WE CAN (Walkable Eugene Citizens Advisory Network) is an ad hoc group of homeowners, renters, and property owners who support successful, diverse, and community-supported walkable 20-minute neighborhoods in Eugene, and who believe that all Eugene residents should have choices for housing that fit their lifestyle and budget.
WE CAN supports:
- Robust housing choice for all residents. This includes building enough housing to maintain and improve housing affordability at all income levels, and encouraging a wide variety of housing types. Adding cottages, townhomes, accessory dwelling units, single family homes, and multi-unit buildings of various sizes to Eugene’s housing inventory will ensure that everyone can find a home that matches their needs.
- The creation and expansion of walkable, 20-minute neighborhoods in Eugene. Residents should be able to choose healthy, sustainable transportation methods, including walking, biking, and taking transit for many of their day-to-day travel.
- Planning for growth along key transit corridors and downtown. Targeted areas of growth will help Eugene accommodate our future neighbors while preserving what is great about our city.
- Citizen involvement in planning processes. Leaders should hear the full diversity of interests and opinions about how our community should evolve, and strive to balance different points of view.
- Actionable and community supported-proposals for future development in Eugene. These plans should serve community-wide goals, and include codes and standards that facilitate housing and transportation choice.
Change is coming--population growth, climate change, and demographic changes. It is unrealistic to think that we can keep things just the way they are now--and trying to do so can cost us the opportunity to adapt constructively to a changing environment. In particular, failure to build enough housing of all types will drive housing prices higher and make it harder for Eugene residents to find housing that fits their budget and lifestyle.
In Envision Eugene, we engaged in a very broad and lengthy process of thinking about the future and deciding, as a community, how to adapt to anticipated change while also being resilient to unforeseen events.
Envision Eugenelaid out strategies for how Eugene can grow in a way that supports the community's economy and individuals' financial well-being, protect neighborhoods and promote health, and reduce our carbon footprint while protecting air and water. The central concept proposed in Envision Eugene is to gradually increase housing options and commercial opportunities along six major corridors, and to create walkable 20-minute neighborhoods, especially along those corridors.
To achieve this vision, WE CAN works to:
- Revise zoning and development code to promote sustainable residential infill in neighborhoods along key transit corridors, and support the incremental construction of sufficient and varied housing.
- Promote the development of more “missing middle” housing, such as townhomes, cottages, accessory dwelling units, smaller-scale/lot single family homes, duplexes, and small multi-unit buildings, available to both renters and owners.
- Support enough housing supply to meet demand, and find ways to make housing affordable for all residents.
- Encourage mixed-used development, particularly along key transit corridors, so that residents can walk to work, shopping, and entertainment locations, and choose to take transit or bike to further destinations.
- Improve the infrastructure for walking, such as sidewalks and pedestrian scale development.
- Facilitate citizen participation in planning processes that accomplish our goals as a city while respecting the unique character of neighborhoods.
WE CAN coalesced in the fall of 2015 when individuals-- many living, working or owning property in or near the proposed South Willamette Special Area Zone—became concerned about the significant opposition to sustainable, walkable development plans that provided a multitude of housing choices. WE CAN began with a focus on South Willamette, but saw South Willamette as just an example of the significant roadblocks to providing true housing options in Eugene.
Site Photo Credits:
Homepage Photo by Bruce Fingerhood / CC BY-NC; Learn: Walkability Photo by Dustin Diaz / CC BY-NC-ND; Learn: Housing Photo by Alex / CC BY-NC; Learn: Zoning Photo by Loren Kerns / CC BY; Learn: Citizen Involvement Photo by Erik Bishoff / CC BY-NC-ND; Learn: Envision Eugene Photo by Bruce Fingerhood / CC BY-NC, Learn: South Willamette Photo by, Learn: Other Resources Photo by Troy / CC BY-NC-ND; News Photo by Matthew Nasholm / CC BY-NC; About Photo by Troy / CC BY-NC-ND; Take Action Photo by Alex / CC BY-NC; Events Photo by Oregon Attractions / CC-BY