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Oregon Residents Wondering What Will Come as Statewide Zoning Reform Takes Effect

House Bill 2001 didn't ban single-family houses altogether, just single-family zoning, so change will take time, and money. There are a lot of unknowns for residents to grapple with when it comes to statewide upzoning.
July 24, 2019, 12pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Willamette River

YIMBYs, urbanists, and other pro-development forces celebrated Oregon's approval of House Bill 2001, which will end single-family zoning in most Oregon cities. Planetizen called the decision history-making and other media outlets analyzed just how the State Legislature was able to negotiate such a game-changing piece of land use reform.

As Jasmine Masalmeh reports, however, many residents of Oregon are left grappling with the prospect of change coming to their neighborhoods, starting with examples from the city of Corvallis.

Proponents of House Bill 2001 said places such as Corvallis, which has the smallest percentage of affordable housing of any Oregon city, could particularly benefit. The bill aims to increase the supply of affordable homes by allowing more kinds of houses in more neighborhoods.

But residents such as Wershow, president of his neighborhood association, say that won’t necessarily solve the housing shortage. They also worry about more traffic, noise and strain on city services.

As explained by Masalmeh, Corvallis has until 2022 to update its zoning code in accordance with the new state law. The question left open ended by the is how much change, and when, cities like Covallis can expect once the new land use regime takes effect.

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Published on Monday, July 22, 2019 in The Oregonian
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