Understanding “Missing Middle Housing”

The Oregon House Bill 2001 was passed in August, “requiring cities with a population greater than 10,000 or within Metro to allow duplexes in lands zoned for single-family dwellings within urban growth boundary, and cities with greater than 25,000 to allow middle housing in lands zoned for residential uses within urban growth boundaries.” (Paraphrased from the Oregon State Legislature website.)

OK, so how does this affect the Portland Metro area?

The City has been working on the Residential Infill Project (RIP) for more than 4 years, in an attempt to address the need for more affordable housing in single-family neighborhoods of the Portland Metro. The RIP proposal will mostly cover the requirements of HB 2001, but is being adjusted to be in compliance.

The Planning and Sustainability Commission revised prior drafts of the RIP plan to create the Recommended Draft, a summary of the proposed changes to residential housing zoning. The Commission is tentatively scheduled to present the recommended draft to City Council in December 2019, and the Council is expected to hold public hearings on these recommendations as well.

To see how your property might be affected by the new zoning laws, type in your address using the Map App on your mobile device.

Here are a few links to learn more about this project:

Posted on October 30, 2019 at 7:48 pm
Jamie Van Hoorn | Category: Market Update

One response to “Understanding “Missing Middle Housing””

  1. Jamie Van Hoorn says:

    Update from Morgan Tracy, project manager of RIP (Nov. 5, 2019):

    What is this project about?
    The Residential Infill Project is updating Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to better meet the changing housing needs of current and future residents. The project addresses increasing the range of available housing options while limiting the size of buildings and improving building design. For more information visit the project website at: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill
    Save the dates!
    City Council Hearing Date for the Residential Infill Project Confirmed.
    The Residential Infill Project has a date with City Council, and the public will be invited to share their perspectives on the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s recommendations. Project staff will begin with a separate briefing to Council in December to bring them up to speed before the public hearings commence in January.

    December 11, 2019 – City Council briefing (no public testimony)
    January 15, 2020 – 1st City Council public hearing. Written testimony will be open at least 30 days prior to the hearing.

    Better Housing by Design Public Hearing Continues tomorrow (November 6) at 2:00 pm

    Better Housing by Design project aims to improve the design and livability of apartments and other multi-family development throughout the city. Residents are invited to testify on the BHD Recommended Draft at City Council on Wednesday, November 6 starting at 2 p.m. Testimony for BHD can also be provided in writing up to the close of the hearing.

    Can’t make it to the hearing? You can watch it here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/28258

    Anti-displacement Action Plan efforts are underway

    Another key part of the Housing Opportunities Initiative is the Anti-Displacement Action Plan. Work is continuing with community partners to:
    • Inventory and develop accountability measures for City anti-displacement programs/actions
    • Create a community/City task force
    • Explore potential additional programs/actions
    • Engage with households affected by displacement

    Read the PSC’s recommendations to City Council

    You can review the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s recommendation to City Council in their Residential Infill Project Recommended Draft. The key zoning changes in the PSC’s recommendation include:
    • Increase the range of permissible housing types (e.g., duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and additional accessory dwelling units).
    • Expand the area where these housing types would be allowed (replaces the previously proposed ‘a’ overlay with the ‘z’ overlay, which limits where these housing types can be built based on landslide risk, flood plain and natural resources).
    • Scale the building size limits to increase incrementally with the second or third unit. For instance, on a 5,000 sf R5 zoned lot, a house could be up to 2,500 sf, a duplex 3,000 sf, and a triplex or fourplex tops out at 3,500 sf.
    • Remove minimum parking requirements and add new garage design requirements.

    Learn about these and other proposals by reviewing the Recommended Draft documents:
    • Recommended Draft Summary – Short summary of the Recommended Draft’s major proposals
    • Volume 1: Staff Report – Summary and analysis of recommended amendments
    • Volume 2: Zoning Code Amendments – Full code text and commentary
    • Volume 3: Appendices – Additional information and supporting analysis

    Next Steps

    City Council work sessions for the Residential Infill Project will start in December. Public hearings will be held in January. Testimony will be open at least 30 days prior to the hearings. We will share more about the schedule, dates times and locations as those details are finalized.

    For general information about the project
    Visit the website: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill.
    Or call or email Morgan Tracy, Project Manager, 503-823-6879

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