On Monday, Eugene City Council once again failed to take action on Accessory Dwelling Units. Councilor Taylor, seconded by Councilor Semple, began the meeting with a motion to not take action, claiming that people need more time to come talk to them about ADUs.
The discussion about removing barriers to ADUs in Eugene has been going on for over two years now. How much more time is needed?
There have been at least two public hearings before Council on the topic, as well as a Planning Commission hearing, with nearly 100 people commenting. Additional comments have been made at public forums. Council has received over a thousand of pages of written comments. Council has received three Land Use Board of Appeals remands, and a legislative clarification. ADU supporters have turned out-- the majority of comments has been residents asking Eugene to fix our code for ADUs... now. How much more input is needed?
Delay helps those who want to continue to keep ADUs out. Here is a small sample of who delay hurts--
Chelsea Jennings, who wants to convert an existing garage into an ADU for her mother, but can't because her lot is 400 square feet too small. (Testified before Council on September 9th, 2019.)
Susan Bliven, who hopes to have the option of an ADU for a caregiver to allow her to stay out of care facility. (Testified at public hearing on May 20th, 2019)
Arame Tchack-Ryan, who's family was told by the city that his adopted brother cannot live in their existing, permitted ADU because his mother, who owns the property, lives out of state. (Testified at public hearing on May 20th, 2019)
Delay has a cost. That cost is born by each resident of Eugene who goes to look for housing, and find nothing they can afford, nothing that meets their needs. It is born by those who are paying 40, 50, 60 percent of their income on housing, or who can't find housing at all.
When City Council chooses to delay making the decisions that they must make, the cost comes in many forms. It comes in the form of tax dollars spent on lawyers defending positions that are indefensible and bound to lose. It comes in the form of asking residents to come back again and again for another process, another hearing because Council didn't listen or hear the first time. It comes in the form of increasing rents and housing prices.
It is time for the City Council to stop asking the residents of Eugene to pay these costs for them.
Next City Council Public Forum
What: City Council Public Forum
When: Monday, September 23th, 7:30pm (sign-up to comment starts at 7:00pm)
Where: Harris Hall, 125 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR
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