LU 22-0038: Community Development Code Annual Amendments (2022)

Project Background / Summary: 

The purpose of the proposed code amendments is twofold: 1) to correct errors, eliminate text redundancy, and clarify text; and 2) to implement minor policy changes intended to streamline the permit process, consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.  This process is part of the City’s ongoing effort to make the regulations less burdensome on residents and businesses while maintaining community standards.

The proposed amendments include:

Maintenance Amendments (LOC Chapters 50.03, 50.04, 50.05, 50.06, 50.07, 50.08 and 50.10) 

Code Maintenance amendments are those that correct or add cross‐references, clarify existing standards, address changes in State or Federal law, or are for operational efficiency and consistency with other codes.

  1. Establish threshold for distinguishing side from rear lot lines on irregular lots [LOC].
  2. Clarify applicability of use-specific standards for certain “Institutional Uses” and restore missing use categories and conditional use types to the Residential Use Table [LOC; LOC Table 50.03.002-2; LOC].
  3. Amend Commercial Use Table footnote for “Institutional Uses” [LOC Table 50.03.002-2, Footnote 5].
  4. Clarify the applicability of Downtown Redevelopment Design District’s Clear & Objective Track with regards to “substantial remodels” and the R-2 zone [LOC; LOC].
  5. Clarify how storefront appearance design standards apply for alleys and residential uses in the Downtown Redevelopment Design District [LOC].
  6. Clarify how height is measured for purposes of determining allowed lot coverage in residential zones [LOC; LOC; LOC].
  7. Update text in the residential zones’ dimensional tables to refer to the correct term for “sloped” lots [LOC Table 50.04.001-1; LOC Table 50.04.003-3; LOC Table 50.04.001-11].
  8. Update text for measuring maximum height for “Lots with Sloping Topography”, to be consistent with legislative history and current practice [LOC Table 50.04.001-1, Footnote 5 and Figure 50.04.001-A; LOC; LOC; LOC Table 50.04.001-3, Footnote 5; LOC Table 50.04.001-11, Footnote 4].
  9. Update Fence code to allow fence/retaining walls combinations, subject to location and height regulations, along with possible minor variances to those height requirements [LOC; LOC].
  10. Clarify that development under a “Unified Site Plan” should identify and consider parking [LOC].
  11. Modify construction timing and bonding for required public infrastructure improvements to be consistent with current practice [LOC].
  12. Update professional credential requirements under Hillside Protection and Weak Foundation Soils standards [LOC; LOC].
  13. Clarify who is entitled to receive legislative public hearing notices [LOC; LOC].
  14. Clarify when and how the City Manager can allow deferral of required undergrounding of existing overhead utilities within the public right-of-way along a site’s frontage [LOC].
  15. Update text with gender-neutral pronouns [Code-wide];
  16. Remove “private street” from code as the operative term is “private access lane” [LOC; LOC; LOC; LOC; LOC].
  17. Clarify how to calculate the size of carports for the purposes of “Gross Building Floor Area” as it applies to ADUs and other accessory structures [LOC].
  18. Update code language regarding the definition of “Group Care Home” [LOC].

Policy Amendments (LOC Chapters 50.03, 50.04, 50.05, 50.06 and 50.7)

The following six amendments each involve policy considerations:

  1. Exempt all structures in Public Functions (PF) and Park & Natural Area (PNA) zones from compliance with building orientation standards requiring structures (and their main entrances) to be located within 30 feet of a public street [LOC].
  2. Grant reduced setbacks for noise-producing accessory structures (heat pumps, a/c units, etc.) where underlying zone setbacks are less [LOC].
  3. Determine the appropriate offset from property lines for uncovered patios and decks less than 30 inches above grade and ensure consistency for same within the Oswego Lake standards [LOC; LOC Table 50.04.003-2].
  4. Allow more options for sustainable exterior building materials in the West Lake Grove Design District (WLG) and the Lake Grove Village Center Overlay District (LGVC) [LOC & (iv); LOC - x); LOC (a)(i)(A) & (D); LOC; LOC - 9)]. [Note: The Lake Grove Business Association was separately working on a package of proposed code concepts pertaining to building and site design for LGVC and WLG. That process has not delivered timely input as requested by the Planning Commission, and therefore staff is proposing to move forward with a narrower set of code amendments.]
  5. Determine if code pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) and minor variances should be only clarified or if it should be amended to allow for more variances for ADUs [LOC; LOC].
  6. Work with the Uplands NA Board to revise the Uplands Overlay standards to allow more than one access point onto a public street under very limited circumstances [LOC].



Project Updates: 




On 02/07/23, the CIty Council made their final decision and adopted Ordinance 2909.  The ordinance becomes effective on March 9, 2023.  A link to Ordinance 2909 is available in the Public Records file.




The City Council held a public hearing on January 17, 2023, and tentatively approved the proposed amendments as discussed during deliberations. The City Council will make their final decision on February 7, 2023.

For more information regarding the Council's agenda and schedule, please Kari Linder, City Recorder, (503) 534-4225 or email.




On Monday, December 12, 2022, the Commission adopted the Findings, Conclusions, and Order, the final recommendation.  The adopted Findings are available in the Public Records File .  The City Council public hearing is scheduled for January 17, 2023.  For more information regarding the Council's agenda and schedule, please contact Kari Linder, City Recorder, (503) 534-4225 or email .

Notices and hearing documents, can be found in the Public Records folder.



11/30/2022 - Planning Commission Public Hearing

On November 28, the Planning Commission made a preliminary recommendation that City Council approve the proposed amendments and directed staff to return with the draft Findings, Conclusions and Order for consideration at its next meeting on  December 12, 2022   




On Monday, November 28, 2022, the Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider the proposed amendments.

The public hearing notice is available in the "Public Records" file.  The staff report will also be available in the "Public Records" file ten days prior to the hearing.

To visit the Planning Commission meeting webpage and view the agenda and video (when available), click here.



09/26/2022 - Work Session #2

The Commission will receive an update and provide input on a list of potential code amendments as part of the City’s Annual Community Development Code (LOC Chapter 50) Amendments process.

Documents are available in "Public Records" folder, click here.



08/08/2022 - Work Session #1

The Commission will receive an update and provide input on a list of potential code amendments as part of the City’s Annual Community Development Code (LOC Chapter 50) Amendments process.

Documents are available in "Public Records" folder, click here.


Project Details
LU 22-0038
City of Lake Oswego (A)
Project Contact: 

Johanna Hastay, Senior Planner
(503) 534-5740 or

Reviewing Body: 
Meeting Date: 
Tuesday, February 7, 2023 - 5:30pm
Related Meetings

Feb 7 2023 - 5:30pm

Jan 17 2023 - 3:00pm

Nov 28 2022 - 6:30pm

Sep 26 2022 - 6:30pm

Aug 8 2022 - 6:30pm

Related Links