing. The proposed design code follows the recommendations of the South Willamette Concept Plan. The design code shares goals with the South Willamette Concept Plan, including:

  • Supporting a well-connected, healthy, and walkable district
  • Creating opportunities for more commercial jobs and homes, including a greater diversity of housing types
  • Setting standards for the physical form and scale of future development
  • Setting standards for active, successful streets and public realm
  • Realizing principles for compatible building design and transitions

South Willamette Special Area Zone Fact Sheets

The SW-SAZ fact sheets were developed to highlight the differences between the proposed design code standards and current code. Download a pdf version of the Fact Sheets here.

Proposed Design Code: Adoption Process

The proposed South Willamette Special Area Zone (SW-SAZ) was recommended for adoption to the City Council by the Planning Commission in August 2015.

Project Information

For more of an overview of general concepts with general provisions, check out the following documents:

Proposed Height Standards

Height Change Map

This map shows the proposed increases and decreases to existing height limits.

Proposed Design Code Concepts

Proposed Code Standards Concepts
Design standards, single family options, transitions, street design and flexibility.

Formal Review Process

History 3

Council Passes Motion

A motion related to neighborhood area planning projects was passed by the City Council on April 26. View the discussion and work session here. The motion can be read here. 

Councilor Evans’ Motion for Monday Night (April 24, 2017): Neighborhood Planning

The City Council discussed a motion related to planning projects in several neighborhoods yesterday. There were some friendly amendments made during the work session, which you can watch here: Action on the motion was delayed until Council’s Monday April 24th evening meeting after public forum. The current motion on the table reads as follows:

“I move to direct the city manager to refocus the city’s planning efforts, but continue community engagement in South Eugene, on developing special area zones or refinement plans to the River Road/Santa Clara area where significant preparatory work and planning has already occurred by area residents, and to the Hwy 99/Bethel area, which along with the River Road/Santa Clara area contains two of the city’s main transportation corridors where multi-unit densities are contemplated by Envision Eugene, and bring back a plan for moving forward on university neighborhoods.”

Comments on this motion may be sent to the Mayor and Council at or made during public forum.

Mayor’s Update March 3, 2017

Mayor Lucy Vinis sent the following email to City Councilors regarding an upcoming work session on South Willamette:

Good morning, Councilors,
I want to let you know that I have decided to postpone next week’s South Willamette work session until after our Spring break.  Staff and the neighbors are continuing to work together on a recommendation, but agree that postponing is desirable.  Jon and Staff will provide us with an email update in the next couple of weeks.  Postponing will also allow ample time for discussion of the proposed ordinances on dogs and smoking at Wednesday’s work session.
(Note: The ordinances mentioned relate to downtown only.)

South Willamette Planning Proposal Update

A staff proposal for next steps in planning the South Willamette mixed use commercial area was submitted to the City Council on January 31. You can read it here and view the map here. City staff have been meeting and talking with neighborhood leaders and other interested people about the staff proposal to hear their feedback. A revised staff proposal is due February 28, and will be sent to the interested parties list after it is delivered to the City Council.

The City Council work session on South Willamette Next Steps has been scheduled for March 8th at noon, in Harris Hall (125 East 8th Avenue). At the work session, the Council will hear from staff about comments received on the January 31 proposal, and any changes included in the revised staff proposal. The Council will have the opportunity to discuss the next steps and offer further direction to staff.

If you have questions about this process, please let us know! We would like to receive comments on the January 31 proposal by February 23 in order to include a response in our revised proposal, due on the 28th.

City Council Update February 8, 2017

The City Council voted today to move the work session on South Willamette Next Steps from February 22 to a March date to be determined. The Council also asked us to submit a revised staff proposal by February 28 after hearing more comments from the community. We look forward to receiving your comments and ideas on the draft we submitted to the Council on January 31, which can be found here. You can send your comments to Terri and Jennifer at the email addresses below, or the Mayor and Council directly at

South Willamette Planning UPDATE 2017

Please see the message below sent to the City Council regarding next steps on the South Willamette process. The Council is scheduled for a work session on this proposal on February 22, 2017. Any comments you have on the proposal may be sent to Jennifer Van Der Haeghen, Terri Harding, or the Mayor and Council directly at

January 31, 2017 letter:
Dear Mayor and City Council, Attached is a draft staff proposal for next steps in planning the South Willamette area. In forming this draft, we have engaged the four South Eugene neighborhood associations per your October 2016 direction, and considered their suggestions for a plan boundary, Planning Team composition, and next steps. We have attempted to provide a path for moving forward with community based planning for this mixed-use area, while fulfilling our obligations to support city-wide planning goals and policies. We look forward to hearing comments on this draft from everyone who is interested, and to discussing it with you at your February 22 work session.

To view the staff proposal for next steps click here.

To view the proposed boundary map click here.

Next Steps for South Willamette

The City Council passed a motion outlining next steps for planning in the South Willamette Area at the October 10, 2016 work session. The motion can viewed here.

South Willamette Community Comments

Written comments received after the close of the Planning Commission public record on June 9, 2015 at 5 pm and through Sept. 27, 2016 can be viewed here. Please let us know if any letters weren’t included that you would like added to the comments.

City Council Work Session - Oct. 10, 2016, 5:30 pm

The City Council work session on Oct. 10, 2016 at 5:30 pm will discuss next steps for planning in the South Willamette area. The Council meets at Harris Hall, 125 E. 8th Avenue. To view the agenda click here.

Public Forum - Sept. 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm

The Mayor’s forum is on Monday! The purpose of the  forum is to provide an opportunity for community members to share with City Council their thoughts about engagement processes related to South Willamette planning. The forum is at South Willamette High School Cafeteria (address below). Please use the entry at the back of the building. Sign-in for commenters begins at 5:30 pm and will close at 7 pm. 

Mayor’s Letter to the Community August 12, 2016

Mayor Kitty Piercy sent a letter to community members regarding the September 19, 2016 forum. To read more about the forum see the posts below. To read the Mayor’s most recent update, click here.

Public Forum Update

A public forum regarding planning in the South Willamette area will be held Monday, September 19, 2016 at South Eugene High School Cafeteria, 400 East 19th Ave., at 6:00 pm. Sign-in for commenters begins at 5:30 pm and will close at 7:00 pm. To read the Mayor’s letter to community members click here. Questions and comments can be emailed to

May 28, 2016 Letter from the Mayor to City Council

A letter outlining next steps and the Mayor’s proposed forum for the South Willamette area was sent by Mayor Kitty Piercy to the City Council and City Manager.

City Council Votes to Withdraw SW-SAZ Application

The Eugene City Council voted to withdraw the South Willamette Special Area Zone land use application as of May 10, 2016.

May 7, 2016 Letter from Mayor Kitty Piercy

A message regarding next steps for the South Willamette area was sent by Mayor Kitty Piercy to the City Council and City Manager.

Oregon Consensus Assessment Report

Following Council direction and a request by Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, the community was engaged over the past few months in an assessment process for the South Willamette Special Area Zone, led by Oregon Consensus and funded by the State of Oregon. A pair of neutral facilitators, Turner Odell with Oregon Consensus and Eugene resident Tim Hicks, interviewed community members, assessed the present situation, and have made recommendations for next steps.
Their assessment report summarizes what they heard and learned from interviewing an initial set of interested people and organizations. The report also includes a recommendation for how to move forward and find the best next steps in the ongoing learning and decision-making process.

To read a brief introduction and overview of the Oregon Consensus assessment process click here.

To read an outline of the interviews as planned preceding the assessment click here. 

South Willamette Street Initiative

 A proposal for next steps for the South Willamette area was sent out by Councilors George Brown and Mike Clark on April 25, 2016. Our team of planners will be looking at this closely and offering our thoughts when appropriate. We’re certain the City Council would like to hear all of your thoughts on it as well. Please include Terri Harding in any comments you send the Council about this matter, to keep our planning staff in the loop of communication on this very important issue. We very much appreciate being included on the messages several of you have already sent.

Terri also provided an update on the South Willamette Area Zone and Oregon Consensus Assessment Report at the Friendly Neighbors General meeting on April 21. Her introductory comments are here.


  1. Planning Division

    Terri Harding
    Principal Planner
    99 W. 10th Avenue
    Eugene, OR 97401
    Ph: 541-682-5635
    Fx: 541-682-5572