Statement on ADUs for Tualatin Planning Commission meeting – May 17th, 2018

This is a statement I made for public record to the Tualatin Planning Commission meeting on Thursday, May 17th. The outcome of the conversation is that City Staff is re-evaluating the parking requirement and will offer alternative suggestions at the next meeting.

Dear Commissioners,

Thank you for the work you do.

My name is Daniel Bachhuber. I’m a long time resident of Tualatin, born and raised in Fox Hills and now raising my own family near Jurgens Park. I’m here tonight, instead of at home with my wife and kids, because I’m concerned about our city’s lack of attention to the housing crisis. If it’s not something we address proactively, it will become a significant problem that will ultimately impact my family’s long-term wellbeing, and my property’s long-term value.

As it relates to tonight’s meeting, I have two points I’d like to include in the public record.

First, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development issued technical guidance for Oregon Senate Bill 1051, which is absent from the Staff Report. I’ve brought three copies for your reference. Notably, the technical guidance states:

  • “Requiring off‐street parking is one of the biggest barriers to developing ADUs and it is recommended that jurisdictions not include an off‐street parking requirement in their ADU standards.”
  • Also: “So that lot coverage requirements do not preclude ADUs from being built on smaller lots, local governments should review their lot coverage standards to make sure they don’t create a barrier to development.”

Second, the Staff Report Executive Summary states: the local regulations for ADU’s must be clear and objective to make it easier to build ADU’s.

However the Staff Report does not include any data on the total number of single family dwellings with three or more off-street parking slots (the minimum required for an ADU under proposed regulations), nor does it include data on the number of lots that have sufficient space for a detached ADU with current setbacks. Based on the information provided, it appears the proposed development code does not fulfill the spirit of Senate Bill 1051 and even contradicts the statement in the Executive Summary.

ADUs are an accessible, under-appreciated housing option. They can increase housing availability while also fitting within and preserving the aesthetic of the neighborhood. For a downsizing senior, building and living an interior ADU may be a way to stay in their home while earning cash from the larger part of their house. For a younger couple, building and renting out an interior ADU may permit them to afford housing closer to work.

I strongly encourage you to use the development code changes to promote, not hamper, ADUs as one part of the solution to the housing crisis.

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