It was disappointing to see Paul Conte accuse Kaarin Knudson of promoting false narratives (“ADU Housing is Not the Answer,” EW Letters 9/30), given the amount of hyperbole, selective information and straight-up falsehoods in his own letter.
The standard height limit for ADUs, under the newly passed code, is 15 feet at the 5-foot setback from the neighbor’s backyard; not 22 feet as Conte implies.
The Land Use Board of Appeals remanded the city’s ADU code based on appeals from the Homebuilders Association twice; there were not six appeals as Conte claims. These appeals addressed Eugene’s failure to comply with a state law that required Eugene to allow homeowners to create ADUs on their property. The Homebuilders Association was joined in its efforts to ensure Eugene allowed more homes in our community by groups as varied as 1,000 Friends of Oregon and AARP Oregon, and dozens of Eugene residents from all over the city, including housing and climate activists.
Most importantly, Conte falsely states that ADUs can’t provide housing that is affordable. While newly built luxury ADUs that cost hundreds of dollars a square foot are possible, many ADUs are created by converting outbuildings, garages or underused portions of existing homes into separate dwellings. This is one of the least expensive, most affordable ways to provide new homes in our community. Eugene’s convoluted and illegal ADU regulations prevented homeowners from contributing positive solutions to our housing crisis, and I join Knudson in thanking the City Council for finally fixing this problem.