Oregon Moves to Lift Inclusionary Zoning Ban

By a vote split (nearly) down the party line, the Oregon House passed a bill to end state restrictions on inclusionary zoning. Municipalities may soon be able to require below-market pricing.

1 minute read

April 24, 2015, 12:00 PM PDT

By Philip Rojc @PhilipRojc

Oregon Capitol

oregonmildep / Flickr

In a victory for affordable housing in Oregon, the state House of Representatives passed a bill to allow a certain degree of inclusionary zoning. These rules would require "developers in certain areas to offer some housing units at below-market prices, usually to people with middle or low incomes."

To placate legislators concerned about backlash from the development industry, "the bill likely to pass the House today will do so thanks to an amendment brokered by [House Speaker] Kotek that would set a maximum of 30 percent below-market units per project, or the equivalent."

Equity advocates "say it's a needed tool for preserving income diversity in high-demand neighborhoods like central Portland. Opponents, led by the state's homebuilders' association, say private developers shouldn't bear the costs of keeping neighborhoods income-diverse."

Predictions that the decision would be split along party lines were just about valid: "The bill did indeed pass the house, 34-25, on a nearly party-line vote. Brian Clem (D-Salem) voted against the bill."

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