By: Rand Campbell
In Oregon, Accessory Dwelling Units (“ADUs”) are currently only allowed in urban areas. They are prohibited on rural lands zoned, such as those zoned Exclusive Farm Use ("EFU") and Rural Residential. This means that rural landowners in areas surrounding a city cannot qualify for an ADU even if their property shares many similarities with nearby land that is within a city’s limits. However, the Oregon Legislature is considering a statewide change to allow some ADUs on rural lands.
If passed, SB 88 would allow ADUs outside cities on land zoned for rural residential uses. This includes Rural Residential, Mixed-Use Agriculture ("MUA"), and Urban Area Reserve zones. But, ADUs would still not be allowed on EFU land. Legislators see this as a tool to address the growing housing crisis in Oregon.
Central Oregon could see significant change if SB 88 is passed. Much of the land surrounding cities like Bend, Redmond, and La Pine, are currently zoned for rural residential use. If adopted by the Legislature, many landowners would be able to build ADUs on their land. This could change the housing market by creating new opportunities for renters, home buyers, and even shorter term (vacation) tenants.
Rand Campbell is a law student at Willamette Law. When he graduates in 2019, Rand is interested in practicing land use law in Central and Eastern Oregon. After serving as an extern for the firm this past summer, Rand is now working for Van Vactor Law LLC as law clerk.
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