The Springfield Development Code is the principle document that implements local, state, and federal land use, transportation, and environmental laws applicable in the City of Springfield. The current Development Code was adopted in 1987. Other than a general “housekeeping” update that occurred from 1998 to 2005, the Code has been revised only to comply with state or federal laws, or as directed by the City Council in response to a specific issue or objective. The Springfield City Council recognizes that the Springfield Development Code is difficult to use, understand, and implement. Resolving the complexities and outdated nature of the code will help achieve the economic and housing goals for our community. The Council has directed staff to complete a full Development Code Update over approximately three years, from 2019 to 2022.
Phase 1 – Housing:
Back in February 2020 the City released three draft updated code sections for public review at the direction of the Springfield City Council for the Phase 1, Housing/Residential of the Development Code Update Project. Since that time many things have changed and a lot has been going on.
The State of Oregon passed new legislation, House Bill 2001 (HB 2001), in 2019 that requires among other things for the City to allow Middle Housing on residentially zoned lots and parcels that allow development of single family homes. Middle Housing is defined as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, townhomes, and cottage clusters.
City staff has been participating on multiple State committees to help inform the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) in writing the Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR’s, or rules) that will implement the new legislation. In discussing the implementation of HB 2001 with Springfield City Council, it was decided to move forward with the housing code updates, including trying to fully implement the new HB 2001 provisions, ahead of the final rules from the state. As the rule making process has continued at the state level it is becoming clearer that the draft code sections that were released for public review and comment will likely have to be revised to incorporate rule language that was not anticipated.
On June 22, 2020 the City Council was given an update on the process. After discussion and consideration the Council gave direction to staff to not proceed with additional public outreach efforts in anticipation of having to make changes to the draft code, wait for the state rules, and then reengage with the public after the final rules are clearer. Listen to meeting recording to learn more.
The Planning Commission received an update on the status of the project and most recent direction from City Council on July 7, 2020. The Planning Commission, acting in their capacity as the Committee for Citizens Involvement (CCI), also approved some changes to the Community Engagement Plan for the project in order to be consistent with the direction given by the City Council. View meeting materials and the updated Community Engagement Plan to learn more.
Ongoing discussions are happening at the state level in regard to the rule making process for implementing the Middle Housing legislation (HB 2001). Interested parties can “attend” these meetings virtually, view the meeting materials, and provide written comment. The schedule of the upcoming meetings can be found at the State of Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development Commission (DLCD) website here:
Phase 2 – Employment Lands:
Along with proceeding with Phase 1 for housing as discussed above we are continuing to work on Phase 2 of the project to update the code related to employment lands (commercial/industrial). The City of Springfield Planning Commission, acting in their capacity as the Committee for Citizens Involvement (CCI) appointed nine members to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for this phase of the project. In addition, the City is continuing to recruit for additional members for this TAC. View application materials to learn more.
The current topic being considered for Phase 2 is an audit of the existing Minimum Development Standards (MDS) and Site Plan Review sections of the Springfield Development Code (SDC).
Project Purpose and Objectives
The established project purpose and objectives were developed in conjunction with the Springfield City Council and Planning Commission and approved as part of the Community Engagement Plan for the project.
The Purpose of the Development Code Update Project is to change the Springfield Development Code to support efficient, timely, and clear development review. The updated Development Code will support Springfield’s economic development priorities and will honor Springfield’s home town feel now and in the future.
The Project objectives are to:
- Enable quick review of development applications.
- Provide easy to understand code language presented in a clear and user-friendly format.
- Provide a straight-forward processing path to development decisions.
- Support/further economic development in all sectors.
- Protect and enhance the beauty of our city to boost or stabilize property values, encourage investment, and improve the image of the community.
- Comply with mandatory regulatory requirements including implementation of HB 2001.
- Implement the City’s adopted policies.
When complete, the updated Development Code should:
Yimbyes.org Podcast on the Development Code Update Project
This podcast provides an update on how the Development Code will promote housing of diverse types. It explains the purpose and expected outcomes of the Development Code Update Project. Additionally, it covers how the code update puts the city ahead in addressing recent legislation around middle housing. Committee members also share what the code update means to the community and how it may affect neighborhoods and opportunities to get involved.
- October 5, 2020 – City Council Work Session – Quarterly Project check in. Agenda packet
- October 6, 2020 – Planning Commission Work Session – Quarterly Project check in. Agenda packet
Previous Meetings, Project Documents, Additional Background
View previously held meetings and materials, other related project documents and additional background here.
Technical Advisory Committee
The Springfield Planning Commission acting as the Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI) approves members for the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the Development Code Update project.
Phase 1: Housing Phase TAC – View membership list here.
Phase 2: Employment Lands (Commercial/Industrial) Phase TAC – View membership list here.
Recruitment for additional Phase 2 TAC membership continues. Learn more by viewing application packet.
To receive email updates and notices about the project please sign up on our project email list.
Current Development Code
The current Development Code can be found here.
Work Tasks and Timeline
Click the photo below to download
Mark Rust, AICP
Molly Markarian, Senior Planner