September 9th: Last comment before ADU discussion; September 16th: Council ADU Deliberations

September 9th: Last Public Forum before ADU Discussion

What: City Council Public Forum
When: Monday, September 9th, 7:30pm (sign-up to comment starts at 7:00pm)
Where: Harris Hall, 125 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR

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September 16th: City Council ADU Deliberations

What: City Council Work Session- ADU discussion and possible action
When: Monday, September 16th, 5:30pm (no opportunity to comment at this meeting)
Where: Harris Hall, 125 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR

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In June of 2017, the State passed SB 1051, which said that each detached single family homeowner who wanted to shall be permitted to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit, subject only reasonable regulations related to siting and design.

It has taken over two years, at least three appeals to the Land Use Board of Appeals, and additional legislative action at the State Level, but Eugene is finally almost ready to remove unnecessary and illegal barriers to ADUs in our code.

The draft changes Council will be discussing removes the requirement to create additional parking when building an ADU, and removes the owner-occupancy requirement. SB 2001, which passed this summer, among other things clarified that parking and owner-occupancy requirements weren't reasonable regulations related to design and siting when it comes to ADUs, At this point, the City has no choice but to remove these requirements. However, the draft changes leave in place many of the other barriers to ADUs.

Changes passed in 2014 to our ADU code increased the barriers to ADUs in Eugene and prohibited thousands of homeowners from building ADUs if they so desired by increasing the minimum lot size for ADUs, applying density standards to ADUs, and prohibiting ADUs on alley access lots. Council's draft code does not address these unique and recently-created barriers.

Eugene is facing a housing crisis. We do not have enough homes for everyone who lives here. ADUs are a small piece of the puzzle, but an important one. Unless Council removes additional barriers before passing the new code, thousands of homeowners will not be able to create a new home on their property for a friend, a family member, or a new neighbor.

We can't just rely on large developers who can build a lot of units to provide housing in our community. We need to provide Eugene residents with options that allow them to do what they are able to help us solve our housing crisis. Many small individual actions, together, can create real progress. Giving more homeowners the choice to build an ADU and create one more home in our community is a good start. A week from Monday, Council has to decide if they are going to remove the roadblocks that keep many of our residents from being able to contribute to the solutions, or if they are going to continue to do the bare minimum as slowly as possible.

ADU discussion pushed back to September

City Council has again pushed back the discussion and possible action on removing barriers to Accessory Dwelling Units in Eugene to September. The work session is currently scheduled for September 16th at 5:30pm. Comments are still being accepted to the record until then, and should be emailed to and

In 2017, the State passed SB 1051, which said that each detached single-family homeowner shall be permitted to create at least one accessory dwelling unit, subject to reasonable regulations related to siting and design. Since then, Eugene has been dragging its feet, and has yet to remove unreasonable restrictions. This has resulted in three appeals to the Land Use Board of Appeals, all of which the City has lost.

HB 2001, which passed last week, has a provision that provides some additional clarity as to what constitutes a reasonable regulation related to siting and design-- most notably, it clearly states that owner occupancy provisions and off-street parking requirements are not reasonable regulations related to siting and design and cannot be used to prohibit ADUs.

The ordinance that Council will be discussing in September, as currently proposed, removes Eugene's owner occupancy requirement, but retains parking minimums for Accessory Dwelling Units. As well, it retains a number of other roadblocks which aren't related to siting or design that prevent thousands of Eugene homeowners from creating an ADU if they so desire, including restrictive lot size minimums and prohibitions on particular types of lots.

Eugene has made a commitment to address our housing crisis and to figure out how to provide housing for all our residents in a more sustainable fashion. While ADUs are not the sole solution, they are a piece of the puzzle. Prior to passing the ordinance, Council should modify it both to remove parking minimums as required by HB 2001, and to remove other barriers to ADUs.

Council requests that most barriers to ADUs be left in draft code

Council reviewed 19 separate restrictions placed on ADUs.  Five of the restrictions were so obviously not "reasonable restrictions related to siting and design" that they would be nearly impossible to defend, so Council directed staff to removed them from the draft code. For fourteen of the nineteen, Council requested that staff keep the restrictions in place, and directed staff to come up with some legal justification for the restriction. (See details of the 19 restrictions, Council's action and WE CAN's recommendations at the end of this posting.)