This page contains information about Measure 56 notices sent by the City for the PUD/Infill project (June 2014) and Water Resource Areas (December 2013).
PUD/Infill Development Code Amendments
1. Why did I get a notice?
The City determined that any property that could be divided, commercial properties, and industrial properties could be affected by the proposed regulations and needed to receive notice.
2. What is a Measure 56 notice?
In the November 1998 general election, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 56 (M 56). The measure requires cities and counties to provide affected property owners with notice of a change in zoning classification; adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan, or adoption or change of an ordinance in a manner that limits or prohibits previously allowed uses.
3. The notice says the proposed changes “may change the value of my property”. What does that mean?
There are a number of changes proposed. Generally, they would affect you if you wanted to divide your property.
The proposed PUD chapter limits this type of development to properties that are generally zoned residential. It removes the option for a commercial or industrial PUD, or a PUD with a mix of commercial and residential uses.
The proposed language also makes changes to flag lot requirements and provides for alternative residential development options like cluster development, cottage housing, and zero lot line housing.
See below for more details.
4. What is a PUD? How are these changes different from the existing PUD language?
A planned unit development (PUD) is a larger development that is developed according to a plan and is located on a single (or contiguous) tract of land.
The proposed PUD language allows developers flexibility to depart from existing zoning requirements in exchange for fulfilling an established set of planning criteria. This is a benefit since the PUD can include more efficient site design and lower infrastructure and maintenance costs. It also incentivizes affordable housing, parks, and open space in exchange for greater density.
The City’s current PUD language is most often applied to small infill subdivisions with natural resources and constrained areas, which was not its original intent. Currently, it may also be applied to non-residential properties; however, its provisions are geared to residential properties and it can be difficult to apply in non-residential situations. There are also few locations in the City where a PUD is appropriate for a commercial site.
Based on this, the proposed language is for residential uses only and it is designed to more effectively address larger developments. Other sections of the City’s Community Development Code should better able to address the small infill sites, particularly the proposed cluster development language.
As with the existing PUD language, it allows for density transfer and flexibility in lot area, size, and coverage. It also provides for a greater percentage of density bonus, but it does not allow for as many options to utilize it. It promotes sustainable development through the use of green building technologies and other planning practices.
5. Can you give me specific details about what this means for a PUD?
|Existing PUD||Proposed PUD|
|Lot Size||NA, except for density calculations||consistent with existing PUD requirements|
|Front lot width||NA, except for density calculations||consistent with existing PUD requirements|
|Average minimum lot width||NA, except for density calculations||consistent with existing PUD requirements|
|Lot depth (non Type I and II lands)||NA, except for density calculations||consistent with existing PUD requirements|
|Yards/setbacks (feet)||Same as base zone for properties contiguous to the perimeter of the project; the applicant may also propose alternative setbacks; otherwise:||Recommend lots along the perimeter that abut SF homes shall not be reduced to less than 75% of the minimum lot size of the underlying zone and shall contain SF homes.|
R-40, R-20 35%
R-10, R-7 45%
R-5, R-4.5 50%
R-3, R-2.1 60%
|Recommend that it be applied to total project area, exclusive of ROW/private streets|
|FAR||Base zone applies||Recommend that it be applied to total project area, exclusive of ROW/private streets|
|Usable open space||300 sq. ft. req., per Ch. 55 for lots under 4,000 sq. ft.||Recommend that it’s required if multifamily or 10 or more duplex or single family attached as per 55.100(F)(2)|
|Density transfer||75% for slopes 25-50%; 50% for natural resource areas; 100 for significant trees and public open space + additional limits in 24.140||Recommend up to 50% from natural resource lands, up to 100% from sig. trees and slopes 25-50% to discourage tree removal and building on steep slopes|
|Density bonuses||Up to 29%||Recommend up to 40%|
|Low cost/affordable housing||5-8%||Recommend up to 30%|
|Common wall housing||5% R-10 - R-40||NA|
|Additional open space||5% per 1/2 acre dedicated||Recommend 5% per 1/2 acre up to 20%|
|Parks||4-8% per 1/2 acre dedicated||Recommend 5% per 1/2 acre up to 30%|
6. What is a flag lot?
Flag lot development is common throughout the City, typically on lots where there is an existing house and enough land to partition or divide the property and, most often, add one or two additional houses. Less frequently, there are flag lots in new subdivisions or partitions where due to site conditions there is room for one or more additional lots, but there is not room for the lot to front a public street. Particularly on infill sites, there can be tight access and differences in scale and style between residences and neighboring properties. The proposed language tries to mitigate for this.
The “pole” area is not included when calculating the minimum lot size.
7. What do the proposed changes mean for new flag lot development?
|Mid-block lanes||Not required||Required if feasible|
|Accessway width||15 ft. for one lot, 8 ft. each for more than one||12 ft. paved, overall 15 ft.|
|Screening||Not required||Required if flag is within 7.5 ft. of the residence|
|Front yard||Front yard based on orientation; yard setback the same as the underlying||Require front to face accessway unless unable due to environmental constraints; 10 ft. yard setback and 20 ft. yard setback to the face of the garage|
|Side and rear yard/setbacks||Same as underlying||Same as underlying|
8. What is a mid-block lane?
The proposed changes require mid-block lanes, when feasible, to provide for increased access and connectivity in neighborhoods. These narrow lanes provide for access between areas where there are large blocks and few streets connecting areas within the neighborhood.
9. What is cluster development?
Cluster development is a development arrangement in which all buildings allowed on a site are concentrated on a portion of the site, leaving the remainder of the site undeveloped. This contrasts with the conventional land development and subdivision approach, which is to divide an entire site into lots, each of which meets minimum zoning lot size requirements and may be used for building construction.
By clustering buildings together on smaller lots rather than spreading development throughout the site, a developer would have greater flexibility to design around natural resources and other environmental constraints, without having to reduce the total number of developable lots. As a result, cluster development could provide a win-win approach for residents, developers, and the City to protect and buffer environmentally sensitive areas, to preserve important site features, or to provide recreation areas or natural open space. It also provides the flexibility to conserve or buffer natural resource lands. The overall density of the site would be the same or lower than if there were not natural resources or other constraints on the site.
10. What is cottage housing?
Cottage housing is typically smaller than other new construction – the proposal is for residences not to exceed 1,200 square feet – and constructed in groups of four to 12 houses. Common open space and a courtyard are required and there is often a community building or other space available for group use. Homes typically have one to two residents are occupied by young professionals, single parents, or those downsizing to a smaller home. The recommendation is for it to be permitted in R-3—R-10. Generally, the size of the property would need to be at least ½ acre.
11. Why is cottage housing proposed?
Cottage housing would provide additional opportunities for smaller, quality single family homes in West Linn. These houses are typically occupied by young professionals, single parents, the newly single, and empty nesters. Typically they have 1-2 residents. Often these individuals do not want, or cannot afford larger homes and lots, and this type of development would enable them to remain in West Linn.
12. What is zero lot line development?
Zero lot line development allows for flexibility in yard or setback regulations to allow single family homes to be sited on the property line on one side of the lot. The opposite side of the lot must have twice the required side yard or setback. These developments allow for greater land use efficiency and maximize the usable yard space. It would not provide for more lots or smaller lots than would have otherwise been permitted.
13. Who should I contact if I have more questions specific to my property?
Please contact Sara Javoronok, Associate Planner, by e-mail at email@example.com , by phone at 503-722-5512, or schedule a visit at the Planning Department, West Linn City Hall, 22500 Salamo Road.
14. How can I participate in the process?
There will be an informational open house at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall on June 19th.
The Planning Commission will hold a work session on these amendments at 6:00 p.m. on June 18th and a hearing at 6:30 p.m. on July 2nd. These meetings will be held in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
You may provide written comments that become part of the record for the Planning Commission and City Council by submitting them to staff or presenting them as public comment at the public hearing on July 2nd.
If you provide us with your name and address or provide public comment at the hearing you will have standing and will receive notice of future hearings and adoption.
Following a recommendation by the Planning Commission, the City Council will hold an additional public hearing. There will be an opportunity to submit written comments or provide public comments at the City Council public hearing.
Written comments may be submitted to Sara Javoronok, firstname.lastname@example.org , or mailed to 22500 Salamo Road, West Linn, OR 97068.
Water Resource Area Code Amendments
1. Why did I get a notice?
The City determined that any property owner that lives within 200 feet of a water resource, such as a creek, stream, or wetland, may be affected by the proposed regulations. Thus, all property owners who live within 200 feet of a water resource received notice of the proposed community development code changes to the Water Resource Area (WRA) chapter.
2. What is a Measure 56 notice?
In the November 1998 general election, Oregon voters approved Ballot Measure 56 (M 56). The measure requires cities and counties to provide affected property owners with notice of a change in zoning classification; adoption or amendment of a comprehensive plan; or adoption or change of an ordinance in a manner that limits or prohibits previously allowed uses.
3. What is a Water Resource Area (WRA)?
A WRA comprises all streams, wetlands and adjacent riparian areas.
4. Why do we need to protect WRAs?
Legal. To be in compliance with Oregon Statewide Planning Goal 5, which relates to natural resources; cities in the Metro area are required to adopt land use regulations that address water quality and flood management (Metro Title 3) and protect fish and wildlife habitat (Metro Title 13).
Maintaining water quality. Wetlands cleanse water by filtering or settling sediment and absorbing and breaking down excess nutrients and toxic substances. The vegetated areas along streams also filter pollutants that may otherwise reach the stream. This helps to maintain water quality at levels that will sustain fish and wildlife.
Flood mitigation. Wetlands and the vegetated areas around streams absorb and store storm water that might otherwise result in flooding and erosion.
Wildlife habitat. Wetlands and riparian areas provide a variety of habitats that support birds, mammals, amphibians and fish. Riparian areas along streams produce trees that eventually fall into the stream where they form pools and provide shelter for rearing fish. The vegetation also shades the water body which helps to maintain water temperatures needed to sustain fish and other aquatic life.
Recreation/Aesthetic Value. Wetlands and stream corridors provide open space, scenic areas and, in some instances, recreational opportunities such as hiking and wildlife viewing.
5. The notice says the proposed changes “may change the value of my property”. What does that mean?
For most people who live in, or near, a WRA, and do not plan any additions to their homes or buildings, the proposed changes will have no effect. Interior remodels and structural replacements within the same footprint are exempt. For people who plan to expand the footprint of their homes or buildings, it will generally, but not always, increase their development options. People who have vacant undeveloped property over 17,000 square feet in size will also see an increase in their development options.
6. Can you give me some examples of how you propose to change or improve the WRA chapter?
Yes, the proposed chapter is intended to:
- Simplify the review process.
- Eliminate the use of the Public Works Department’s Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) map to identify WRAs. The SWMP is a utility plan and is not concerned with identifying WRAs. By adopting a map specific to WRAs we can avoid confusion as to whether a property is affected by the WRA chapter.
- Make reasonable allowances to develop for owners of “hardship” properties that are partially or completely within the WRA.
- Provide continued protection of the resources.
- Add the option for property owners to create WRA boundaries specific to their property based on findings by wetland biologists or similarly trained professionals.
- Include Metro’s “Habitat Friendly Development Practices”. Property owners can make simple modifications to their development proposals to improve water quality and habitat protection (e.g. use of water permeable pavers).
- Exempt Temporarily Disturbed Areas (“TDAs”) from counting against the maximum amount of water resource area that a property owner can develop when a WRA permit is issued. TDAs are areas that are completely restored to natural grade and re-vegetated with native plants after the property is developed and disturbance is caused to the area.
- Increase exemptions from the permitting process.
- Change how we delineate the WRA. The WRA is based on the slope adjacent to the creek, stream or wetland. The table below contrasts the existing method with the proposed method.
7. Who should I contact if I have more questions specific to my property?
Please contact Peter Spir, Associate Planner, by e-mail at email@example.com  , by phone at 503-723-2539 or schedule a visit at the Planning Department, West Linn City Hall.
8. How can I participate in the process?
The Planning Commission Public Hearing on the ordinance is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, January 15, 2014. The Council will also hold a public hearing after it receives the Planning Commission’s recommendation. Citizens can contact Peter Spir at firstname.lastname@example.org  or (503) 723-2539 for further information. Information is also available on the City’s website at: http://westlinnoregon.gov/planning/proposed-water-resource-area-code-cha... .