Land Conservation and Development Commission Adopts Temporary Rules for Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities

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Sadie Carney, 503-388-6648,

Land Conservation and Development Commission Adopts Temporary Rules for Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities

SALEM –  At their May 19, 2022 meeting, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC or commission) adopted rules to reduce pollution, increase housing and transportation choice, and increase equitable land use planning outcomes. The commission unanimously passed these rules on a temporary basis, with adoption of permanent rules anticipated for the commission’s July 21-22, 2022 meeting. The rules apply to cities and counties in Oregon’s eight largest metropolitan areas; areas that collectively include most of Oregon’s population.

“The commission’s action is intended to improve walking, biking and transit opportunities, increase housing choice and supply, and promote more equitable and inclusive development in Oregon’s communities thereby decreasing greenhouse emissions” said commission Chair Robin McArthur. “We recognize this is just the beginning and this commission and department are fully committed to helping cities and counties get the resources they need to implement this important work.”

The rules amend Oregon Administrative Rules Chapter 660, Division 8 (Housing), 12 (Transportation Planning Rule) and 44 (Metropolitan Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets). These updated rules remove barriers to more climate-friendly development. When they are implemented, Oregonians will have more safe and comfortable ways to get around, and increased alternatives to driving long distances to meet their daily needs. The rules also aim to improve equitable planning outcomes, and help community transportation, housing and planning serve all Oregonians, particularly those traditionally underserved.

Developed through two years of public process, including more than 160 meetings organized by geography and topics, the rules direct cities to identify and update zoning for climate friendly areas for more compact, mixed use development. They allow communities to deregulate and reform parking rules and require conduit for electric vehicle charging in new development. The rules are consistent with state regulation to require a 20-year supply for housing and employment land, with additional urban growth boundary expansion where warranted.

DLCD and The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will provide financial and technical assistance programs for implementing communities. The agencies will support communities as they develop and implement land use, housing, and transportation system plans at the local and regional levels.

In the time leading up to the July 2022 commission meeting, department staff will review testimony already submitted, accept new written testimony, and engage with affected and interested parties to add clarity and make what is expected to be minor adjustments to the rules. Written comment will be accepted on the May 19, 2022 version of the rules until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022. Concurrently, staff will begin the work of implementing the temporary rules, including technical assistance and grant support for local governments.

“I think the rules are 98% there. Staff and participants have gone above and beyond to advance this work,” said commission Vice-Chair Anyeley Hallová. “For too long we have ignored climate issues, equity issues, and the need for action. Today, we enabled meaningful change.”


DLCD’s Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking

The Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted a rulemaking charge and initiated the rulemaking process in September 2020. To implement the charge, the department appointed a diverse rulemaking advisory committee to provide guidance during the rules drafting process.

The rules developed significantly strengthen Oregon’s rules about transportation and housing planning, particularly in the eight areas with populations over 50,000 people (Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene/Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford/Ashland, Portland Metro, Salem/Keizer).  

Oregon’s planning system is a partnership between state and local governments. State law and rules direct how local governments develop comprehensive plans, including land use and transportation elements. In order to meet Oregon’s climate pollution reduction goals, originally established in 2007, the temporary rules provide information for communities and implementing partners to update plans and associated investment strategies.

The Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rules are an important part of the response to Governor Brown’s climate Executive Order 20-04, directing state agencies to take actions to help Oregon meet its legislatively-adopted climate pollution reduction goals.

LCDC meeting materials and recorded hearings are available on the DLCD website. Recorded meetings become available in the week following the commission meeting.

Recordings of the twelve meetings of the rulemaking advisory committee for the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rulemaking, regional meetings, work groups, and community conversations, along with all associated meeting materials, are also available online.