Zoned Out

Last Sunday, the state of Oregon followed Minneapolis’ lead on zoning for single-family housing.  Sioux Falls, and much of South Dakota, is facing serious housing challenges.  This state-wide effort would allow duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and attached townhomes in any Oregon community above 25,000 people that is currently zoned as single-family (and to a lesser degree in communities over 10,000 people).  This is a pre-zoning traditional approach to housing.  Read more about Oregon’s new law:

Feature photo by Michael Andersen

4 Replies to “Zoned Out”

  1. I think this would be a great approach to some of the housing in the city, but I’d be in more in favor of AHJ’s requiring an architect’s involvement in the design and repurposing of existing or new structures that house multiple families, so we don’t end up with “modified” cookie-cutter home-builder approaches to densification, but rather a tasteful approach with larger goals in mind like promoting safety and walkability.

  2. Chase, I think your idea with AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdiction) would be a nice caveat within this proposal & goal, no? This zoning solution would be no silver bullet, and some folks in single family zoning would certainly freak out, but it’s worth considering the substantial overall social impact.

  3. Ditching SFR zoning would be the fourth or fifth step to solving affordable housing, IMO. Pinning outward growth to population growth, or some other growth management policy should be established first. Allowing ADU’s by right and eliminating parking minimums should also occur.

  4. Need some incentives to get builders to work in the core versus chasing the “easy” work on the outskirts and continue the sprawl. Development fees on the outskirts should reflect the city’s long-term maintenance costs. Encouraging density at every opportunity should be a default strategy.

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