Multi-Family Housing Options


Over the course of Envision Eugene, residents and elected officials have said we should accommodate the anticipated 15,000 total new homes over the next 20 years within our existing urban growth boundary if possible. Thanks to over five years of input from Eugene’s residents, robust technical analysis, and Council direction, we’ve found that we have land across Eugene to do most of this. As of early 2016, we just needed to find space for about 1,600 homes.

At their October 24, 2016 meeting, the Eugene City Council directed staff to prepare the urban growth boundary adoption package using two strategies to meet our remaining multi-family housing need:

  1. High Density Residential Downtown Redevelopment Strategy
  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.

The change to the R-2 zone minimum density requirements is reflected in the City’s proposed Residential Ordinance (page 3) with the UGB Adoption Package.

For more information, see the work session materials, the presentation, and multi-family housing outreach results report.

 Other overview materials:


Our initial strategy for accommodating the final 1,600 multi-family homes was to increase redevelopment near corridors through area planning (community visioning, zoning code to match the vision, and development incentives to build it). The South Willamette Special Area Zone work was a pilot test of the area planning strategy. Community and Council discussions regarding zoning and livability in the South Willamette area raised concerns about implementing the area planning strategy, both in South Willamette and city wide.

Housing Infographic

For this reason, and because Eugene needs to have all of our programs and tools for accommodating needed housing in place before or at the same time the UGB is adopted, the Council needed to decide on a different way to ensure we have enough land for multifamily homes in order to adopt our new UGB.

Want More Details?

In response, the Envision Eugene team found a range of options to choose from to provide space for these remaining homes, including adjusting assumptions about housing development, requiring more housing than we’d otherwise see, or expanding the UGB for multi-family housing. After preliminary technical analysis, we then grouped them into tiers. The first set of strategies were the focus of outreach. These strategies would improve the efficiency of land development and appear to be most feasible from a technical standpoint.

Preliminary analysis showed that by using existing incentives and programs, about 1,000 of these homes could be accommodated in Eugene’s downtown, where higher density apartments make sense. That means we only needed to find space for about 600 homes. These 600 are homes like smaller apartments, townhomes, duplexes, and some single-family housing. The first set of options for addressing these included prohibiting detached single-family housing in existing medium density zones or requiring a higher minimum density of all housing in medium density zones. Many details needed to be discussed to ensure these options were workable and would provide housing that’s compatible with Eugene’s neighborhoods.

Below are links to more detailed information: