What is the Healthy Democracy Panel? Does the panel have decision-making authority?

In support of inclusive public engagement, staff collaborated with the Portland-based group Healthy Democracy. Healthy Democracy is a nonpartisan nonprofit that designs and coordinates innovative deliberative democracy programs. Their purpose is to involve community members who are representative of the community and compensate them for their time engaging in public policy issues. The creation of an advisory group designed to reflect the broad needs and interests of the community provides perspectives that otherwise would not be included in project implementation. Letters were mailed to 7,500 random Eugene households in October 2020 to solicit a broadly diverse panel across seven demographic categories. Several of the demographic categories, include race and ethnicity, were based on the makeup of the school aged population in the 4-J and Bethel school districts, in an effort to reflect the greater diversity of our future generations. The panelists were selected in early November 2020 via a live selection event and shortly thereafter began meeting and hearing background information from experts in land use, planning, housing, and more. The panel is kind of like “Eugene in a room.” The panelists met a total of 15 times through spring 2021 and provided a truly democratic lens to the project. The panel did not have decision-making authority, rather their role was to be advisory to staff. All large-group sessions were broadcast live and can be watched on the Healthy Democracy YouTube channel. For more information, see the Eugene Healthy Democracy Panel’s webpage

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1. What is House Bill 2001? Why are you calling it the “Middle Housing” project?
2. What parts of Eugene will be affected by HB 2001?
3. What is a “zone” and how do I find out the zoning of a specific property?
4. Can I still build a single-family home?
5. Some properties have CC&Rs (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions). Does HB 2001 override CC&Rs? How do I know if a property has CC&Rs?
6. If House Bill 2001 rules are written for the entire state, how do we make sure the implementation meets Eugene’s specific needs?
7. Has any other city or state done this before?
8. Who are the decision makers in this process?
9. What is a “roundtable”? How were the Boards and Commissions, Local Partners and Equity Roundtable groups formed?
10. What is the Healthy Democracy Panel? Does the panel have decision-making authority?
11. When and how will you involve the general public? How can neighborhood associations or other groups get involved?
12. The website and Public Involvement Plan talk about equity. What does social and racial equity have to do with housing policy?
13. What if I have concerns with the requirements of House Bill 2001?
14. Will new middle housing be affordable?
15. Doesn’t new market-rate housing cause gentrification, so prices in the neighborhood increase?
16. Can the City require that new middle housing units be affordable to people in certain income ranges?
17. Are there ways for the City to provide incentives or other strategies to make middle housing more affordable?
18. How else will the City’s proposed middle housing standards address City equity and affordability goals?
19. Is increased regulation of middle housing beneficial in creating more housing opportunities?
20. What else can the City do to support development of housing affordable to people with limited means?
21. What is Senate Bill 458/Middle Housing Land Division?
22. How does SB 458 relate to the Middle Housing project?
23. Does Senate Bill 458 only apply to new construction?
24. How would middle housing land division work if the City allowed detached middle housing units?
25. What is the difference between a partition and Senate Bill 458?
26. Could I add an ADU on a lot to my unit of Middle Housing?
27. If I owned a plex through middle housing land division, could I add additions to my house? Such as increasing the square footage?
28. Does SB 458 require local jurisdictions to approve vertical divisions (i.e. divisions in which one or more units of middle housing is not on the ground floor)?