Land Use

Land Use-header

Most Recent Version of Draft Vision Statement, Goals, Policies, and Actions

Draft Vision Statement

The Land use in River Road and Santa Clara supports neighborhood character and local identity, including our long standing agricultural heritage and high value soils. Our neighborhoods are walkable, with a range of housing types affordable to all residents. Abundant shops, services and community spaces are served by a variety of transportation options. Strategic development and revitalization in more urban locations, especially the River Road corridor, helps maintain neighborhood character while meeting our housing and economic needs in a way that is environmentally responsible. Development is well designed, sustainable, and compatible with existing surroundings. Adjacent to the Willamette River greenway, development improves safety, enhances access, and respects ecological functions.  

Draft Goals

Goal 11: Support development that is well designed and economically, socially and environmentally sustainable.

Goal 12: Ensure future housing addresses the needs of the community.   

Goal 13: Support a thriving, vibrant and active River Road corridor.  

Goal 14: Promote land use and development that protects and enhances neighborhood character.

Draft Policies and Actions

Review the most recent draft policies and actions for the Land Use Goals below.

*Impact of House Bill 2001

Want to learn how House Bill 2001 will impact our draft land use policies? Download this fact sheet or learn more about House Bill 2001.

Click on each draft goal, policy, or action to provide feedback! 

Tell us what you like, what you have concerns about, or questions you may have about these drafts.

  1. Goal 11
  2. Goal 12
  3. Goal 13
  4. Goal 14
  5. Working Group Materials

Goal 11

Support development that is well designed and economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. 


Effective Public Process: Encourage effective collaboration between developers, public agencies, and neighbors through local land use regulations.  


Adopt a new process that requires developers to communicate with the RR or SC at least one month prior to submitting a land use application, preferably during the schematic phase of design, prior to the creation of construction documents. The process shall replace the current Chapter 9.7007 Neighborhood/Applicant Meetings process.  Additionally, the new process should be required for proposed zone changes and Willamette Greenway Permits but be removed for partitions. Upon notification of a private development allow a month (2 weeks?) for the community to respond with concerns and prioritized design recommendations. The developer must respond in their completed application how it responds to concerns are addressed or mitigated in the plan prior to acceptance of the application.  


Negotiate with public agencies to provide 180 calendar day notice to affected Neighborhood Associations before deciding to sell any land parcel within their boundaries. 


Work collaboratively with government agencies to identify appropriate uses for government owned properties in our neighborhoods with an eye to encouraging desirable uses such as innovative demonstration projects for public-private partnerships to produce innovative housing solutions.  


Well Designed Built Environment: Promote building design, size, scale and site layout that provide gradual transitions between different uses and scales and incorporates pedestrian scale design through local land use regulations. 


Minimize land use conflict by adding code requirements that adjoining low density and higher-density residential land are designed to be more compatible, as well as between residential and non-residential uses.  Develop and adopt development standards that provide form and site transitions such as sloped setbacks, balcony offsets, and buffering between properties zoned Single family Residential and denser development in adjacent multifamily housing and commercial zones. Prohibit upper story balconies on housing walls that abut R-1 rear yards unless the buildings are at least 50 feet from the property line.                                                     


Well Designed Community Space: Use well-designed public and private community space to support the goals and policies of the Neighborhood Plan and other applicable City and State-wide goals through collaboration between the City, County, and local businesses and residents. 


Establish a network of streets with green and pedestrian friendly features in conjunction with public spaces.  


Provide clear “entry points” to the River Road neighborhood, identifying it as the “River and Garden District.” 


Green and Resilient Properties: Encourage actions on residential, commercial, and public properties that enhance food and energy production, water storage and conservation, and social interaction on site through local regulations and incentives. 


Green Infrastructure: Provide financial incentives for property owners that provide on site features or energy production that reduces the burden on public infrastructure or private infrastructure, reduce atmospheric toxins and CO2 emissions, or provide seismically sound structures on commercial or public properties beyond code requirement and could be for shelter in a disaster scenario. 

  • On site feature examples: Greywater treatment, water harvesting, photovoltaic panels, solar water heaters, low VOC materials reclaiming unused parking spaces for public use.
  • Incentive Examples: Permit fee reductions, reduced SDC charges, Tax credits and rebates.


Identify food producing trees and shrubs that can be included in the city’s “menu” of acceptable landscaping plants. Reference Olympia, Washington’s plant lists for public property. Identify a citizen’s committee to work with the city to identify acceptable plants.


Provide incentives to increase and maintain residential tree canopy.