Housing Options Project - More Info

Racial Equity

City staff is using a racial equity toolkit to guide the development of several equitable housing strategies for City Council and the public to review. This toolkit was used to develop both the draft preferred approach and alternatives.

This involves studying existing racial inequities; identifying desired outcomes; considering the impact of new housing policies in specific geographic areas; prioritizing engagement with communities of color, low-income workers and renters; and evaluating whether proposals are likely to produce desired outcomes.

Draft Preferred Approach

In August and September, staff created a draft preferred approach that blends several themes from public engagement, feasibility analysis, racial equity analysis and Planning Commission and City Council comments.

The changes proposed as part of the draft preferred approach touch on the following three themes:

1. Flexibility: Promoting financially feasible housing variety opportunities in neighborhoods to reduce segregation; promote racial               equity; support building designs that respond to site and climate; increase opportunities for people to live in places that meet their           needs; and expand options for property owners.

2. Context: customizing where and how units are allowed based on site or neighborhood characteristics in different areas of Beaverton

3. Community: Promoting housing design and outdoor open space on lots with new housing to help neighbors get to know each other       better.

Public engagement is ongoing. Join our mailing list to receive updates on upcoming opportunities for you to share what you think about the draft preferred approach.

Alternatives

This past spring, staff 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 hoped to learn what is important to community members about housing variety so that we could consider that while developing new rules.

You can learn more about the alternatives by visiting the online open house, which is no longer open to public comment but still available as a reference. Or by visiting the public engagement report on this page to learn more about participants' values and priorities for housing variety.

At the joint City Council/Planning Commission work session on July 27, 2021 staff presented these three alternatives to City Council and the Planning Commission so that they could provide comments to guide staff's work on a draft preferred approach. The video can be found here.

Below is a summary of each alternative:

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.

Project Documents

Draft Preferred Approach - Additional Information

Alternatives - Additional Information

Racial Equity Analysis

Issues and Opportunities

Project Start

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:

Community Vision

  • 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)

Comprehensive Plan

  • 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.