City Staff Changes Large Swaths of Neighborhood from Medium to High Density

Action Needed:

Contact City Council [Eugene Mayor, City Council, and City Manager” <>] NO LATER THAN SUNDAY MAY 23 and tell them to engage JWN leadership. Ask the City to send notice to the over 1,100 property owners who were never informed about the doubling of S-JW and S-C/R-2 density. With adequate time allowed and good-faith collaboration with JWN leadership, there can be an opportunity to also engage more of the JWN members.

What does that mean to you?

The proposed changes mean that standard-sized lots in these two zones would allow FOUR dwellings, rather than the current limit of TWO dwellings. The result would allow HIGH-DENSITY (29 to 38 dwellings per acre) development in these two MEDIUM-DENSITY zones that currently allow 15 to 20 dwellings per acre.

What areas are impacted?

We found out at a rather late date, and with no notification to either the JWN Executive Board or neighbors, that city staff is recommending large swaths of the JWN be upzoned from medium to high density. The proposed ordinance was posted online on May 5th, just 12 days before the May 17th Public Hearing. No notice was sent to any of the residents or property owners to advise them of the ordinance that was the subject of the public hearing. An earlier notice was sent in April to only 15 of the over 1,100 households in these zones. Contrary to what that notice stated, the planners didn’t make any version of the ordinance available for review at the time the notice was sent.

The City of Eugene’s Neighborhood Organization Recognition Policy requires that neighborhood associations be advisory to the City Council, Planning Commission, and other city boards, commissions, and officials on matters affecting their neighborhoods. There are multiple statutory and local regulations requiring proper and effective notice–starting at least 35 days before the public hearing–when such radical zoning changes are proposed. The city failed on all counts, leaving over 1,100 households unaware of this de facto upzoning.

These zoning changes are being done in the guise of making our special area zones “compliant” with the state law on ADUs (accessory dwelling units). However, there is no such requirement.

  • The Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has already stated that the current zoning regulation is compliant.
  • We have prior statements by the City Attorney and Planning Director stating the current zoning regulation is compliant.
  • A land use attorney engaged by a JWN member also found the current zoning regulation is compliant.

We have made repeated attempts to work with Planning Division staff (we met in-person and exchanged numerous emails) in an attempt to either change their strategy or convince staff to do the required public notification and take public feedback. So far, staff has entirely rebuffed and stonewalled the JWN.

Our continuing efforts to reach a compromise are why this notification is so late going out.

To be clear this is NOT about delaying or obstructing the ADU Ordinance. The JWN supports the 1-to-1 ADU to detached structure mandate of SB 1501. This is about lack of notification and overreach. What is proposed is not required by the ADU statutes or any court opinion.

Even if you support increased density – the process here should cause you concern. Next time it could be anyone who is unpleasantly “surprised” on any changes to zoning with little or no chance to respond.

The JWN wants the ADU Ordinance to go into effect, but staff’s current trajectory is toward a costly, time-consuming, and completely avoidable appeal. The clear failure to provide the required notification to owners of impacted properties in the S-JW Zone and S-C/R-2 subarea zone alone is grounds for appeal, let alone the direct conflicts with the comprehensive plan.

The impacted area

Here are points to include in your message to City Council:

  • The Jefferson Westside Special Area Zone (S-JW Zone) and the Chambers Special Area Zone, “R-2” subarea (S-C/R-2 subarea) are being “de facto” rezoned into high-density zones, doubling allowable density of our already dense neighborhood.
  • The proposed changes include doubling the level of alley development and traffic — more dust and vehicle noise in backyards; more potential for vehicle/pedestrian bike conflicts. Recall, the city does not pay to maintain alleys – homeowners pay.
  • The proposal tears apart the carefully constructed balance of density and livability. The S-JW already allows for 40% more dwellings, but limits the scale and impacts.
  • Only 15 of over 1,100 households were notified of this radical upzoning and no one from the JWN Executive Board was contacted to provide input into the Planning Division process.
  • Despite repeated, good-faith requests from the JWN Chair, staff rebuffed any constructive engagement and instead held back JWN comments and recommendations from the City Council.
  • No one knew the full extent of the extreme nature of the upzoning until May 5, just 12 days before the May 17 Public Hearing. No time to become informed or formulate effective comments.
  • The City Council’s decision is scheduled for May 24, far too little time for any meaningful revisions to the staff proposal.
  • The staff proposal violates the Metro Plan “Medium Density Designation” maximum density of 28.56 dwelling units per net acre. Using reliable analysis, the upzoning will allow from over 29 upwards to 38 dwelling units per net acre
  • Council needs to hold off on any decision until there can be a legitimate chance for citizen involvement.

The problems here are so serious and obvious that an appeal is guaranteed, yet again delaying implementation of the ADU Ordinance. Further delays are both unacceptable and avoidable, if only staff would agree to the required public notification and time for people to respond and negotiate with the JWN on an acceptable solution.

Action Needed: Contact City Council [Eugene Mayor, City Council, and City Manager” <>] NO LATER THAN SUNDAY MAY 23 and tell them to engage JWN leadership. Ask the City to send notice to the over 1,100 property owners who were never informed about the doubling of S-JW and S-C/R-2 density. With adequate time allowed and good-faith collaboration with JWN leadership, there can be an opportunity to also engage more of the JWN members.”

Fixing Sidewalks

Based on member feedback, the JWN is focusing on a solution to our hazardous sidewalks. With improving infrastructure, reducing our carbon footprint, and pedestrian safety on the agenda at the federal state and local level, we feel now if a good time to push for a better solution. As a first step, the JWN wants to map the condition of our sidewalks and document the impacts that damaged sidewalks have on personal health and safety. We need volunteers to help! Contact us at

A top complaint to the JWN is the tragic condition of our sidewalks. Currently, property owners are responsible for sidewalks and any injuries suffered due to falls. Yet sidewalks are transportation infrastructure and should be maintained like streets – we would not expect homeowners to repair and maintain the streets in front of their homes for obvious reasons.

Sidewalks provide carbon-free transportation as well as health and social benefits, especially for seniors. If the city is serious about carbon reduction and reducing injuries and fatalities in the transportation system via Vision Zero, it needs to include sidewalks as transportation infrastructure.

Many homeowners have limited incomes and sidewalk repairs can be a huge expense. Our goal is to get transportation infrastructure funding to partially or fully subsidize repairing sidewalks.

But first we need data. So if you or someone you know has fallen and been injured, contact the JWN with:

  • The age and gender of the person who fell. Names are not required (and won’t be shared).
  • A brief description of the injury suffered and if EMS was involved or a trip to the emergency room or doctor was required.
  • A brief description of the incident (no matter how long ago).
  • An approximate time of day/year and weather conditions at the time of the fall.
  • An approximate location of the fall.
  • Any action taken (report filed, homeowner contacted).
  • The impact of the fall on walking as an activity.

Changing W. 11th and W. 13th  from One-Way to Two-Way Streets

The Eugene Transportation System Plan 2035 (TSP) identifies projects and goals that help meet citywide objectives, two of which are decreasing the burning of fossil fuels and decreasing traffic-related injuries and deaths. The TSP also identifies changing one-way streets to bi-directional streets to reduce out-of-direction travel and making changes to lower traffic speeds to reduce injury severity. Eugene’s Vision Zero, the goal to reduce life-changing injuries and deaths in our transportation systems, identifies a High Crash Network – the 9% of streets that account for 70% fatal and life-changing injury crashes. It is no surprise that the entire length of W. 11th and W. 13th in the JWN are part of this High Crash Network. Reverting these streets to two-way travel will reduce speeds and carbon emissions and increase safety, especially for people looking to cross these streets. The JWN is looking for neighbor feedback on this idea and people who are willing to help with outreach efforts. Contact us at



The Jefferson Westside Neighbors area is defined by its many, and often mature large, street trees. It may surprise you that tree canopy cover in Eugene is below the national average and declining by about 1% a year. Increasing citywide canopy cover to 30% (currently it is 23%) is one of six urban forestry goals outlined in Eugene’s Climate Action Plan 2.0. Mature street trees help define our community culture. There are many benefits of trees: Trees help mitigate global warming and save energy; help mitigate extreme weather impacts; reduce pollution and make us healthy; make streets safer; make us saner; provide habitat; protect homes from wind and reduce heating costs. While we have a lot of trees in the JWN, we lose some every year, so we need to keep planting replacements. Eugene has room to plant 15,000 new trees! The new selection of approved street trees ensures ease of care and that roots won’t damage sidewalks. Working with Friends of Trees, we want to map our “tree holes” – open spaces where street trees can go. Help us add more trees! Contact us and see for more information.