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The Pushback Against Single-Family Zoning

Housing Inventory

The Oregonian reported on Sunday that the State’s senate approved a bill to eliminate single-family zoning in many Oregon cities. 

House Bill 2001 passed by a 17-9 vote, and now heads to Governor Kate Brown’s desk to be signed into law. 

The law would allow duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and “cottage clusters” on land that was once reserved for single-family housing. Single-family housing would be prohibited in cities with more than 25,000 residents, and cities with at least 10,000 residents would be required to allow duplexes in single-family zones. 

According to the report, the bill hopes to address affordability concerns by increasing the supply of smaller homes, especially in sought-after areas.

The report states that many of the provisions in the bill won’t go into effect until 2020, as time will be needed to all city planners to revise zoning codes. 

Oregon’s move away from single-family housing is one well chronicled, as the New York Times profiled numerous cities looking to move away from it.

The New York Times stated that California lawmakers have drafted a bill that would effectively end single-family housing. These lawmakers state that this change is necessary, “ amid mounting crises over housing affordability, racial inequality and climate change.”

Minneapolis, Minnesota will end single-family zoning city wide as well, across zoning on 70% of the city’s residential land, or 53% of all land. According to Minneapolis director of long-range planning Heather Worthington, a drastic change such as this was the best option.

According to Urban footprint, converting 5% of Minneapolis’s largest single-family plots into triplexes would create 6,200 new units of housing. Despite the benefits proposed by lawmakers, Minnepolis’s plan has drawn criticism.

“What we’re selling here in Minneapolis — or what our planning department and our city council are selling — is that we’re new, we’re state of the art, we’re cutting-edge, we’re virtue signaling,” said Lisa McDonald in the New York Times, a former Minneapolis City Council member.

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.

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