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Through an online survey, the city hopes to gauge the public's views on the affordable housing issue

Following a public forum on Dec. 15, the city of Newberg is seeking residents' input via a survey on so-called "middle housing," characterized as including duplexes, triplexes, town homes and cottage clusters.

"Middle housing is meant to provide other, more affordable, housing options," a release from the said. "This is important in Newberg, where the city has been working to address affordable housing issues."

Results from the "Newberg Middle Housing Code Project Survey", available at https://bit.ly/3rnOdxx and closing Jan. 8, will inform the city's Middle Housing Project and will update city codes to "allow for a range or middle housing types required by House Bill 2001," the city said in a release.

HB 2001, passed by the Legislature in 2019, promotes construction of affordable housing by requiring cities to allow the construction of duplexes and the like in traditional residential zones, which many Oregon cities hadn't allowed prior to passage of the legislation.

"These housing types are typically less costly, meet the housing needs of smaller households, including younger people and older adults, and reduce environmental impacts associated with large houses," the release stated." The city assured residents that promoting middle housing will not hamper efforts to build single family houses as well.

The survey will prompt, city officials hope, residents to share their preferences on the particulars of middle housing in the community, including parking, design specifications, lot sizes, required setbacks and more.

"The goal of the Middle Housing Project is to provide opportunity for middle housing types in a way that meets state requirements and is a good fit for the city of Newberg," Doug Rux, community development director, said in the release. "This is an important strategy to help address the city's housing needs."

To help the city on the project, the Department of Land Conservation and Development awarded the city a $60,000 grant to bring its comprehensive plan and development code into compliance with HB 2001.

With the city now topping 25,000 in population, local government is updating the plan and code to comply with state provisions for medium and large cities. A draft will be developed by June 30 with adoption anticipated in the fall.


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