How We Got Here
This page provides an overview of Envision Eugene’s historical background – the key events and project phases in the Envision Eugene process that have gotten us to where we are today. It also includes information about the extensive public involvement and technical analysis that has led to a robust set of plans.
Click the image below to see a timeline of the various phases and events of Envision Eugene that have led us to where are today.
2007 – House Bill 3337
In 2007, the Oregon Legislature passed Oregon House Bill 3337, which required Eugene and Springfield to each establish separate urban growth boundaries (UGBs), by dividing the metropolitan boundary that the cities had shared since 1982. This represented both a challenge and an opportunity for the City of Eugene and its residents.
2008 – Eugene Comprehensive Lands Assessment
In January 2008, the Eugene City Council directed staff to conduct an inventory and assessment of residential, industrial and commercial lands, as well as land for public uses such as parks, open space, and schools. Consultants at ECONorthwest conducted the Eugene Comprehensive Lands Assessment (ECLA), within the Eugene urban growth boundary. The project was completed in 2010 and included an inventory of buildable lands within the city’s UGB, an estimate of the need for land to accommodate residential, commercial, industrial, and public uses, and a determination of whether the city had sufficient land within the UGB to meet the estimated needs if city policies remained unchanged. ECLA provided the foundation for understanding what kind of growth Eugene needed to plan for in establishing its own UGB.
2010 – Envision Eugene Kicks Off
The City decided to take the mandate to develop a Eugene-specific UGB as an opportunity to develop a community vision – a vision that would guide Eugene’s growth and development into the future. An extensive community consultation effort was launched, with residents of Eugene collaborating to develop a vision for Eugene’s future.
This video was released early in the Envision Eugene process, explaining the purpose of UGBs in Oregon and inviting the public to participate in Envision Eugene.
Watch these videos to find out what residents of Bethel, River Road/Santa Clara and Sheldon/Coburg had to say about their vision for Eugene:
2012 – Envision Eugene Recommendation
The extensive public participation in 2010 and 2011 resulted in a community vision supported by seven pillars. The seven pillars of Envision Eugene are:
2. Provide HOUSING AFFORDABLE to all income levels
3. Plan for CLIMATE CHANGE and ENERGY RESILIENCY
4. Promote COMPACT URBAN DEVELOPMENT and EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS
5. Protect, repair and enhance NEIGHBORHOOD LIVABILITY
6. Protect, restore and enhance NATURAL RESOURCES
7. Provide for ADAPTABLE, FLEXIBLE and COLLABORATIVE implementation
2012 to 2015 - Land Use Efficiency Strategies Adopted
Following direction of City Council, staff have been working to implement the 2012 Recommendation. This has involved efficiency strategies, refining technical analysis, and preparing the documents necessary for adopting a Eugene-specific UGB. Since that time, City staff have been busy working on code amendments and other strategies aimed at using land inside the existing UGB more efficiently. Over the past few years, City Council has adopted several of these measures in order to increase the number of jobs and homes within the UGB and minimize any UGB expansion. Based on the community visioning process, the seven pillars, ECLA and subsequent technical analysis including a UGB expansion survey, staff began preparing recommendations for a new Eugene-specific UGB for Council’s review and direction. The UGB must accommodate the City’s twenty-year need for jobs, public facilities, and housing.
In December of 2014, the City Council provided direction to staff to expand the UGB for jobs, parks and schools. The expansion would add 924 acres to the UGB northwest of Randy Papé Beltline and Highway 99, and 35 acres in the Santa Clara area. Most of the expansion would help meet the city’s projected land need for large business sites during the next 20 years. It would also provide 54 acres for a future school site in the Bethel School District, as well as 257 acres for future community parks (222 acres for Golden Gardens Park, and 35 acres for Santa Clara Community Park).
On July 20, 2015, as a result of new information, the City Council gave direction to staff to establish a Eugene-specific UGB with no expansion for single-family homes. This decision was supported by considerable technical information. Council also requested that staff pursue a growth monitoring program, improve the land use code for needed housing development and begin urban reserve planning for longer term (50 years) population growth.
2016 - Multi-family Strategies + UGB Adoption Package Outreach
Concerns about previously identified strategies for accommodating multi-family homes arose in the fall of 2015, leading to additional analysis and outreach about possible strategies to meet our remaining need. This outreach made extensive use of the Envision Eugene Newsletter, public events, and videos.
In October 2016, the City Council directed staff to prepare the UGB adoption package using two strategies to meet our remaining multi-family housing need: 1) High Density Residential Downtown Redevelopment Strategy, and 2) Medium Density Residential (Option B) to increase minimum density requirements in R-2 zones with exemptions for lots under half an acre in size and subsidized affordable housing developments.
With this direction from City Council, staff began finalizing the formal adoption package that will be reviewed by the City of Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions, and then sent to the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners for adoption.
2017 (current) - UGB Adoption ProcessThe UGB adoption process, that began in January of 2017, includes several key components:
- a new Eugene-specific comprehensive plan, which will lay out goals and policies that guide land use planning related to growth management for Eugene over the next twenty years
- the urban growth boundary itself, including two expansion areas to support jobs, parks and schools
- the multi-family housing strategies selected by City Council
This package of materials will align closely with the 2012 Envision Eugene recommendations and subsequent Council direction. The timeline for formal adoption and endorsement of Envision Eugene can be found here.
The initial draft of the UGB Adoption Package was published in January 2017. A first round of edits was made to these documents in February to address minor corrections, additions, and clarifications. The February version of the Adoption Package is the version that went through the Planning Commission process.
Through January - May of 2017, the City of Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions held work sessions followed by a joint public hearing, and deliberations before formulating recommendations on the UGB Adoption Package to their respective elected bodies (the Eugene City Council and the Lane County Board of Commissioners). Links to Eugene Planning Commission meeting agendas and webcasts can be found here. The Planning Commissions' recommendations took into account public testimony, staff edits and concerns raised by the Planning Commissioners themselves. Version 2 (the Planning Commission recommendation) of the UGB Adoption Package was published May 2017 and is available at Adopting Our UGB.
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Community involvement has been an important part of the Envision Eugene process from day one and will continue to play a vital role in finalizing the plans, implementing them and monitoring their success. This section provides an overview of the key groups that have been involved in Envision Eugene at various times during the process.
Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
A 15-member Community Advisory Committee (CAC) was established during the completion of ECLA to provide technical advice and oversight. This group was made up of community members who met with City staff and decision makers from 2008 to 2010.
Community Resource Group (CRG)
The Community Resource Group (CRG) was a group of community members convened by the City Manager in 2010. The CRG met for about nine months to hold collaborative conversations about how the City of Eugene should grow. This group included a broad range of community members, including business owners, commerce and housing representatives, environmental advocates, neighborhood representatives, City Councilors, Planning Commissioners, Sustainability Commissioners, County Commissioners, partner agency staff, school districts, other community members at large, and City staff from Planning, Transportation, Community Development, Human Rights, and the City Manager’s Office. You can find a list of participants here.
Technical Resource Group (TRG)
The Technical Resource Group, or TRG, was formed out of the Community Resource Group to review and vet the technical assumptions and analysis methodology for Envision Eugene. This group has been meeting over hundreds of hours since January 2011 and continues to help staff by advising and reviewing technical products, maps, and other information on an as needed basis. The TRG and the materials on their webpage provide a conduit to the public for those that want to delve deeper into the technical analysis of UGB planning. TRG meeting materials can be found here.
The most important partner is…you!
At the heart of Envision Eugene is the mission to facilitate community conversations about growth and how it affects us in our daily lives. Eventually, the City Council will make decisions about what future growth strategies we will pursue. Since 2010, we have held hundreds of community listening sessions to expand the conversation via community networks that are already in place. We’re interconnected in many, many ways.
In addition to engaging community members like you, Envision Eugene engages with a variety of partners, boards, commissions, and projects, including the following:
- City of Springfield
- Bethel School District
- Eugene 4J School District
- Eugene Water and Electric Board
- Lane County Planning
- Lane Transit District
- Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
- Neighborhood Services
- Oregon Department of Transportation
- Walk Score
- City Council
- Planning Commission
- Sustainability Commission
- Housing Policy Board
- Human Rights Commission
- Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee
- Eugene Climate & Energy Action Plan
- Eugene Comprehensive Lands Assessment
- Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan
- Eugene Transportation System Plan
- Infill Compatibility Standards
- LTD Long Range Transit Plan
- South Willamette Concept Plan
- Moving Ahead
Your continued involvement will assist Eugene Planning staff in finalizing the draft plans and moving ahead with implementation and monitoring. Please continue to provide comments and participate in our public involvement events. You can also email Heather O’Donnell to request a presentation or invite a planner to your event. If you would like to be added to our interested parties email list, please sign up here.
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Envision Eugene Decision ProcessThe timeline below (click for a larger image) shows key decisions that have been made throughout the Envision Eugene process, and how public input has informed those decisions.
Urban Growth Boundary Assessment
Generally speaking, technical analysis for Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) planning begins with an estimate of a city’s buildable lands supply for various uses (e.g. homes, jobs, parks, schools and utilities). Following this, the projected demand for new jobs, homes and public uses is estimated, and a determination is made of whether the demand can be accommodated within the existing land supply under current development trends. If demand cannot be accommodated, the City looks for additional actions it can take (efficiency measures) to fit more jobs and homes inside the current UGB. If there is still a portion of the estimated demand that cannot fit inside the UGB, the City then looks at expanding the UGB for that type of land.
The Envision Eugene Technical Resource Group (TRG) has been instrumental in advising staff and reviewing technical products, maps, and other information. The TRG website includes a catalogue of the materials they have reviewed, click here for more details.
Below are some of the key topics of technical analysis. In this section, the information is in reverse chronological order to highlight what’s most recent and relevant. Links to technical documents or presentation summaries are contained under these topics:
UGB Expansion (2012-current)
The current analysis shows that there is enough land inside the UGB for low density (typically single-family) housing. Medium and high density housing can be met inside the UGB as a result of the efficiency measures. Therefore, no UGB expansion for housing is recommended. Key points of analysis include:
July 20, 2015- City Council presentation (population forecast options)
July 2015- PSU July 2015 population forecast (final)
Revised Housing Recommendation and supporting documents
Technical Background Information
- Adding 230 acres near Bloomberg Road, north of 30th Avenue and Lane Community College, to provide land for about 400 homes. Bloomberg/McVay Recommendation, and;
- Adding 60 acres near Bailey Hill and Gimpl Hill Roads to provide land for 135 homes. Bailey Hill/Gimpl Hill Recommendation
As part of the analysis the costs to provide services to each of these areas were estimated. See:
The current analysis shows that a UGB expansion is needed to accommodate jobs, parks and one school site. Key analysis of need and UGB expansion locations include:
Buildable Lands Inventory & Assumptions Update (2013)
The estimates in ECLA and the 2012 Recommendation were based on the available land supply as of 2008 and development trends from 2001-2008. Given the length of the project, in 2013 we updated the land supply and updated a majority of the development trends and other demand related assumptions by adding in data from 2009-2012. Key updates include:
Efficiency Measures (2012- current)
Efficiency measures or strategies are actions the City can take (e.g. rezoning, land use code amendments, financial incentives) to facilitate the accommodation of more jobs or homes inside the UGB than would otherwise occur under business as usual. Most of the efficiency measures below have been adopted and include how many additional jobs and homes are anticipated to be accommodated inside the UGB as a result of these measures.
March 2012 Recommendation (2011-2012)
The 2012 Recommendation includes preliminary estimates of how many additional jobs and homes could fit inside the UGB by adopting efficiency measures and how many industrial jobs and low density residential homes would need to be accommodated through UGB expansion.
Other 2012 technical support documents are included here, such as the Eugene land model, land need and capacity summaries, analysis for individual assumptions and the commercial redevelopment estimating tool.
ECLA, The Eugene Comprehensive Lands Assessment (2008-2010)
ECLA provided the initial determination of how much buildable land we have, how much demand there will be for the next 20 years, and whether or not we have enough buildable land supply if we continue developing in the same way that we have in recent years. While the technical analysis had been updated through Envision Eugene as reflected above, many of the ECLA methods have been carried forward.
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