Middle Housing

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This project has entered the Adoption Phase! For complete project information, including meeting materials, project documents, and more, please visit the project webpage.

Project Background

Eighty percent of residential zoning in Eugene is designated for single-family homes, yet young adults, smaller families, and the growing population of elderly need housing options that increase access to public transportation and services reduce maintenance costs and provide more social opportunities. The Eugene Middle Housing Project will revise the Land Use Code to improve housing choices in the short term and affordability in the long term for Eugene residents.

In 2019, the Oregon

This project has entered the Adoption Phase! For complete project information, including meeting materials, project documents, and more, please visit the project webpage.

Project Background

Eighty percent of residential zoning in Eugene is designated for single-family homes, yet young adults, smaller families, and the growing population of elderly need housing options that increase access to public transportation and services reduce maintenance costs and provide more social opportunities. The Eugene Middle Housing Project will revise the Land Use Code to improve housing choices in the short term and affordability in the long term for Eugene residents.

In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001, requiring cities to allow more types of housing in residential areas, particularly in more traditionally single-family neighborhoods where housing choices are limited. Revising Eugene’s Land Use Code to comply with House Bill 2001 will shape how our community develops and expand opportunities for where people can choose to live and what type of home they live in, and we want to hear from you! The Land Use Code will be amended to allow middle housing in residential areas by June 2022.

What is “middle” housing?

Middle housing refers to a range of smaller attached or clustered housing types that are typically built at a similar scale as single-family detached houses. The term “missing middle” housing was coined by urban planner Daniel Parolek to refer to housing that fits in-between single-family homes and larger apartment buildings but that’s largely been missing from most cities’ neighborhood patterns for the last 70 years. Middle housing can include duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, cottage clusters, accessory dwelling units (ADUs), courtyard apartments, and other similar housing.

A Eugene Duplex


A Eugene Triplex


A Eugene Quadplex


Why is it missing?

Middle housing is considered “missing” because relatively little of this housing has been built since the 1940s. Middle housing was common in neighborhoods in most communities prior to World War II. There are many local examples of middle housing in Eugene’s prewar neighborhoods. "Redlining” and other discriminatory lending practices were used to exclude non-white residents from many of these neighborhoods. Post-war prosperity and federal policies led to a building boom that ushered in an age of auto-dependent suburban development with large areas devoted to only single-family homes on large lots. Middle housing types were prohibited or significantly limited in single-family neighborhoods through zoning codes that categorized them as “multifamily housing”. Even today, a large percentage of Eugene’s neighborhoods do not allow most middle housing as an outright use. Meanwhile, in multifamily areas, developers generally build larger and denser housing such as apartment complexes. As a result, currently, most residents must choose between detached single-family homes or apartments.

For more information about House Bill 2001, check out the HB 2001 Fact Sheets or visit the project webpage.

We Want To Know What You Think!

Visit the "Project Updates" tool for up-to-date project happenings!

You will be asked to register or log in to your user account before providing your feedback. If you need some help with the registration process please read this guide

  • Middle Housing Planning Commission Written Record Open Until November 29th at 5pm!

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    The Middle Housing project held its first public hearing last night! Thank you to everyone who has submitted written testimony and to all those who shared spoken testimony at the public hearing. We still want to hear from you! The written record for the Planning Commission public hearing will remain open until Monday, November 29th at 5:00 pm. Your comments can be sent to middlehousingtestimony@eugene-or.gov

    After the written record for the Planning Commission is closed, there are several meetings scheduled for Planning Commission deliberations. They are currently scheduled as follows:

    • 11/23/21 - Draft Housing Implementation Pipeline Review + Middle Housing Process for Deliberations (Note: this meeting will not include deliberations on middle housing, however, if you are interested in learning about the deliberation process, tune in!)
    • 11/30/21 - Middle Housing Deliberations
    • 12/07/21 - Middle Housing Deliberations
    • 12/14/21 - Middle Housing Deliberations
    • 01/11/22 - Middle Housing Deliberations/Recommendation
    • 01/25/22 - Middle Housing Recommendation Letter to Council - Finalization

    All meeting packets, including Zoom information, will be posted on the Planning Commission Meetings webpage and the project webpage. Additionally, you can stream the meetings on the City of Eugene Public Meetings YouTube. Once the Commission completes its recommendation, the Council will hold its own work sessions and public hearing, anticipated for March 2022, followed by action prior to the state deadline of June 30, 2022.

  • New Middle Housing Guide to the Adoption Process!

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    Staff has created a new Guide to the Adoption Process The guide includes project background information, summaries of the proposed code amendments, how to get involved, and more. We hope this information is helpful and that you're able to share it widely with your networks.

    For more information, visit the project webpage, Engage Eugene, Facebook, and Instagram. Additionally, the project team has set up an email address for public comments about the middle housing project. Community members can send their comments to middlehousingtestimony@eugene-or.gov and staff will compile the public testimony for sharing with the Planning Commission and City Council at their respective points in the process.


  • Middle Housing Information and Q&A Sessions

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    Join us for an opportunity to hear about Middle Housing project and changes coming to the Land Use Code. Staff will review the requirements of House Bill 2001, the public engagement process, what’s included in the draft code, and how to get involved in the public hearings process.

    Afterward, there will be time for questions. This session will be held over Zoom and all sessions will include the same presentation. The presentation and both Q&A opportunities will be recorded for those who can’t join us live. Meeting information is below:

    Session 1: Tuesday October 19, 2021 7:00 - 8:30pm

    Zoom link: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/j/81848116549

    Meeting ID: 818 4811 6549

    Passcode: Triplex3

    Phone-In: +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)

    Session 2: Thursday October 21, 2021 4:00 – 5:30pm

    Zoom link: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/j/85806239620

    Meeting ID: 858 0623 9620

    Passcode: Quadplex4

    Phone-In: +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)

    Session 3: Tuesday October 26, 2021 7:00-8:30pm
    Zoom link: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/j/82498187381

    Meeting ID: 824 9818 7381
    Passcode: Dwelling1

    Phone-In: +1 971 247 1195 US (Portland)

  • Save the Date for Public Hearings!

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    The city is entering an exciting phase of work in planning for middle housing options - the formal adoption process!

    Project staff kicked off the project in the summer of 2020, and spent 10 months reaching out to an Equity RoundTable, Healthy Democracy panel, boards and commissions and local partners, and the general public. To learn more about our outreach efforts to date for this project, check out this infographic. Outreach will continue as we reach more people and work our way through the formal adoption process.

    Earlier this summer, the project team drafted middle housing land use code language, using the results of the technical analysis and community engagement work as a foundation. Highlights of the Planning Commission’s guidance to staff in preparing the draft land use code include:

    • Focus on equity and inclusion as code choices are made.
    • Encourage and incentivize middle housing across the community.
    • Near transit routes, encourage compact development by reducing parking requirements.
    • Pursue incentives and programs beyond the code as part of our ongoing housing work.

    The project team completed technical and legal review of the draft code this month. The draft land use code and plan amendments are published on our website and will be presented to the Planning Commission in work sessions on September 28 and October 12

    The Planning Commission’s public hearing will be held over zoom on November 16th, and deliberation sessions are scheduled for November. Once the Commission completes its recommendations, the Council will hold its own work sessions and public hearing, anticipated for January 2022.

    We want to hear from everyone! The project team is planning a variety of outreach strategies to assist people in adding their voices at this important stage of the process. Look to our website over the next month for a summary of the middle housing proposal, informational videos, links, FAQs, and ways to get involved. To receive formal mailed notice sign-up for the new Interested Parties List and provide your mailing address. If you do not want to receive formal mailed notice but do want to continue receiving emails like this one, no action is required.

  • Draft Middle Housing Code Language is Live!

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    It’s an exciting time for the Middle Housing Implementation Project—we now have draft code language to share! Draft middle housing land use code language has been developed in response to the broad public input, as well as cycles of technical analysis and review with outreach groups and the Planning Commission. To be clear, this is not yet the public hearings process; however, it is an important step to hear from Planning Commission before we prepare an adoption package with refined code language and staff recommendations for Fall 2021. Continue reading for project updates, how we got here, next steps, and ways to get involved.

    The Draft Code Language

    The Draft Code language is being released in phases via the Planning Commission packets all month long. During the meetings, the project team will guide the Commission through the sections of draft code language in front of them, ask for questions and feedback, and keep track of comments to inform a final set of revisions to include in the draft adoption package. The dates and code sections/topics are as follows:

    • June 14th: Land Use Code definitions and residential zones
    • June 21st: Special & General Development Standards (includes new middle housing standards)
    • June 22nd: This meeting will be held only if needed
    • June 28th: Special Area Zones and Adjustment Review

    Next Steps

    The adoption process for land use code amendments includes a Planning Commission public hearing and recommendation, followed by a City Council public hearing and action. The adoption package is anticipated to be shared with the Commission and the public in early August, six weeks ahead of the Planning Commission public hearing, which is planned for late September. Links to full Planning Commission meeting packets and links to watch meetings live are available here.

    Get Involved

    The project’s Engage Eugene and web page are frequently updated with opportunities to engage community members and provide information about middle housing in Eugene. Additionally, community members are welcome to provide public comment via email or by speaking at a public meeting. If you have any questions about the project or how to be involved, contact Public Engagement Lead Sophie McGinley.

  • From the Consultants: Moving into the Code Writing Phase

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    Thanks to a grant from the Department of Land Conservation and Development, we were able to hire a consultant team to partner with to implement House Bill 2001. Now that we're moving into the "Code Writing" phase, we have an update from them, directly to you! Our first "From the Consultants" is below:

    "The City’s Consulting Team has been hard at work, coordinating closely with City staff, members of the Planning Commission, and participants in the City’s outreach processes to evaluate a variety of middle housing code issues and concepts and start to prepare potential changes to the City’s Development Code to implement middle housing legislation. We have completed the “Design and Code Concepts” phase of the project and are actively working on the “Code Writing” phase. We’re still evaluating and discussing different options, so the cake isn’t nearly baked yet. But we are getting closer to making and reviewing some preliminary recommendations.

    As we start to draft possible code changes, we are building on the concepts of whether to simply Allow middle housing, or whether to Encourage or Incentivize it. We’re also considering the City’s triple bottom line of sustainability, as well as a variety of other community values, goals, objectives, and policies. In doing so, we are relying on the substantial feedback provided by the City’s recent online survey, as well as meetings with Healthy Democracy, Equity Roundtable, Boards and Commissions/Local Partners RoundTable, and the Planning Commission. That feedback leaned heavily towards the Encourage and/or Incentivize options, although the feedback and approaches may vary, depending on what we’re looking at (e.g., building lot sizes vs. building heights vs. parking).

    We’re currently identifying recommendations related to specific things that the Code regulates, including standards related to the size of property on which a given type of housing can be built, how much onsite (or “off-street”) parking can be required, how far buildings must be “set back” from the edges of the property, and how much of a property can be covered by buildings or other impervious surfaces, among a variety of other issues.

    We’ll be presenting some initial findings and suggestions to the City’s Planning Commission at meetings on April 13 and 26, and then refining those recommendations for more discussion in May. The refinements will benefit from the outcome of outreach meetings and developer focus group meetings also happening in April, as well as feedback from other community members. We’re slated to provide a full set of more detailed recommendations in June. Soon after that, the Consultant’s work will be done but City staff will lead community members through additional review, discussion and refinements of our recommendations during the following several months.

    Thanks for taking the time to check out our update and to follow and participate in the Middle Housing Code Update process! We’ll continue to work closely with City staff and decision-makers to provide more updates as we move forward.

    All the best,

    Your Middle Housing Consulting Team

    Angelo Planning Group (Matt Hastie and Kate Rogers)

    ECONorthwest (Becky Hewitt and Tyler Bump)

    SERA Architects (Ben Weber, Emma-Quin Smith and Ross Determan)"

  • Recapping February Engagement--Report Now Available!

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    Thank you to the 741 community members who took the Middle Housing Survey! Preliminary survey results were shared at the March 9, 2021, Planning Commission work session and a full report of all February outreach is now available here. The report shares survey results, RoundTable summaries, and recaps events, meetings, and social media outreach. February was a busy month and there's even more outreach happening throughout April. Visit the key dates and project webpage for Planning Commission, RoundTable, Healthy Democracy, and other meeting dates--stay tuned!

  • Hearing From the Equity Roundtable

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    One of the groups formed to provide input on the Middle Housing code changes is the Equity Roundtable. At the March 9th, 2021 Planning Commission work session, Commissioners heard from Equity Roundtable participant Isis. Watch the video above to hear from Isis about her perspective and work on the roundtable.

  • Land Use & Housing Economics: what drives the cost of housing?

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    The last of our Facebook Live events took place on March 4th live on our Facebook and focused on the connections between land use and housing costs. We were joined by a panel of 2 local experts: Kaarin Knudsen, whose total involvement with land use is far too vast to list. Some of her current works range from teaching at the University of Oregon, principal & partner for LARCO / KNUDSON, and acting as a founding director/member of the steering committee for Better Housing Together. Our second guest speaker was Dylan Lamar, who currently acts as an Architect and Energy Consultant for Cultivate. He is also a member of numerous housing-related groups such as the GBIG and Passive Housing Designers and Consultants. It is available to watch on our Facebook and below.

  • A New Way to Engage: Meeting in a Box

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    A new tool we developed is a “Meeting in a Box”: a set of materials that helps folks guide their own meeting with a neighborhood association, community group, friends, and family to provide input on the Middle Housing project. The materials include a Discussion Guide, Middle Housing Walking Tours, and Feedback Forms. If you are interested in sharing these resources, we are accepting feedback until March 28th. Please share with your networks, friends, and family!

Page last updated: 17 Nov 2021, 04:11 PM