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Downtown Priorities & Projects
Proposed Amendment to the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan
On Wednesday, April 12th, the Urban Renewal Agency Board moved forward with a potential amendment to the Downtown Urban Renewal Plan. The amendment would make up to $50 million available for projects to address community priorities downtown.
The proposed amendment identifies three focus areas of possible projects:
- Housing (including property acquisition for the development of housing and financial assistance to cover the cost of permits and fees for development of new housing in the downtown);
- Physical Improvements to Address Safety and Comfort (including street, curb, alley, and sidewalk improvements, streetscape projects, and pedestrian, bike, and multi-modal transportation improvements); and
- Emerging Projects Directed or Initiated by the Agency Board (could include open space, community facilities, and investments targeted at filling vacant and underused spaces).
There will be a public hearing on the proposed amendment on May 15th at 5:30 PM and a follow-up work session on June 12th to review public comments. City Council plans to make the final decision on the amendment at their June 21st meeting.
Members of the public wishing to speak at the public hearing can learn more on the City's public meetings webpage, where you can also review past meeting materials and webcasts.
For more information on the proposed amendment and urban renewal visit www.eugene-or.gov/ur.
Downtown Eugene is the social, economic and cultural heart of our community, and the source of some of our most vexing community challenges. Since the Downtown Plan was adopted in 2004, we have made significant improvements to our downtown. We have invested in transportation options, redeveloped old buildings, and filled vacant and underutilized lots with purposeful buildings and significant community destinations. Downtown Eugene has world-class amenities and it is a hub of creativity and entrepreneurship. However, ongoing and emerging challenges continue to hold us back and impact the quality of life of people living, working, and visiting downtown. It is time to develop an updated list of priorities and projects that will guide the next phase of downtown investments.
Through conversations with residents, businesses, and organizations, the City is developing a list of Downtown Priorities and Projects to guide future improvements to the area. Eugene City Council will consider this list in early 2023 and begin strategizing on how to implement the priorities that come out of this process.
To develop the list of Priorities and Projects, the City conducted broad outreach to a variety of stakeholders through interviews and focus groups. The City engaged with stakeholders who have been involved in past planning efforts and conducted pro-active outreach to people who historically have had marginal input with decision-makers, such as youth, people of color, low-income residents, and people with disabilities. In addition, the City launched an online survey and hosted an open house to clarify challenges and opportunities.
After four months of active outreach, city staff have compiled a draft list of priorities and projects organized into six categories: Housing, Public Safety, Social Services, Commercial Activity & Development, Public Spaces & Mobility, and Events & Culture. The possible projects were pulled from ideas from the community, staff, and existing City policies and plans. The actions identified to address the six categories are a broad mix of operational activities and physical improvements.
City Council Work Session
City Council discussed the list of Downtown Priorities and Projects at the January 25, 2023 work session. Click here to view the Council materials or watch the webcast.
At this work session, staff provided an overview of the draft list of Downtown Priorities and Projects and the public engagement process. Council directed staff to bring back a proposal to amend the Downtown Urban Renewal District to implement eligible projects.
Links to all the materials can be found here: Council Packet
Links to some of the key documents in the packet:
We still want to hear from you!
Thanks to everyone who was able to participate in the process of identifying downtown priorities. If you still have ideas you would like to contribute, we want to hear from you! Public comments can be submitted through our online form.
Want to stay connected with the implementation process? Click here to join the Downtown Priorities and Projects Email List.
Related Plans and Policies
The list of Downtown Priorities and Projects will build upon the City's existing goals and plans, outlined in documents such as: