Housing Options Project - More Info
Staff has developed three alternative ways the city could regulate where and how more housing types would be allowed in residential neighborhoods. By asking community members to consider these alternatives, we hope to learn what is important to community members about housing variety so we can consider that while developing new rules.
Alternative 1 – The Maximum Opportunity Approach
This approach starts by asking – How can we provide maximum flexibility for property owners and developers that want to add middle housing units in Beaverton neighborhoods?
This approach would remove the greatest number of potential development barriers to allow property owners more freedom to add housing units in neighborhoods. Middle housing types would be allowed on nearly all lots (over a minimum size) in residential neighborhoods. Bulk and scale of newer homes would be regulated mostly through height maximums and setbacks, facilitating larger buildings. These larger buildings would potentially include homes with more units or more bedrooms that could support large families or multiple generations living under one roof. Minimum off-street parking requirements and design standards would be kept to a minimum.
Alternative 2 – The Ecological Footprint Approach
This approach starts by asking – How can the size, shape and orientation of homes reduce the ecological footprint of housing and mitigate the impacts of climate change?
This approach would regulate home size to encourage smaller homes that use less energy. Development standards would be more flexible to support solar energy, tree preservation and/or passive cooling opportunities. Rules would require additional open space on the site. Some design standards would regulate the appearance of buildings, such as by having windows and doors facing the street. Off-street parking requirements would be less than one space per home and some locations would have limits on the maximum number of off-street parking spaces.
Alternative 3 – The Neighborhood Context Approach
This approach starts by asking – How can the size, shape and orientation of homes respond to existing residential development patterns and minimize changes in the look and feel of neighborhoods?
This approach would result in context-specific rules for different neighborhood types. In Beaverton, older neighborhoods have larger lots with mostly single-story homes. Newer neighborhoods have smaller lots with mostly multi-story homes. With this approach, each neighborhood type would have distinct development standards. The rules would allow the same square footage in each neighborhood type, but the scale and height of homes would be different to be more similar to existing buildings in the neighborhood. This approach would have more design standards, with a focus on how the buildings look from the street. Minimum off-street parking requirements would be higher in this approach.
The alternatives incorporate themes and suggestions from previous public engagement. The city does not have to choose one of the alternatives, as it is possible to mix and match features to craft a hybrid approach.
In May and June, staff will provide more information about the alternatives, and there will be opportunities to share your ideas and feedback. Join our mailing list to make sure that you hear about upcoming opportunities.
Staff also will be evaluating how these alternatives address things like racial equity, climate change mitigation and how they meet people’s housing needs to inform future decisions about how to regulate housing in neighborhoods.
You can also watch a video preview of the alternatives from a recent City Council work session.
Issues and Opportunities
- Fact Sheet: New State Middle Housing Law
- Best Practices Research
- Issues and Opportunities (Consultant Report)
- Issues Summary (Brief Overview)
- Open House Engagement Summary
- Plan, Policies and Code Evaluation (Consultant report)
- Housing Landscape Summary (Consultant report)
- Community Engagement Report: Accessory Dwelling Unit Survey Results
Related Plans and Documents
This project is designed to implement Beaverton's Community Vision, Comprehensive Plan and Housing Five Year Action Plan. The following are selected goals and actions from those documents:
- Develop a housing strategy and action plan to ensure balanced housing options for all needs, including executives, families, seniors and a diverse workforce. (Action 101)
- Integrate affordable housing into diverse area neighborhoods ... and develop strategies to facilitate micro-housing on existing home lots. (Action 102)
- Identify ways to ... expand the supply of age-in-place housing. (Action 29)
- Allow a wider variety of housing choices that can accommodate a range of ages, household sizes and/or income levels while ensuring the new housing responds to the scale and form of the neighborhood. (Land Use Element Goal 3.2.1)
Housing Five Year Action Plan
- Released in 2017, the Housing Five Year Action Plan describes specific actions to achieve the goals and implement the policies of the city's Comprehensive Plan, and pairs those actions with forecasted budgets. Annual work plans guide the city's housing-related activities for the year. The Housing Options Project is included in the work plans for fiscal years 2018-2022.