Information for 1/10/2023 Eugene Planning Commission Willamette River Greenway Code Amendments hearing
(This document was prepared by members of the River Road Community Organization Willamette Greenway Advisory Committee and can be found at https://tinyurl.com/Willamette-greenway-Guide
The following information about the Eugene Planning Commission’s Public Hearing on Willamette River Greenway Code Amendments to be held on Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 5:30 PM. is provided by members of the RRCO. This is a rare opportunity to have your concerns and suggestions heard.
If adopted there will be two tracks an applicant can choose to obtain a Willamette Greenway Permit for development within the Willamette Greenway Zone. The existing discretionary path has proven to be ineffective because the criteria for approval are often stated to be “to the maximum extent practicable” which Hearings Officials find themselves unable to interpret. The code proposed here intends to add a second Clear and Objective Path for which compliance is intended to be easily determined. When an applicant is proposing to develop housing on a parcel, they choose which path they want to be used to have their application evaluated.
The criteria for the discretionary path can be found at 9.8815 and the criteria for the Clear and Objective Path can be found at 9.8812 in the proposed code.
Notable Key Points identified for possible testimony (written and/or oral). Specific proposed code references are included at the end of points for those who want to review the specific proposal language and/or to include them in your testimony if desired.
- Planning Commission is unaware that this process is the venue for deliberating and developing proposed code to implement the Draft Neighborhood Plans goals etc. therefore either extend this hearing or commit to holding another hearing once that work is done. Therefore, we request that The Greenway goals from the Draft RR/SC Neighborhood Plan will be evaluated by the Eugene Planning Commission and appropriate revisions will be incorporated into the WRG Clear and Objective code amendments. For example, consider the proposed code amendments that are intended to preserve the natural ambiance of the Willamette River Greenway. One addition could be to reduce allowed heights for C-2, C-3, G-0, R-2, R-3 and R-4 for the Willamette Greenway Zone within the boundaries of the River Road Community Organization.
- It appears that the proposed Clear and Objective Criteria are insufficient to make objective the following criteria in the original discretionary code for the Willamette Greenway:
- maximum possible landscaped area, open space, or vegetation between the activity and the river. See Point 5 below. Existing code: 9.8815(1)
- · necessary and adequate public access will be provided along the Willamette River by appropriate legal means. See Point 7 below. Existing code: 9.8815 (2)
- Protection of significant fish and wildlife habitats as identified in the Metropolitan Plan Natural Assets and Constraints Working Paper Indeterminate – unable to locate this document in the web but the goal 5 conservation setback is defined as within 100’ of high bank or 120 from ordinary high water and is designated via the /NR Natural Resource Zone & /WR Conservation Overlay are insufficient to protect significant fish and wildlife habitats. The goal 5 conservation setback is defined as within 100’ of high bank or 120 from ordinary high water Existing code: 9.8815(5)(b)
- Protection and enhancement of the natural vegetative fringe along the Willamette See Point 5 below (where private property is adjacent to Willamette Greenway Setback). Existing code: 9.8815(5)c
- Preservation of scenic qualities and viewpoints as identified in the Metropolitan Plan Natural Assets and Constraints Working Paper. See point 1 above (5)(d)
- Willamette River Greenway Tree Preservation Zones 1, 2, & 3 when located on public land should be required to only be planted with species native to the western United States. ( Exhibit F to Ordinance No. 2035 part 2) as required in the 10-foot native plant landscape buffer zone immediately outside the Willamette River Greenway Setback
Preserved Tree Preservation code is found at 9.6885 (2)(d)(5)
- No adjustments should be allowed for the 10-foot native plant landscape buffer zone immediately outside the Willamette River Greenway Setback Proposed Code: 9.8812(3)
- The 10-foot width and the L-2 standards for the 10-foot native plant landscape buffer zone immediately outside the Willamette River Greenway Setback are inadequate. Increase width to 20 ft and use the High Screen Landscape Standard (L-3). Additionally, this buffer should be required only for lots located immediately adjacent to parklands.
Proposed Code: 9.8812(3)(a)
- All pathways constructed on public land will be open to public use. (see appendix A – Goal 15 reference to public paths for support)
Our concern is that the majority of the tree preservation zones primarily lie within Eugene Park land and while admirable, they provide less than anticipated benefit to Eugene’s tree canopy.
Hearing Relevant links:
- Staff information page: https://www.eugene-or.gov/764/Land-Use-Code-Amendments
- Review the proposed code at https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/68138
- Staff report and information for hearing: https://www.eugene-or.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_01102023-1169
- Staff Provided FAQs can be found at https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/68314
- An interactive map of the proposed setbacks is at https://tinyurl.com/Greenway-Webmap
- Existing Eugene Land Use Code Chapter 9: https://eugene.municipal.codes/EC/9
Oregon Land Use Goal 5 Natural Resources, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Open Spaces links:
- Description and Implementing Regulations: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/OP/Pages/Goal-5.aspx
How to testify:
To provide written testimony, send an email to: email@example.com
To provide oral testimony during the Public Hearing: join using one of the two following options:
1. Join on your computer, tablet, or smartphone
Sign up to speak by clicking once on the “raise hand” icon
2. Join on your phone:
Dial one of the below numbers and enter the Webinar ID: 885 6835 2100
+1 833-548-0276 (Toll Free); or
+1 833-548-0282 (Toll Free); or
+1 877-853-5257 (Toll Free); or
+1 888-475-4499 (Toll Free);
For higher quality, dial a number based on your current location.
International numbers available: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/u/kbEgyMKe59
Sign up to speak by dialing *9 (Star-9)
How to watch: To watch a webcast of the meeting live visit: https://www.eugene-or.gov/2109/Planning-Commission-Webcasts
Appendix A References to Public Paths
GOAL 15: WILLAMETTE RIVER GREENWAY (OAR 660-015-0005)
C. CONSIDERATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
3. Use Management Considerations and Requirements.
c. Access — Adequate public access to the river shall be provided for, with emphasis on urban and urbanizable areas,
F. IMPLEMENTATION MEASURES
3. Greenway Compatibility Review:
b. The review of intensification, changes of use and developments as authorized by the Comprehensive Plan and zoning ordinance to insure their compatibility with the Greenway statutes and to insure that the best possible appearance, landscaping and public access are provided.
(2) Necessary public access will be provided to and along the river by appropriate legal means;
Existing Willamette Greenway Permit Code Language
9.8815(2) To the greatest possible degree, necessary and adequate public access will be provided along the Willamette River by appropriate legal means.