Housing Tools and Strategies


The Housing Tools and Strategies team provides quarterly updates to City Council on progress of the items within the Action Inventory. 

Below is a detailed visual from January providing a broad overview of project milestones and anticipated timelines. For better legibility, download the visual here.

Both completed and in-progress items are described in detail in the tabbed sections below.

HTS Infographic FINAL
  1. Land Use
  2. Reduce Time & Cost Burden
  3. Housing Opportunities

This strategy includes actions that require some change to the City’s land use code (Chapter 9).

Implementation of State Legislation- House Bill 2001

In July staff provided a brief update on the state legislation, HB 2001. The bill seeks to address rising housing costs and limited supply. HB 2001 requires cities with populations greater than 25,000 to allow duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, “cottage clusters,” and townhomes in lands zoned for single-family dwellings. The new legislation will apply to Eugene. The bill language is very clear in its intent which will assist with implementation.

The implementation of HB 2001 aligns with and leverages many of the Working Group’s planning and land use recommendations shared in the July HTS update such as:

  • The land use code audit;

  • Completing Comprehensive Plan chapter on housing;

  • The ADU remand; and,

  • River Road Santa Clara neighborhood plan/corridor study

Planning staff are developing an approach to comply with the state legislation that will be brought forward to the Planning Commission and Council for direction. The approach will enable the City to comply with the legislation within the State’s designated time frame of implementation by June 30, 2022.

Currently, the two-year approach to implementation of the State’s legislation is as follows:

  • Project scoping and drafting of a public involvement plan began in fall of 2019 and will continue through this winter.

  • Design and code concepts will be prepared and vetted in spring, summer, and fall of 2020.

  • Code writing and code package preparations will be developed in winter and spring of 2021.

  • And, the formal adoption process is planned for summer and fall of 2021.

Planning staff have developed a Frequently Asked Questions document to share information. To get involved in the process and stay informed of next steps members of the public should contact planning@eugene-or.gov.

Complete land use code audit of regulatory and process barriers to housing production

This audit is a process and regulatory audit of the land use code will identify barriers to ADUs and missing middle housing. By identifying these barriers we can amend the code in the future to facilitate easier development of these housing types. 

On March 18th, the Planning Commission provided input on the scope and methodology to analyze the City’s comprehensive plan, land use code, and other land development documents and regulations. The Planning Commission reviewed the draft audit on April 22nd. The presentation is available online as slides or as a webcast

The audit was completed in June. To see the completed audit and more details, visit the project website.

Improve the Clear and Objective standards

Last May, Council advanced the proposed Clear & Objective land use code amendments on to the formal adoption process. As a reminder, these updates will apply to land use applications that involve housing such as land divisions, planned unit developments, conditional uses, and site reviews when an applicant elects to have the project reviewed under clear and objective requirements as they are entitled by State law. The proposed changes to our existing clear and objective approval criteria range from simple maintenance fixes to addressing some more complex items like tree preservation and geotechnical requirements.

Prior to starting the formal adoption process, Council directed staff to work through some additional refinements to the draft code with Planning Commission. Staff has been working on responsive changes, primarily related to the draft tree preservation standards, and recently returned to Planning Commission on January 27, 2020, with a second work session scheduled for February 11, 2020. Following the Planning Commission’s review and refinement of the revised draft, we will officially begin the formal adoption process. The adoption process is anticipated to take approximately six months and the public will be able to provide feedback in multiple ways. First, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing and make a recommendation to Council. Next, City Council will hold a public hearing before taking final action.

To stay up-to-date regarding meetings, check the project website for upcoming event announcements and links to the agendas and webcasts. You can also email the project manager, Jenessa Dragovich, at JDragovich@eugene-or.gov if you want to receive project updates directly.

Align the zoning map with the Comprehensive Plan map

At the March 2019 City Council work session for HTS, staff described two steps to implement the action item identified by the HTS Working Group: Align the Zoning map with the Comprehensive Plan. The two steps are:

  1. To complete and adopt the Comprehensive Plan map with parcel-specific data;

  2. To complete and adopt the housing chapter of the Comprehensive Plan.

These two steps will reduce the need for some administrative processes for some development applications, which will reduce costs for building housing. The Housing chapter and the map will provide guidance and lay a foundation that will make it simpler to implement many other actions identified in the HTS Action Inventory.

Since July, Planning staff have continued working with Lane Council of Governments (LCOG) to develop a technical methodology to digitize the Metro Plan diagram for City staff review. Staff recently hired an intern who will assist in clarifying land use plan designations boundaries and improve the accuracy of the map at the individual property level through research and documentation of land use decisions, neighborhood refinement plans and other planning documents.

River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan

The River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan includes draft goals, policies, and actions that support adding more housing types along River Road, a key transit corridor, as well as along major streets. Elements of the neighborhood vision relating to the corridor and allowing more housing types are consistent with the intent of HB 2001.

The neighborhood planning process is in the Action Planning phase, where community volunteers are refining a list of draft actions to implement each of the neighborhood plan goals. The neighborhood plan survey presents draft actions for community input, and the results will guide the Community Advisory Committee as they continue to refine actions and work to identify neighborhood priorities. In addition, the River Road Corridor Study survey presents two draft land use concepts for how to plan for housing near the River Road corridor – should we plan for denser apartments along River Road and major side streets, or allow middle housing such as triplexes, cottage clusters, and rowhouses over a wider area within walking distance of the corridor? The results of this survey will inform refined draft code concepts that allow a variety of housing types.

This fall refined draft actions and draft code concepts will be vetted at a community event, River Road and Santa Clara Community Organization meetings, a triple bottom line sounding board, and Planning Commission meetings. This community vetting and input will help inform the development of a draft neighborhood plan and any proposed zone or code changes, which will go through a public land use process with community, Planning Commission, and City Council/Board of Commissioners meetings leading up to plan adoption and implementation. 

Learn more about the River Road-Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan.

Accessory Dwelling Units

On January 21, City Council passed an ordinance making changes to the City’s accessory dwelling unit (ADU) regulations. The process started in January 2018 to implement changes to state law (SB 1051 and eventually HB 2001), and this action was a long time in the making after a remand from the Land Use Board of Appeals on Council’s first ordinance, and several changes in state and case law.

There are a several items in the ordinance that should have a positive impact on the number of ADUs that Eugene will see. In addition to removing owner/occupancy and parking requirements, the most impactful changes include increasing building height/sloped setback inflection point from 8 feet to 10 feet (meaning the ADU can now be 10 feet in height at the interior yard setback, before sloping up to the maximum height) and removing barriers to above garage ADUs and ADUs on sloped by increasing the building height and sloped setbacks. 

Additionally, the changes include the following:

  • Replaces all references of “secondary dwelling” with “accessory dwelling”

  • Clarifies that accessory dwellings are not accessory buildings

  • Aligns the definition of accessory dwelling with that provided in ORS 197.312(5) (aka SB 1051).

  • Adds accessory dwellings as an explicitly permitted uses in the following zones:

    • AG Agricultural

    • R-2 Medium Density Residential

    • R-3 Limited High-Density Residential

    • R-4 High Density Residential

    • S-E Elmira Road Special Area Zone

    • S-HB Blair Boulevard Historic Commercial Special Area Zone

  • Clarifies that uses allowed in the S-JW Jefferson Westside Special Area Zone and S-C Chambers Special Area zone include what the State defines as an “accessory dwelling unit,” but the two zones refer to the use as an additional “one-family dwelling”

  • Applies the R-1 Low Density Residential zone standards for accessory dwellings to accessory dwellings in the following zones:

    • AG Agricultural

    • R-2 Medium Density Residential

    • R-3 Limited High-Density Residential

    • R-4 High Density Residential

    • S-E Elmira Road Special Area Zone

  • Removes regulations that regulate dog keeping separately for an accessory dwelling

  • Allows for accessory dwellings on new flag lots

In addition to these legislative changes, Council has a work session on incentives for ADU development scheduled for Wednesday, February 12.


HTS for web

HTS logo on city webpages

If you’ve been noodling around on the City of Eugene website you will have noticed this icon on more pages. These little houses have been used throughout the HTS process and now serve to link initiatives to the goal of increasing housing affordability, availability, and diversity of type. These initiatives may be recommendations from the Working Group, existing projects or programs, or new approaches. By connecting programs, initiatives, plans, and projects we can begin to visually show the cumulative effect of these efforts. And, we can connect everything to the same narrative- that housing affordability, availability, and diversity of type is a wicked problem that crosses many departments and work groups; solutions take time, process change, and thoughtful balancing of values; and that all these items can contribute to the goals within HTS.

Community Input and Feedback Options:

Contact Us

    1. Community Development

      Anne Fifield
    2. Economic Strategies Manager
    3. 99 W 10th Ave 
      Eugene, OR 97401 
      Ph: 541-682-5451
      Fx: 541-682-5572