Accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, provide reasonable-cost housing to families in our community. In 2017, the Oregon Legislature passed a law that requires local governments to allow at least one ADU to be built on every lot where there is a single-family home. Of course, the Eugene City Council had other ideas, and organizations like the Home Builders Association and AARP challenged the city by filing an action with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals.
That review is now complete and, of course, the city’s restrictions on ADUs were determined to be illegal under Oregon law. The Eugene City Council again has the opportunity to reject NIMBYism and get serious about housing affordability like its more progressive next-door neighbor to the east. Yes, Springfield is more progressive on housing policy than Eugene — and certainly with regard to ADUs. In Springfield, any single-family homeowner can construct an ADU on their property, and the city of Springfield will even waive the system development charges.
If Eugene wants to be as serious as Springfield on solving our area housing crisis, they will change their tune and authorize ADUs without delay.