Testify on the Willamette Greenway Code Amendment Hearing

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.

  1. 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.   
  • 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)   

  • 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)

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:

Oregon Land Use Goal 15 Willamette Greenway links:

Oregon Land Use Goal 5 Natural Resources, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Open Spaces links:

How to testify:  

            To provide written testimony, send an email to:  greenwaytestimony@eugene-or.gov

To provide oral testimony during the Public Hearing: join using one of the two following options:

1. Join on your computer, tablet, or smartphone

Visit: https://eugene-or-gov.zoom.us/j/88568352100

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



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,


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. 

Link to this PDF: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zp84l9IgW4CbJnstFJ2BI2O3ojWEczXK/view?usp=sharing