Local Governments Weigh-in on Oregon's Statewide Upzoning Proposal

Local planners and elected officials are expressing their opinions about Oregon's House Bill 2001, which would allow fourplexes on single-family residential units around the state.

2 minute read

February 14, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Astoria Oregon

Sharon Eisenzopf / Shutterstock

"Oregon city officials appear uneasy with a proposal from House Speaker Tina Kotek to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes in low-density neighborhoods across the state," reports Elliot Njus.

Kotek announced House Bill 2001 in December 2018 as a potentially controversial component of of the state's legislative agenda for the year, following closely on the success of the Minneapolis 2040 Comprehensive Plan that paved the way for a citywide upzoning of single-family residential neighborhoods in Minneapolis. 

The statewide reach House Bill 2001 was bound to run up against concerns about local control—similar concerns that derailed a statewide upzoning package rejected in California in 2018.

For example, according to Njus, the city of Hillsboro, where "25 percent of its housing units fell into the missing middle category, and half are apartments or townhouses. But Laura Kelly, Hillsboro Planning Department project manager, said that allowing more homes in established neighborhoods could require a costly rewrite of its infrastructure plan and costlier upgrades of its public utilities, including water and sewer pipes."

The Sherwood City Council also voted to oppose the bill, citing a school district it says is already at capacity.

"Even Portland’s Bureau Planning and Sustainability, which is writing its own plan to allow duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes in neighborhoods throughout the city, expressed concerns about the legislation’s aggressive timeline, though the city didn’t oppose the bill and said it shares the commitment to expand middle housing," according to Njus.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 in The Oregonian

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