Residential Zoning

Resources for working with residential zoning

READ THIS FIRST! An exceptional essay on the ethical issues of rezoning wide swaths of single-family neighborhoods: “Zoning and the Neighborhood Commons”
(Click this link: Zoning: A Reply to Critics for the full article and all the citations.)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED! Follow this exceptionally well-informed “Livable Portland” blog by Suzanne Lennard and Michael Mehaffy:

Radical new State action!
LCDC hands cities immunity for not enforcing their zoning restrictions on uses.
In denying a petition to order Eugene to enforce its code provisions that do not permit “Airbnb’s” in single-family neighborhoods, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) today established two new precedents that make it virtually impossible for a citizen to compel a city (or county) to enforce its own zoning restrictions on allowable uses. The Commission found that:

a) City staff (not just elected officials) are now to be granted legal “deference” to “interpret” the city’s zoning code however they wish, and LCDC will accept that interpretation without diligent examination of the facts; and

b) If a city violates its zoning code and allows an unpermitted use by simply looking the other way, LCDC will not consider this a case of noncompliance because, under a new legal principle concocted by DLCD staff, the city, by its failure to act, did not actually make any decision.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) staff and Department of Justice attorney provided the Commission erroneous legal advice on multiple points. For example, “deference” to a city on land use interpretations is only mandated when the elected officials make the interpretation — not city staff! And nothing in the statutes’ definition of “decision” requires a formal proceeding or written result.

Sadly, LCDC appears to have become just another State agency that has lost its independence and commitment to protecting citizens’ rights. It was sad to witness the lack of impartiality and rigor by commissioners and DLCD staff in these proceedings.

ALERT! Learn about the disastrous bill, which narrowly passed in the State Legislature and does away with Eugene’s only “single-family” zone (“R-1”).
Click here to learn about HB 2001.

Learn about Eugene’s only residential zone that already supports “middle housing” (nothing “missing” about it):
Guide to the Jefferson-Westside Special Area Zone

Click here to take a tour of the process and principles underlying the Jefferson-Westside Special Area Zone. (MS PowerPoint file. Click “Slideshow” to start presentation.)

Foundational documents from the extensive community-engagement in developing the Jefferson-Westside Special Area Zone:

Westside Neighborhood Plan (a “neighborhood refinement plan”)
JWN “Plan Jam” First (of two) workshops.
Maps used in Plan Jam
The JWN assessment of “Neighborhood Character”
The JWN assessment of “Negative Impacts”
Presentation to the Eugene Planning Commission

From prior community-based work on neighborhoods and residential development:

A detailed review and recommendations by the NLC: Minor Code Amendment Recommendations.


Click here to view a video of the presentation.
Click here to view the “Demystifying Refinement Plan” presentation slides.
Click here to browse the “Frequently Asked Questions” about refinement plans.
Click here to read a draft of “Principles of Participation” for members of a Planning Team.
Click here to read the adopted governance documents of the Eugene Infill Compatibility Standards Task Team, including the “Organizational Structure and Rules,” which provide a potential starting for a similar document for a Planning Team.
Westside Neighborhood Plan (a “neighborhood refinement plan”).
City website page with links to all refinement plans.

Great Read! Learn what nationally-recognized “walkability expert” has to say about improving walkability in auto-oriented areas like south Willamette Street.
Click here to read the excerpt “Step 10: Pick Your Winners.”


View the Powerpoint presentation slides.

Watch the “People not Buildings” video. (13:34)


Click here to read a clear and accurate explanation of this important statutory requirement.

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