Urban Reserves Virtual Open House

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Input We've Heard So Far

Urban Reserves Options Survey

Thank you to the 1,300+ visitors to our Virtual Open House and the two hundred and ten people that completed the Urban Reserves Options Survey! It is now closed. Here is a downloadable PDF of survey results. If you missed the survey, it's not too late to share your input! You can still review the story map and other materials, provide public comment at upcoming meetings, contact staff, or ask questions using the Q&A feature, below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Planning Commission Recommendations

The Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions each recommended an Urban Reserve option for the City Council and the Lane Board of County Commissioners to consider before making a final decision.

On August 17th the Eugene Planning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend the 27-Year option

On August 18th the Lane County Planning Commission voted 5-3 to recommend the 30-Year Option with a plan policy requiring the Class 1 and 2 farm land in the Awbrey subarea to be the last of the urban reserve land to be considered for expansion of Eugene’s urban growth boundary

For links to meeting information and webcasts, visit the Urban Reserves website.

Next Steps

Staff is preparing for a joint work session with the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners on September 21st. Then, in October, the City Council and Board of Commissioners will be asked to provide direction to staff on their preferred Urban Reserve option, so we can begin preparing an adoption package to bring back to them.

If you wish to provide public comment, please do so by submitting written public comment to the Eugene City Council or Lane County Board of Commissioners. The meeting agenda and link will be posted here, when available.

Urban Reserves Options Review

The City of Eugene and Lane County have been working on Urban Reserves planning since January 2018. With the help of our project partners, we have completed the technical and suitability analysis and have developed a range of Urban Reserves Options for review.

Partners include property owners, service providers, the Envision Eugene Technical Advisory Committee, the Triple Bottom Line Sounding Board, and many others. We are taking these options—with the input we receive—to City and County decision-makers this fall for their direction, with a goal for adoption by next spring. Once Urban Reserves are adopted, they become the first land to be considered if and when a UGB expansion is necessary.

The state gives communities flexibility when selecting the size of an Urban Reserve – therefore, we can designate enough land to meet the needs of between 10 and 30-years of population growth (from 2032). Read the Urban Reserve Options Story Map to learn about how we developed a range of Urban Reserve options for consideration.


Project Background

Urban Reserves planning identifies land outside of Eugene’s urban growth boundary (UGB) so we are better prepared if we need to expand in the future for new homes, jobs, schools, and parks. We are looking as far out as 2062 when Eugene’s population is expected to exceed 262,000 residents.

Visit our project web page for complete information, including our technical analysis story map, and interactive web map.

We Want To Know What You Think!

If you have questions or input, please use the Q & A tool featured below. 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.


Input We've Heard So Far

Urban Reserves Options Survey

Thank you to the 1,300+ visitors to our Virtual Open House and the two hundred and ten people that completed the Urban Reserves Options Survey! It is now closed. Here is a downloadable PDF of survey results. If you missed the survey, it's not too late to share your input! You can still review the story map and other materials, provide public comment at upcoming meetings, contact staff, or ask questions using the Q&A feature, below. We look forward to hearing from you!

Planning Commission Recommendations

The Eugene and Lane County Planning Commissions each recommended an Urban Reserve option for the City Council and the Lane Board of County Commissioners to consider before making a final decision.

On August 17th the Eugene Planning Commission voted 7-0 to recommend the 27-Year option

On August 18th the Lane County Planning Commission voted 5-3 to recommend the 30-Year Option with a plan policy requiring the Class 1 and 2 farm land in the Awbrey subarea to be the last of the urban reserve land to be considered for expansion of Eugene’s urban growth boundary

For links to meeting information and webcasts, visit the Urban Reserves website.

Next Steps

Staff is preparing for a joint work session with the Eugene City Council and Lane County Board of Commissioners on September 21st. Then, in October, the City Council and Board of Commissioners will be asked to provide direction to staff on their preferred Urban Reserve option, so we can begin preparing an adoption package to bring back to them.

If you wish to provide public comment, please do so by submitting written public comment to the Eugene City Council or Lane County Board of Commissioners. The meeting agenda and link will be posted here, when available.

Urban Reserves Options Review

The City of Eugene and Lane County have been working on Urban Reserves planning since January 2018. With the help of our project partners, we have completed the technical and suitability analysis and have developed a range of Urban Reserves Options for review.

Partners include property owners, service providers, the Envision Eugene Technical Advisory Committee, the Triple Bottom Line Sounding Board, and many others. We are taking these options—with the input we receive—to City and County decision-makers this fall for their direction, with a goal for adoption by next spring. Once Urban Reserves are adopted, they become the first land to be considered if and when a UGB expansion is necessary.

The state gives communities flexibility when selecting the size of an Urban Reserve – therefore, we can designate enough land to meet the needs of between 10 and 30-years of population growth (from 2032). Read the Urban Reserve Options Story Map to learn about how we developed a range of Urban Reserve options for consideration.


Project Background

Urban Reserves planning identifies land outside of Eugene’s urban growth boundary (UGB) so we are better prepared if we need to expand in the future for new homes, jobs, schools, and parks. We are looking as far out as 2062 when Eugene’s population is expected to exceed 262,000 residents.

Visit our project web page for complete information, including our technical analysis story map, and interactive web map.

We Want To Know What You Think!

If you have questions or input, please use the Q & A tool featured below. 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.

Before you ask us a question, please review the Urban Reserves Options Story Map and our updated FAQs. If you have questions about your specific property, please contact staff directly.

Urban Reserves Options Q&A

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    What does the actual decision mean? If we were to go with the 10 year plan, what would that mean? Would that mean we are more likely to have to go through a similar process again around or before 2042? Would choosing the 10 year option actually place limits on expansion or is it just deferring future expansion?

    zane Asked 2 months ago

    Choosing the 10-Year option would, based on today’s forecasts using state-mandated data from Portland State University, provide enough land to meet the needs of population growth through 2042. However, forecasts can be wrong; we may grow faster or slower than that. That’s why we are developing a system to efficiently collect growth-related information like population and jobs, the number of houses being built, and the status of our undeveloped land supply. Knowing how fast Eugene is growing and the rate of development will help us determine if we need to implement ways to grow more compact (e.g. development incentives or increase density) or grow our land supply by expanding our urban growth boundary. We are coordinating our Urban Reserves planning with the work of our Growth Monitoring program so that Urban Reserves are in place before the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is re-examined in 2021.

    So, choosing the smallest option available for Urban Reserves gives us the least amount of land to choose from for UGB expansion in the future, when more land for housing, jobs, schools or parks is needed. It would place limits on where expansion would happen until there was a need for additional land; at that point, City and County leaders would have to decide whether they want to direct staff to develop additional Urban Reserves or proceed with UGB expansion without it.

    Starting over again with another Urban Reserve planning process could easily take three years and significant staff time and taxpayer dollars. However, without Urban Reserves in place, future UGB expansions for housing would likely be limited by state law to exception areas and non-resource lands. These include properties like the airport, LCC, and rural residential lands scattered around the City. The problem is, many of these areas are already developed to some degree and have a low likelihood of redevelopment if brought into the UGB. You may remember from the UGB process, that our studies showed most of these lands are extremely expensive to serve, and may not meet our community’s needs. 

    This is a key point, because if we don’t have Urban Reserves in place when there is a need to expand our UGB, then our choices will be limited to only these areas. Urban Reserves gives us additional options for smart growth and for meeting the goals of Envision Eugene if and when there is a need to expand. 

    Sorry it’s so complicated. I hope I answered your question--feel free to schedule a time to talk if easier.

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    I'm wondering why the decision was made to structure the options in the way that they are. Why 30, 29, 27, and 10 instead of 30, 20, and 10?

    2 months ago

    Staff and our technical advisory committee looked at a much wider range of options than the four we narrowed down to. We started with an urban reserve option that meets our projected growth needs out to 2062 (approx. 262,000 people) or what we are calling the 30-Year Option (between 2032 and 2062). This is the largest possible Urban Reserve, and the Council and Board of Commissioners both wanted to see what that would look like.

    At the option development phase our analysis (as we tried to lay out in our story map) we were able to select  “suitable” land based primarily on it’s resource value, or the lowest-value soils in agricultural and forest-designated properties first. So, to have enough land for a 30-year Urban Reserve we needed to include some Class 1 soil.

    We then selected an Urban Reserve with no Class 1 soil for consideration – it turns out there was not much Class 1 soil left for us to remove from consideration, so it got us to a 29-year Urban Reserve option.

    We then selected an Urban Reserve option with no Class 1 or nearby Class 2 soil, taking into consideration the two highest-rated soil types and the development pattern both. That brought us to a 27-year Urban Reserve.

    We included the 10-year option as an example of what the smallest possible Urban Reserve would look like. It still includes some farm and forest land, but only the lowest-value Class 6 lands (we removed predominant class 1-4 lands; there were no predominant class 5 lands). As it turned out, by doing so it brought us to a 10-year Urban Reserve. Because of this, we felt like we needed to show “the bookends” of possible Urban Reserve sizes.

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    Are you coordinating with both your watershed and wetlands preservation employees and affordable/transitional housing peers? What about planning for Climate Change?

    2 months ago

    We are coordinating with our Parks and Open Space Division on Urban Reserves planning. A staff member is on our Project Management Team. He represents their interests and perspectives on open space planning, habitat preservation, ridgeline trail acquisition, and wetland mitigation bank/WEW. We were able to take these aspects into consideration in our Suitability Analysis which you can read more about on our project webpage or here: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/49452/Suitability-Analysis.

    We are also looking at housing on a high level with Urban Reserves Planning -- our goal is to identify enough land for housing (all kinds), as well as jobs, parks and schools, potentially out to 2062. We are looking to make sure we are including a variety of land types in locations that could be suitable for a wide-variety of uses, including affordable housing. We evaluated service provision to identify the areas easiest to serve, and potentially most affordable to develop.

    We also looked at, on a high level, directing future development away from potential hazard areas, such as steep slopes, high risk landslide areas, flood prone areas and wildland urban interface areas. This is also part of our suitability analysis. We broke our study area into 16 different subareas for analysis purposes and were able to look at a variety of factors laid out by the state. If you go to www.eugene-or.gov/UrbanReserves you can find lots more information on this.

    Lastly, we were able to consider forest and agricultural land in our Options development work. Land with the most productive soils for food and forests was prioritized last for Urban Reserves, based on state guidance.

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    If my property is included in Urban Reserves, would I lose my forest tax deferral? What if my property was brought into the UGB?

    2 months ago

    The only thing that would compromise your forest deferral is if your property was rezoned to a zone that prohibited the harvesting of your timber. The County and City are not proposing on re-zoning any property as part of Urban Reserves. We are definitely not restricting any farm or forest uses on the land.

    If/when the property is brought into the UGB, it will be re-zoned to a city of Eugene holding zone before you as the owner would request to annex.

     The short of it, including land into Urban Reserves will not affect your forest deferral.

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    How long until Urban Reserves are brought into the UGB?

    3 months ago

    That depends on how fast Eugene is growing and how quickly we are using up the supply of developable land within the UGB. Eugene’s new Growth Monitoring Program will allow us to regularly analyze how quickly the City’s land is developing and when a UGB expansion may be needed. Any future UGB expansion onto urban reserve land will go through a state-guided process which requires a rigorous study of 20-year land needs using the most up-to-date population forecasts and identifying strategies to develop more compactly inside the current UGB before expanding.

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    Can I keep doing what I’m doing on this land if it is included in Urban Reserves?

    3 months ago

    Yes, property that is included in Urban Reserves could continue to be used as it is currently.  Urban Reserves don’t trigger any changes in use.

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    What will happen if my property is included in Urban Reserves?

    3 months ago

    Being included in Urban Reserves means your property will be among the land considered first when a UGB expansion is necessary. Land designated as Urban Reserves will remain rural, and can’t be urbanized, unless it is brought into the City’s urban growth boundary (UGB) through the formal state-directed process for UGB expansion, and then later is able to annex into city limits.

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    Will Urban Reserves change the current Urban Growth Boundary?

    3 months ago

    Planning for Urban Reserves will not change Eugene’s current Urban Growth Boundary. Urban Reserves planning simply identifies first priority land for if and when Eugene needs to expand. Any future UGB expansion onto urban reserve lands will go through the same state-guided process, which requires a rigorous study of 20 year land needs using the most up-to-date population forecasts.

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    Why are we planning for Urban Reserves?

    3 months ago

    Eugene’s future rate of population growth is uncertain, and our best predictions are likely to be wrong. If we grow faster than anticipated, we need to be prepared. This means having options identified, like Urban Reserves, so we are able to respond once we know how quickly we are growing and what type of land we will need. Urban Reserves can also help landowners surrounding the UGB plan for their future by clarifying which properties will be reserved for possible urban use and which ones will not. Similarly, with Urban Reserves in place, Eugene, Lane County, and service providers like EWEB, LTD, and others will be better able to plan for the costs and coordination needed to serve future neighborhoods with public facilities and services.