At the meeting of June 11, 2024, the Independence Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider a revision to the Independence Development Code to address the recent changes to Oregon state law that encourage additional housing production in the state.

I. What is the Problem?

The State of Oregon passed HB 3395 – a housing omnibus bill – during the 2023 legislative session. The bill requires a variety of code changes for communities throughout the state.

Among the changes that affect the City of Independence include:

  • The requirement to allow ground-floor housing units, affordable to those households making 60% of area median income, in areas that allow ground-floor commercial development.
  • The requirement to allow Single-Room Occupancies.

II. Proposed Change

The proposed revisions to the code (available here) incorporate relatively simple changes to address the requirements of HB 3395.

At the meeting of June 11, 2024, the Independence Planning Commission will hold a public hearing to consider a code change that would increase the number of lots that would qualify for an existing variance in Independence Development Code Subchapter 70.

I. What is the Problem?

The City of Independence minimum lot size for a detached single-family home is 5,000 square feet in most residential zones. However, in one neighborhood – Hill’s Addition – a variance is allowed to permit lots as small as 4,500 square feet. The original lots in Hill’s Addition were 66 feet by 148.5 feet, or 9,801 square feet in size and the variance provisions in IDC 70.021 (established in 1995) were intended to allow the lots to be divided.

While this approach is appropriate for the neighborhood, the allowance was not extended to similar neighborhoods. For example, the variance does not apply in nearby subdivisions such as Hall’s Addition or Patterson’s Addition, which were originally designed to have the exact same lot dimensions as Hill’s Addition.

II. Proposed Change

This draft code would expand the variance to those neighborhoods, as well as others. Slight changes to the requirements allowing the variance are also included. View Draft PDF