On Monday, City Council had their final vote on whether Eugene will comply with state law (SB 1051) that says each single-family homeowner can build an accessory/secondary dwellings. They had their latest test as to if they were going take the housing crisis in Eugene seriously, or if they were going to continue to follow the patterns that got us here in the first place.
Their answer-- No, we aren't going to comply. No, we aren't going to take the housing crisis seriously.
After 5 months, 6 work sessions and meetings, and hearing from over 100 people in public comment, the majority of whom wanted them to do more to make SDUs easier in Eugene, the changes that came out of this process were:
- Secondary Dwelling Units are now officially called Accessory Dwelling Units.
- In some zones, if you could previously build an additional dwelling on your lot, you can now call it an Accessory Dwelling Unit, unless you live in the Chambers or Jefferson Westside Special Area Zones, where you can now explicitly NOT build an Accessory Dwelling Unit, just a second dwelling on some lots.
Council did nothing to address the thousands of Eugene homeowners who are not permitted to build an accessory dwelling on their lot because of restrictive lot size minimums. They did nothing to address owner occupancy requirements or other regulations that create barriers to ADUs. They had the chance, but they did nothing.
Instead, despite their increasing rhetoric that we need to do something to address the growing housing crisis, Council did what they have done time and time again... make minimal changes to our code to appease a minority of existing homeowners who don't want to see anything change, while telling every else who is suffering because of this crisis-- everyone who can't find a home they can afford that meets their needs-- they can wait.
How much longer do they expect to wait?
Tell Council what you think. They can be reached via email.