Middle Housing: Offering Housing Choice in Durham

Starting in July 2022 new code amendments will allow duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters to be built in residential areas. These new middle housing developments will mean increasing housing options for those that want them. The goal is to create more home ownership opportunities for the people of Durham. This means it will be easier for people to find the home that works best for them during their current phase of life.

These changes are required by the Oregon Legislature’s House Bill 2001, and have been adopted successfully by many other cities throughout Oregon. These changes will create choices for renters and homeowners across multiple price levels, as well as allowing for greater variety in household structures. These new opportunities will also make it easier for Durham residents to age in place, with accessible homes that still offer independence.

The project started in the fall of 2021 with a review of the current city code. The technical team then drafted code amendments that were presented to the Durham City Council and Planning Commission in two joint working sessions. The final code updates were approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council in May 2022.  Once the Council approves the Ordinance at their June 28th meeting the amendments will be fully adopted.  Throughout the project the wider community was updated through City newsletters and this website.  An online survey was posted to the project website from January to April 2022 and two virtual information sessions were held in February 2022 to hear from the community about their values, goals and concerns for middle housing.

FAQs

What is middle housing?

Middle housing refers to housing types that fill the gap between apartments and detached single dwellings. They can include duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhomes, and cottage clusters. HB 2001 includes specific definitions for each of these housing types.

  • Housing should be adaptable. Household sizes are changing and evolving as their members pass through different phases of life.
  • There is a housing crisis. Not just in Oregon but nationwide. There is not enough housing or enough types of housing to meet people’s needs.
  • Homes are more than just a place to live. Especially during COVID-19. They serve as our workplaces, our schools, and how we take care of our families and friends.

Does HB 2001 ban single family dwellings?

No, single-family detached dwellings will still be allowed. HB 2001 allows more types of housing to be constructed in low-density residential zones but does not restrict development of single-family detached dwellings.

Why was HB 2001 created?

The principles behind HB 2001 mirror a national movement, which calls for increasing housing of all types to alleviate shortages throughout the country. Here in Oregon, there is an increasing lack of housing, particularly housing priced that the average resident can afford. Oregon is one of the fastest growing states in the country, but state policies, zoning codes, community opposition, and other factors have made it challenging to accommodate population growth. HB 2001 was created to help increase the amount and types of housing available to Oregonians.

How does HB 2001 affect accessory dwelling units (ADUs)?

HB 2001 prevents local governments from requiring owner occupancy or additional parking for ADUs. ADUs are small, secondary housing units constructed on the same property as an existing house. This provision went into effect on January 1, 2020.

Can the City, private individuals, or homeowners’ associations pass new regulations or rules to prevent middle housing in other ways?

HB 2001 prohibits middle housing from being restricted through alternate means, including documents recorded against a property or other governing documents that occur on or after Aug. 8, 2019 (the effective date of the act). This means that homeowners’ associations and related groups can’t create new rules to prohibit middle housing.

Where can I find HB 2001 to read for myself?

HB 2001 can be found on the Oregon State Legislature website

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2019R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB2001/Enrolled

 

 

Posted on January 5, 2022