Will Dowdy and Jennifer Knapp with the City of Eugene spoke about Willamette Street rezoning and traffic revamps that will be taking place soon. This initiative is part of a “Great Streets” concept that came out of the Envision Eugene plan.

Envision Eugene is the umbrella plan for commercial development and key transit corridors. South Willamette Street is one of the zones. South Willamette goes from 22nd down to where Donald and Willamette branch.

Public Engagement was a key component to planning, as well as professional review. The code development process is complete and the implementation phase is beginning. To see full details, click here.

Here are some of the code concepts:

  • Replace existing zoning in the South Willamette district with a special area zone
  • Allow for under-represented single family attached and detached development types.
  • Provide greater clarity and regulation in support of important design principles while allowing reasonable flexibility for individual developments.
  • Include provisions that establish reasonable transitions between higher-density development types and adjacent, low-density single family residential areas
  • Establish adequate standards for the streetside realm.
  • Enable flexibility and code-based incentives.
  • Provide a voluntary alternative to higher standards

The concept of Great Streets was one of the most strongly supported ideas in the Vision for Greater Downtown Eugene as a way to characterize downtown and focus public attention and funding. These Great Streets will be the basis of a walkable downtown network that encourages pedestrians and retail activity.

Here are some of the implementation Strategies of Great Streets in Eugene that will affect the eventual change to Willamette Street:

A. Develop a separate design strategy for each Great Street. Include street improvement elements such as: public art, special planting schemes, center medians, street lamps, benches and kiosks, banners and street, information and building signs.

B. Develop design guidelines for buildings along the Great Streets. Include elements such as setback, quality of materials, design of first floor, and treatment of parking.

C. Link Great Streets to important public places, including urban plazas and open spaces.