Expanding Housing Choice in Clackamas County

HB 2001 Implementation Project

Updates

Update 5/11/22

County Board approves Zoning & Development Ordinance (ZDO) amendments to allow for middle housing on urban residential land in unincorporated Clackamas County.

Update 4/28/22

Board public hearing held April 27.

Interested in being alerted about upcoming meetings and actions related to this project?
Send an email to Ellen Rogalin at ellenrog@clackamas.us to receive project updates by email.

Status

On May 11, 2022, the Board of Commissioners approved amendments to the Zoning & Development Ordinance (ZDO) to allow for middle housing (duplexes, townhouses, triplexes, quadplexes and cottage clusters) on urban residential land in unincorporated Clackamas County. The vote came at the end of a second public hearing that included discussion about written testimony received since the first public hearing in April.

The action was taken after extensive public outreach and a Planning Commission public hearing in response to state House Bill 2001 that requires middle housing to be permitted in urban residential zones by June 30, 2022. 

Final action to approve the updated code language will be taken at a Board business meeting before the end of June 2022. Staff will provide a program update to the Board in the coming year after they have had time to gather data on middle housing permit applications and assess the effectiveness of the new code.

Overview

Expanding housing choice in Clackamas County means providing more housing types and options for residents. Housing in Clackamas County is becoming less affordable, and House Bill 2001 (HB 2001), approved by the state legislature in 2019, will allow property owners to build up the supply of housing — resulting in a wider range of housing types that can provide more affordable housing options in urban, unincorporated Clackamas County.

State law requires that the county amend its Zoning and Development Ordinance (ZDO), and, if necessary, Comprehensive Plan, by June 30, 2022, to allow for this development of middle housing in urban unincorporated, residential zones.

For information about county land use efforts underway to support housing throughout the county, go to Land Use Housing Strategies.

House Bill 2001 (HB 2001)

House Bill 2001 requires Oregon cities and counties to allow “middle housing” in urban residential zones that already allow houses. The purpose of the state law and the county’s HB 2001 Implementation Project is to increase the amount of lower-cost market-rate housing available in residential areas. Since middle housing — townhouses, duplexes, cottage clusters, quadplexes, etc. — can be less expensive to build than conventional single-family houses and new apartment complexes, it may be possible to charge lower rents or sale prices. Also, middle housing will be allowed in more locations than apartment complexes are allowed in today, which may result in the development of more new housing units. The law does not eliminate the option to build single-family homes.

Types of Middle Housing

Middle housing includes duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes (also known as fourplexes), townhouses, cottage clusters (several small houses centered on a common area such as a lawn or courtyard) and accessory dwelling units (ADUs).

Clackamas County already allows ADUs per state law. (ADUs are a secondary house or apartment unit that is on the same lot as a larger, primary house.)

Examples

Meetings

2022
April 27 Board of Commissioners Land Use Hearing
10 a.m.
March 28 Planning Commission Public Hearing
6:30 p.m.
March 14 Planning Commission Study Session
6:30
Feb. 22 Online Video Chat with Staff about Proposed Middle Housing Codes
video
Feb. 2 Board of Commissioners Planning Session
Jan. 24 Planning Commission Study Session
materials
2021
Nov. 9 Board of County Commissioners Issues Session
materials
Oct. 25 Planning Commission Study Session
materials

Project Timeline

HB 2001 timeline