Oregon to Consider Statewide Ban of Single-Family Zoning

Legislation in Oregon would follow the lead of Minneapolis in overturning single-family zoning—for all cities in the state with more than 10,000 residents.

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December 15, 2018, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

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"Rep. Tina Kotek (D-Portland), speaker of the Oregon House, is drafting legislation that would end single-family zoning in cities of 10,000 or more," according to an article by Rachel Monahan.

Specifically, the legislation "would require cities larger than 10,000 people to allow up to four homes to be built on land currently zoned exclusively for single-family housing." Also, as currently conceived, the legislation "sets a deadline of 16 months for cities to come up with a plan to allow for duplexes, triplex, quads as well as so-called housing 'clusters.'"

Kotek also released a statement, saying that bold action is required to provide housing opportunities for the state's residents. "Allowing more diverse housing types in single family neighborhoods will increase housing choice and affordability, and that's a fight that I'm willing to take on," said Kotek in the statement.

According to Monahan, a successful election for Democrats in both houses of the Oregon Legislature has ensured that housing will take a prominent place in this year's legislative agenda.

A wave of similarly broad upzoning proposals around the country has met mixed levels of success, at both the state and local levels. A proposal to allow four units on 96 percent of Portland's single-family neighborhoods has been in the works for a few years in Portland, delayed again most recently until summer. While the city of Minneapolis was successful in allowing triplexes in the entire city, the state of California didn't manage to move a statewide upzoning plan out of committee.

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