During the state board meetings in January, the Oregon Home Builders Association previewed their legislative priorities for the 2017 Legislative session, which began on February 1st. These priorities include their omnibus housing bill, the creation of preapproved multi-family designs, a proposal to use the same numbers for establishing both SDCs and UGBs, an SDC review task force, and allowing counties to approve ADUs in rural areas.
Oregon’s Legislative session began on February 1st and will run until July. During the state board meetings in January, our counterparts at OHBA previewed the areas that will be their primary focus throughout the legislative session.
- Omnibus housing bill – this bill proposed by OHBA seeks to address several problems by clarifying and strengthening existing law, or applying existing law in a different but related context. There are four primary goals of the bill, the first being to define the term “needed housing” – a legislative concept that is critical to discussions surrounding Metro’s Urban Growth Boundary. Next, the bill proposes some limitations on city and county authority to prohibit certain kinds of housing, including that a city or county may not prohibit certain types of housing from all residential zones or the building of a single-family dwelling on any legally created lot. Lastly, the bill would allow applicants for development to file a petition for a writ of mandamus if a city attempted to reduce the density of a development proposal below that allowed by the plan designation.
- Preapproved multi-family designs – Draft concept to have the Oregon Housing and Community Services Department create a process to develop pre-designed and pre-approved plans that could, if selected by a project developer, allow the project to skip the local site and design process. The process can often lead to extensive delays and additional expenses, which is especially problematic for affordable housing projects.
- Using same numbers for SDCs and UGBs – Jurisdictions are required to do population forecasting when they both establish Urban Growth Boundaries (UGBs) and establish System Development Charges (SDCs). Currently, however, there is no requirement that these two sets of calculations correspond which can cause significant disconnect. This draft concept proposes that jurisdictions are required to use the numbers proposed by either PSU or Metro for both UBG and SDC purposes.
- SDC task force – Draft concept creating a task force that analyzes existing SDC law and policy and reports back during the 2018 Legislative session. The proposal additionally includes issue areas the task force should consider, such as housing affordability, relationship to infrastructure funding, and best methods for SDC collection, as well as suggestions on what types of representatives and elected officials should be included in the task force.
- ADUs in rural residential zones – Currently, many counties believe they don’t have the ability to approve Auxiliary Dwelling Units (ADUs) as the existing law is largely ambiguous. Marion County is pursuing legislation that would allow counties to approve ADUs in rural areas and OHAB is working to help refine the language and support the bill in the legislature.
OHBA’s Jon Chandler will be proactively working on these issues, as well as many others, throughout the Legislative session and we will keep you apprised of any progress or updates affecting our membership.