Continued - See 2/1/22

Regular session-Springfield Development Code Update Project

Case: 811-18-000224-TYP4
This will be a joint regular session with the Springfield and Lane County Planning Commissions for their deliberations on the Springfield Development Code Update Project. A joint public hearing was held and January 4, 2022. At the conclusion of the public hearing, the joint Planning Commissions closed the public hearing and left the public comment record open until January 18, 2022 at 10 A.M. Comments received prior to that time will be considered by the joint Planning Commissions in their deliberations. The purpose of the Development Code Update Project is to change the Springfield Development Code to support efficient, timely, and clear development review. The updated Development Code will support Springfield’s economic development priorities and will honor Springfield’s hometown feel now and in the future. Phase 1 of the Development Code Update Project is focused on housing and includes the Middle Housing Code Updates required by legislation passed in 2019 (House Bill 2001). Phase 2 focuses on Employment Lands and includes development standards and procedural changes.
Webinar ID: 895 9844 1091    Passcode: 075656
Dial in at 1 253 215 8782  or 1 206 337 9723 


AIS for Code Update RS 1_18_22 ( 0.09 MB )
ATT1 CBM_1_18_22_PC_Deliberations ( 0.74 MB )
ATT2 PC Order and Recommendation 1 ( 0.68 MB )
ATT2 Exhibit A Phase 1 Code Sections - Housing ( 3.94 MB )
ATT2 Exhibit B Phase 2 Code Sections- Employment Lands ( 5.22 MB )
ATT2 Exhibit C Other Code Sections with Minor Changes ( 6.97 MB )
ATT2 Exhibit D-Staff Report ( 0.98 MB )
ATT3 Public Comments Received ( 4.84 MB )
ATT4 List of changes to code ( 0.66 MB )
Springfield Development Code (SDC) 5.6-115 (1)-(3)
The applicable approval criteria for the development code amendments are provided in the Springfield Development Code (SDC) 5.6‐115: 
In reaching a decision to adopt or amend the Springfield Development Code, the Council must adopt 
findings that demonstrate conformance to the following: 
(1) The Metro Plan [including the Springfield Comprehensive Plan]; 
(2) Applicable State statutes; and 
(3) Applicable State‐wide Planning Goals and   Administrative Rules.

Comments & Feedback

This case is closed, online commenting is no longer available.
Online comments closed at 10:00 AM PST 1/18/22.
I live in the Washburne and attended last meeting. The Washburne is one of the most distinctive neighborhoods in Springfield and needs further protections. I’m concerned that zoning changes would lead to tear-downs in the Washburne if there aren’t more rigorous protections for the houses already here. Currently, people have been fixing up the old houses. My concern is that those houses would be torn down instead of renovated, and that even houses in good condition could be torn down without strong historical protections for the neighborhood. That said, I think things that increase the density of the neighborhood are a good idea when they’re in keeping with the character of the neighborhood: infill on empty lots, and adding ADU’s/duplexes. I also think the boundary for new medium density housing should be west of 4th street, which is an area that already has a lot of apartment buildings, and ADUs/duplexes should be encouraged east of 4th, where single-family houses currently predominate. I’d also like to see policies in place to encourage home ownership (rather than renting), and to encourage rental development to be done by owner/occupiers (for instance, by adding ADUs). In my neighborhood, all problems (noise issues, reckless driving, fights) have been caused by renters, but in the case where the property owner lived in the neighborhood, the issue with the renter was able to be resolved quickly and without involving the police. In general, throughout the city, I’d also like to see more space given for trees/green requirements. I’m concerned that the setback requirements in the proposed code don’t give enough room for trees, or protections for trees that already exist. As someone who moved here from a midwestern city with “tree tunnels” (streets overhung by mature trees), I was shocked at how few trees are out here in comparison, when Oregon is known for growing trees. Trees reduce heat islands and improve quality of life for city residents – I think the planning code should include them.
January 18, 2022, 8:07 AM
Stephanie Clark
4 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment
Hello, I attended the online meeting a couple weeks ago and commented on a particular question/concern that I have with my primary residence and this proposed code update. I thought my situation would be a good example for review and application to the proposed code update and I wanted to follow up here because, in general, I feel there are still some issues with the proposed code wording that will leave a lot up to interpretation by planning staff instead of being made clear in writing within the code. I currently own a sfd on 1/2 acre in Springfield that is zoned MDR. Per the proposed code, this house would be non-conforming and could be disallowed from future occupancy if abandoned at any time. I am unclear what constitutes abandonment, but "non-confirming" and "abandonment", among other things in the proposed code update, raised questions in my mind. My house is a very nice, older house that would be a shame to lose in any future development or code change scenario. My question in the meeting was, if I were to develop my property to create at least the minimum number of dwelling units for the property size, could this existing sfd remain as is and be counted toward that minimum to maximum dwelling unit number? The answer given by Mark Rust in the meeting was "yes it would be allowed to remain". The problem is, I don't see this allowance specified anywhere in the proposed code language. My more pointed question now is, if the property were developed with the existing sfd counting toward the minimum to maximum number of dwelling units, would/could the existing sfd become "conforming" instead of being a "non-conforming, allowable use"? My comment to the committee is, it would be a waste to have to demolish this sfd structure for development and I would like to see language placed in the proposed code update to specify that preservation of existing structures is not only allowed but desired/encouraged by the city. This language could do much to make future developers know the intent and desire is to maintain existing sfd structures as part of this plan and maintain use of them, rather than only focusing on increasing density at all costs. There were several people who commented at the meeting who had similar concerns because the proposed code wording lends more toward the desire to maximizing density at the expense of preservation. In addition, I would like to see language included in the proposed code update that states if existing sfd structures are present, the property can be developed to greater density, and the existing sfd can remain as is to contribute to that greater density, without having to reach a minimum number of dwelling units for that particular property I would also like to see language included in the proposed code update that states that when some density is increased on an existing property (i.e. by adding, detached units like a cottage cluster), the existing, remaining sfd structure would become "conforming use" rather than "non-conforming, allowed use". In short, why not have the option of keeping existing sfd houses that become conforming while adding some density with other structures on that property, even if that resulting dwelling unit number does not reach the desired, minimum density for that property? My second comment relates to something Mark Rust said in the meeting. My impression was that he indicated it would be possible to subdivide a cottage from a cottage cluster, for example, into a tiny lot and sell it individually. It sounded like this was potentially desirable, however he seemed unclear about the implications of this. The idea being these would not only be used as perpetual rental housing units but provide future ownership opportunities. If I understood this correctly, I think if Mark is unclear of the implications of this issue it requires more thought and planning before implementing. There are many issues that could arise from extremely small pieces of property being sold individually, among them, access. Unless I misunderstood his comments in the meeting this is another area that should be planned out much more thoroughly and carefully described in writing within any proposed development code update before it is implemented. Another issue with this scenario is, wouldn't individual cottages from a cottage cluster, sold separately, become sfd's within a MDR or HDR zone? How is this reconciled in the "confirming" and 'non-conforming, but allowed" uses? In summary, I think there is more work to do on this before implementing. I request my comments be considered for the record. I request the planning commissioners of the city of Springfield and Lane County will consider my comments and the comments of others and have the proposed code language amended to specifically address these and other issues before implementing. I am for development, MDR and HDR goals but I am also for preservation of existing structures, including existing sfd structures that have become enveloped within MDR and HDR zoning since they were originally constructed. I believe there are ways to both develop and preserve and I think I've provided some examples of wording and ideas that can achieve both. Finally, I firmly believe that any proposed code wording needs to "put in writing" the guidelines for these and other issues to ensure the best possible result. Sincerely, Ryan Thomas PO Box 592 Springfield, OR 97477
January 17, 2022, 4:25 PM
Ryan Thomas
4 / 7 Planning Commissioners have viewed this comment
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