By Ted Shorack
Edited by Clare Hancock
Tomorrow, July 6th, the first of three summer open houses will take place to present Eugene’s “housing land need” for the coming years.
The open house will be between 3pm and 6pm in the Atrium Building on W 10th Avenue. The use of available land will be a major topic during the forum. Patricia Thomas, an associate planner for the planning commission said, “The open house will mostly be about single-family housing.” This type of housing—a residential house for singe-family living—creates greater land use as opposed to an apartment building.
Citizens will also receive updated information gained from technical analysis that has been gathered and processed over the past year and a half. Members of the Technical Resource Group spent hundreds of hours examining maps, spreadsheets and other data in relation to projected housing needs. According to the city’s website, Eugene will need to accommodate 34,000 more people by 2031.
These summer open houses have been organized by Envision Eugene, a community project in conjunction with the city’s Planning Commission. Senior Planner Terri Harding and Envision Eugene Public Involvement Manager, said in the project’s July Newsletter that, “Envision Eugene set out to use a more collaborative public involvement approach than typical land use projects.” It has used a variety of techniques to boost citizen involvement.
In addition to the upcoming open houses, Envision Eugene has reached out to the community through workshops, a community resource group, surveys, and even an art contest. The Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee (CIAC) of the state Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) recently awarded Envision Eugene the annual STAR award for citizen involvement in land use.
After the summer open houses, Envision Eugene and the Planning Commission will utilize citizen feedback in the next steps. Further analysis of industrial land and conversations with city council, followed by public hearings are planned for the near future.
The other open houses will take place on August 3rd and September 7th. Envision Eugene will continue to elicit citizen involvement throughout the summer.