Pamplin Media Group – Lake Oswego Attends 1st Mid-Size Housing Community Forum

People provided commentary on the concerns and benefits of average housing after learning more about the House Bill 2001.

Lake Oswego staff and representatives from consultancy firm Cascadia Partners virtually met the public at the first mid-size housing community forum on December 9 to discuss recommendations on how to bring the city code into line with the House Bill 2001.

During the forum, community members learned about the history of HB 2001 and the key decisions made by the city so far. The audience asked and answered the survey questions to give staff a better understanding of how the community felt.

HB 2001, which was approved by the legislature in 2019, requires cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants – or in Metro – to allow “intermediate housing” like duplexes, triplexes and other multi-group housing options. units to be built on land zoned for single-family homes.

In May, the Lake Oswego Planning Commission discussed and received direction from the council on recommendations for work around the bill. Specifically, city staff and the planning commission sought advice on whether Lake Oswego should adopt state-modeled codes – which staff did not recommend – or develop siting standards. and city-specific intermediate housing design to regulate intermediate housing opportunities. During this meeting, staff were also instructed to form a 13-member Average Housing Advisory Committee to provide policy guidance to the HB 2001 Compliance Planning Committee.

Cascadia Partners was hired late last year as a consultant to conduct research on neighborhood conditions and models in order to generate both qualitative and quantitative analytical understanding of the city. As part of the process, neighborhood associations were invited to discuss and hundreds of residents completed a survey focusing on neighborhood development patterns, character and architectural history. There was also an audit of the overall plan and the town planning code. All of these findings helped inform an interim housing report and recommendations.

The recommendations included revising the definition of “demolition” to include renovations that remove more than 50% of exterior walls; define duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes to include isolated units in addition to the most common attached units; apply single-family garage and driveway design standards to townhouses; regulate the open space for isolated units in the same way as attached units; and provide financial incentives for intermediate housing projects.

Last month, the Intermediate Housing Advisory Committee completed its work and presented its recommendations to Lake Oswego City Council. The board decided to focus first on recommendations for minimum requirements to comply with HB 2001 by June 30, and then deal with the remaining recommendations at a later date. Recommendations unrelated to HB 2001 include impermeable surface requirements and incentives for affordable and accessible units.

A question posed at the December 9 meeting was about the possibility of using solar energy in the cottage clusters. Jamin Kimmell, of Cascadia Partners, said any kind of solar generation that could happen with a single-family home could happen with cottage clusters.

“This (HB 2001 changes) probably won’t affect the things that regulate this,” Kimmell said.

A community member asked if the demolition fee would be increased or if there would be incentives in place to keep the existing homes. Demolition costs are currently $ 15,000.

“We do not plan to increase the demolition fee at this time, but we are considering changing what would qualify as demolition so that more projects qualify as demolitions which currently qualify as renovations,” the town planner said. Erik Olson.

Another question was about the maximum number of lots on a unit.

Kimmell said the answer to this question depends on the type of accommodation offered.

“Typically that would be four units if it were offered, like a quadruplex or a set of townhouses, not to exceed four adjoining units,” Kimmell said, adding that if anyone wanted to develop a group of cottages, it would take a larger lot, then the number of units per lot could go up to eight.

An opportunity to contribute linked to the size of the chalet group and whether the size of the chalets should be limited. Kimmell said that without an overall size limitation, there could be four units of approximately 1,800 square feet for each unit, while a size limitation could allow approximately six units of approximately 1,000 to 1,800 square feet. Kimmell said smaller sizes might put developers off, although it may be more affordable for people.

A majority of participants voted for the size of the chalets to be limited.

Overall, people were primarily concerned with the traffic associated with the development of mid-size housing, as well as neighborhood compatibility, privacy, and canopy impacts. When it comes to the most important benefits for average housing, there was a three-way tie in an online survey between affordability, housing options, and a response saying there was no benefit .

There will be other opportunities for public input, including presentations from neighborhood associations and planning committee working sessions on various dates from December to February. The tentative date for the second community forum will be February 10.

In the meantime, more information and a survey are available in line.


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