The second part of the Residential Infill Project (referred to as RIP2) addresses several outstanding mandates in the State’s middle housing bill HB2001. This bill requires Metro cities to allow duplexes on all lots where single homes are allowed and allow other types of middle housing, such as triplexes, fourplexes, attached houses and cottage clusters in many residential areas.
While the first part of RIP addressed residential zones from R2.5 to R7, the second part completes the expansion of housing types allowed in all residential zones, including Portland’s larger lots in outlying areas.
Additionally, with the passage of Senate Bill 458, cities must also allow middle housing to be divided so that each unit is on its own lot.
Specifically, RIP2 will:
- Permit duplexes on all buildable lots in the R10 and R20 zones.
- Permit other types of middle housing (triplexes, fourplexes, attached houses and cottage clusters) in the R10 and R20 zones.
- Expand allowances for additional ADUs in the R10 and R20 zones.
- Permit attached houses and cottage clusters in the R2.5, R5, and R7 zones to supplement middle housing types already adopted with the initial RIP work.
- Add new attached house and cottage cluster rules applicable to all zones.
- Revise the constrained sites overlay zone (which protects environmentally fragile areas and limits development in natural hazard areas) in compliance with state requirements.
- Create an expedited land division process to simplify homeownership options for middle housing.
Part 2 of the Residential Infill Project (RIP2) continues the work of the Residential Infill Project – Part 1 to create more housing options in Portland’s residential neighborhoods. RIP2 will focus on introducing middle housing to the very low-density R10 and R20 zones. These areas are most common in the outer eastern parts of the city and the West Hills. In compliance with legislative mandates from the State of Oregon, RIP2 will also create new allowances throughout all neighborhoods for two additional middle housing types: attached houses and cottage clusters. To satisfy the State’s compliance deadline, these changes must be in effect by June 30, 2022.
Cottage Clusters and Attached Houses – new options in single dwelling neighborhoods
RIP Part 1 introduced duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes to most single-dwelling neighborhoods. These are single primary buildings that contain more than one dwelling unit on a single piece of property. Cottage clusters and attached houses are other variations of middle housing.
House Bill 2001 defines a cottage cluster as “groupings of no fewer than four detached housing units per acre with a footprint of less than 900 square feet each and that include a common courtyard.” In essence, they can be pocket neighborhoods or micro-communities developed with detached dwellings that exchange private yards for larger common open space. They are different than other middle housing types because the units are in separate buildings and may either all share one piece of property, or they can be situated on small individual lots.
Attached Houses (aka “townhouse”)
Per the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 197.758), a townhouse is “a dwelling unit constructed in a row of two or more attached units, where each dwelling unit is located on an individual lot or parcel and shares at least one common wall with an adjacent unit.” Another way to think of townhomes is like duplexes or triplexes with property lines dividing the building into separate lots. These provide more “fee-simple” homeownership opportunities where a person owns the entire home and the land beneath it versus condominium units, where a person owns the interior of a unit but shares an ownership interest in the land and common areas with other owners in the building.
Project steps and timeline
Fall 2021 – Project launch. Public discussion and input on potential development scenarios
Winter 2022 – Planning and Sustainability Commission public hearings with recommendation to City Council
Spring 2022 – City Council public hearings and final decision