LA GRANDE – Last month the City of La Grande Planning Commission met and unanimously voted to send proposed land use code amendments to the city council to allow duplexes within all residential zones throughout the city. At a recent City Council meeting, council members read the first reading of amendments of the Land Development Code required to change where duplexes can be placed. During February’s council meeting, a second reading will take place and a vote by council to adopt the code amendment.
The State laws mandates that the City change its codes to allows duplexes in all residential zones where single-family dwellings are permitted, and that single-family and duplexes be subject to the same Land Development Code standards. This includes the minimum allowed lot size, the quantity of parking (no more than 2 spaces – 1 for each duplex unit), and other minor items.
The State laws that mandate these code changes were first established by the State Legislature in 2019 in House Bill 2001. The rules required by this Bill were further clarified in Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 660-046, which was adopted by the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission in July 2020. These rules require cities with a population of 10,000 to 25,000 to amend their codes to comply with State law by June 2021. Failure to do so will result in cities being required to use and implement a State Model Code instead of their own adopted codes. The State Mode Code is more restrictive than the minimum rules that are required to be adopted.