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In 2019 Oregon Legislature passed a bill that stands to significantly impact Woodburn housing by allowing more multi-family structures in neighborhoods

COURTESY PHOTO: OPTICS DESIGN - Missing Middle Housing conceptual diagram.Changes in the structure of housing codes is on the horizon, and the city of Woodburn has scheduled a virtual town hall meeting to enlighten residents about those changes.

In 2019 the Oregon Legislature passed a "housing choices" bill (HB 2001) that significantly expands the zoning options for housing; changes are aimed at expanding "middle housing," and include provisions such as allowing a duplex to be built on any lot where a detached single-family dwelling is currently allowed.

Moreover, other multi-family structures – triplexes, quads, town homes and cottage clusters – will be allowed in areas zoned for single-family dwellings.

The bill applies to all Oregon cities with a population of at least 25,000, and that means it applies to Woodburn.

Earlier this spring consultants Jamin Kimmell of Cascadia Partners LLC and Serah Breakstone of Otak Inc. presented Woodburn City Council with an overview of the changes coming down the pike. Their report noted:

"The intent of HB 2001 is to provide Oregonians with more housing choices, especially housing choices more people can afford...The City must amend its development regulations to comply with these requirements by June 30, 2022.

"A secondary goal of the project is to evaluate whether any areas within the City would qualify for an extension of this deadline because the area does not have sufficient infrastructure to support middle housing."

City of Woodburn spokesman Tommy Moore said the city will hold its virtual town hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 26, to discuss the proposed changes related to middle housing in Woodburn.

"The goal of this new law is to require cities to allow a wider variety of housing types in all residential zones," Moore noted. "The bill requires Woodburn to permit 'middle housing' like duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters in residential zones. The City is preparing amendments to the zoning code to comply with the law. As part of this process, the City would like resident input on some general ideas related to the proposed code changes."

The city encourages people who live or work in Woodburn to attend this online event to learn more about HB 2001 and how it stands to impact the community. Moore said there will be an opportunity to talk with planners about proposed zoning code changes, including which zones are being impacted, what kinds of housing will be allowed where, and which design standards and guidelines are being considered.

To receive a virtual meeting link, register for the event at https://tinyurl.com/WoodburnVTH. Spanish and Russian interpretations will be available.

Town Hall

What: Virtual Town Hall to discuss housing development changes in Woodburn.

When: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 26.

Why: House Bill 2001, which takes effect June 30, 2022, is a new law that requires cities to allow a wider variety of housing types in all residential zones.

Where: To receive a virtual meeting link, register for the event at: https://tinyurl.com/WoodburnVTH.


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