At their General Meeting on May 11th, members of the Jefferson Westside Neighbors (JWN), a City Council-chartered neighborhood organization, overwhelmingly endorsed a blueprint to implement changes to the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan that would allow for the construction of medium- or high-density, Family-Friendly Housing on the old Naval Reserve site on W. 13th Avenue. The site is owned by the City of Eugene and is just north of César Chávez Elementary School. Currently St. Vincent DePaul manages a small car camping spot on the site.
This project is part of ongoing efforts by the JWN to address the local housing crisis via encouraging the construction of permanent supportive housing, placement of temporary managed shelters, and preserving the neighborhood’s affordable rental housing inventory.
The approved Charter for the Family-Friendly Housing Refinement Plan Amendment Project provides a roadmap to assemble stakeholders into an Implementation Team to gather expert testimony and public comments on the best course of action in amending the refinement plan. This team will then propose specific refinement plan amendments to the JWN membership for a final vote and submission to City Council by summer 2022. The goal is to then have the City Council initiate a formal land use process to adopt the recommended amendments.
Originally proposed by the JWN in 2013, the hope is that the City will eventually contract with a local service provider to build affordable, Family-Friendly Housing. The property is centrally located, across from an elementary school, near several churches, and close to shopping, the Fern Ridge Bike Trail, and Westmoreland Park. Future housing on that site would be served by public transit on W. 13th Avenue and other nearby transit routes. With all these services and amenities, the site is considered an ideal location where families with children can thrive.
The old Naval Reserve site is currently designated and zoned Public Land, which doesn’t allow housing development. To allow any housing development, the site must be redesignated as residential by amending the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan. It is longstanding City policy for neighborhood organizations to develop neighborhood plans and proposals with respect to land use, zoning, and housing; thus providing the policy basis for the JWN’s initiative.
For more information and updates, visit http://www.jwneugene.org/naval-reserve-site-housing-project