City Approach and Public Involvement

In late 2019, City Council requested that staff monitor the State of Oregon’s rulemaking process regarding the implementation of HB 2001. Staff went on to track numerous meetings of the Rulemaking Advisory Committee (RAC) and other technical advisory committees established by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD). Staff provided monthly written and oral reports to the Planning Commission on the state’s rulemaking progress and key issues related to the bill. 

On December 9, 2020, the Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted the implementing rules for HB 2001 (Division 46), which provide the roadmap for local governments’ compliance with HB 2001.

Information Gathering and Research

Following the adoption of Division 46, the Planning Commission hosted several presentations in order to learn directly from professionals who were involved in the development of HB 2001 or have specific expertise related to middle housing. This included presentations from:

  • DLCD staff, on the Division 46 rules;
  • A representative of the Fair Housing Council of Oregon on the social dimensions of middle housing policy;
  • A representative of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland and a local builder, on the development of duplexes and townhomes in Lake Oswego; and
  • City Engineer Erica Rooney, on infrastructure planning for middle housing and the state’s Infrastructure-Based Time Extension Request (IBTER) process.

During this time period, City staff and a consultant team led by Cascadia Partners engaged in the first phase of middle housing implementation work, which was primarily oriented around research and information gathering. The process was publicly initiated through a “kickoff meeting” in January 2020 to inform neighborhood association chairs of engagement opportunities available during the first phase of work. All City-recognized neighborhood associations were invited to participate. These engagement opportunities included Neighborhood Character Interviews that were coordinated with representatives from 17 different neighborhood associations, as well as a Neighborhood Character Survey that received 880 responses reflecting input from residents of all 28 Lake Oswego neighborhoods.

The results of this work provided a rich source information that allowed City staff to better understand the physical characteristics that residents value the most in their respective neighborhoods. These results are summarized and reflected in the Neighborhood Character Report document produced by Cascadia Partners, which includes a qualitative analysis of the development patterns, character and architectural history of Lake Oswego neighborhoods based on extensive research and analysis. Other phase one work products by Cascadia Partners included:

  • Neighborhood Conditions Analysis – a quantitative analysis of existing neighborhood conditions in Lake Oswego (Appendix A of the Neighborhood Character Report)
  • Plan and Code Audit Memo – identification of Comprehensive Plan and Community Development Code sections that must be updated for compliance with HB 2001; and
  • Middle Housing Opportunities Report – recommendation of concepts and alternatives for amending the Comprehensive Plan and CDC for middle housing, consistent with HB 2001.

The Council and the Planning Commission received a presentation from staff and consultant Jamin Kimmel, project manager with Cascadia Partners, at their joint study session on May 18, 2021. This presentation covered the initial findings as outlined in the phase one work products, and proposed a process for using that information to develop code amendments in compliance with HB 2001 that achieve the Council goal. This presentation was followed by two Planning Commission work sessions on May 24 and June 14, 2021, where the Commission reviewed the phase one findings and refined a work plan for phase two based on Council direction.

Ad-Hoc Middle Housing Code Advisory Committee

At their meeting on June 15, 2021, the Council formally appointed the Ad-Hoc Middle Housing Code Advisory Committee (MHCAC) to provide high-level policy guidance to the Planning Commission for the development of draft code amendments to comply with HB 2001. The Committee was comprised of a balanced membership of 13 voting members representing a diverse set of interests:

  1. City Council Liaison (non-voting): Rachel Verdick
  2. Development Review Commission (1 member): Randy Arthur
  3. 50+ Advisory Board (1 member): Cynthia Johnson
  4. Historic Resources Advisory Board (1 member): Larry Snyder
  5. Planning Commission Liaison (non-voting): Helen Leek
  6. Sustainability Advisory Board (1 member): Stephanie Glazer
  7. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advocate/Advisory Board (1 member): Lisa Strader
  8. Neighborhood Chairs Committee of Lake Oswego (2 members): Carole Ockert, First Addition Neighbors-Forest Hills Neighborhood Association; Robert Ervin, Uplands Neighborhood Association
  9. Building Industry Advocate (1 member): Ross Masters, Crosswater Development
  10. Affordable Housing Advocate (1 member): Sam Goldberg, Fair Housing Council of Oregon
  11. Architect (1 member): Ralph Tahran
  12. Realtor or Real Estate Finance Professional (1 member): Tam Hixson
  13. At-large members (not more than 2 members): Todd Prager & Alexandra Byers

The MHCAC conducted six meetings between July and October 2021; materials distributed in advance of each meeting were also distributed to members of the public, and are accessible on the City website. Invitations to each meeting were also made available to members of the public, and recordings of each meeting were posted to the City’s YouTube page.

During these meetings, MHCAC members considered code concepts related to the following key issues:

  • Preservation of existing residential structures;
  • Scale and character of new middle housing;
  • Runoff and stormwater impacts of middle housing; and
  • Affordability and accessibility of middle housing.

MHCAC members were provided with a series of memos containing summaries of the above issues and lists of relevant questions for the group to consider. Polling was conducted by staff at MHCAC meetings in an attempt to reach an agreement on the questions raised in the Key Issue memos; each memo has since been updated to include polling results and a summary of the MHCAC’s discussion on each question or code concept. The MHCAC’s final recommendations are summarized in the MHCAC Key Issues Summary Memo.

At a joint study session on November 16, 2021, the Council and Planning Commission received a presentation from staff, MHCAC Chair Randy Arthur, and MHCAC Co-Chair Lisa Strader covering the MHCAC process and recommendations. At this meeting, the Council directed staff (with Planning Commission and public input) to prepare code amendments for any recommendations that are required to be adopted by the state-mandated deadline of June 30, 2022.

Code Development and Refinement

In early December 2021, the City hosted a virtual Community Forum in order to provide information on the City’s approach to middle housing and to allow for public input before drafting recommended code changes. This effort included launching an accompanying StoryMap and Survey that was made available to the public until the end of 2021.

More recently, the Planning Commission held four work sessions to discuss remaining policy questions related to proposed code amendments necessary for compliance with House Bill 2001. The first of these work sessions, held on December 13, 2021, focused on an initial package of code amendments prescribed by the state where there is little to no flexibility for the adoption of other types of standards. The work session held on January 10, 2022, included a detailed discussion of the options available to the City related to the adoption of design and dimensional standards for duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, and townhouses. At their work session on January 24, 2022, the Planning Commission discussed options available to the City related to design and dimensional standards for cottage clusters. The work session on February 14, 2022, was focused on development review processes for middle housing.  Code amendment recommendations developed by staff under the guidance of the Planning Commission were then presented to City Council at their meeting on February 15, 2022.

Draft code amendments proposed by the City to comply with HB 2001 were made available on March 7, 2022 for public review.

A Public Hearing was held at the Planning Commission on April 11, 2022 to discuss the proposed amendments.

A subsequent City Council Public Hearing is scheduled for May 17, 2022 in order to allow for compliant code amendments to be adopted by the June 30, 2022 deadline.

Contact Information

Erik Olson, Senior Planner, (503) 697-6524 or email.

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