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Albany, Corvallis forums set on new housing bill

Albany, Corvallis forums set on new housing bill

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State Sen. Sara Gelser is hosting a pair of community roundtables on the new state housing law.

House Bill 2001, which passed on the final day of the 2019 legislative session, all but eliminates the single-family housing zones. As a result of the law, multifamily housing options such as duplexes can be placed in all residential housing zones in Oregon cities of 10,000 or more.

The sessions will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at the Corvallis downtown fire station, 400 NW Harrison Blvd., and at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 at Fire Station No. 11 in Albany at 611 SE Lyon St.

“HB 2001 is a monumental bill that people either love or fear,” said Gelser, a Democrat who represents District 8 in the mid-valley. “It is important to break through myths about the bill and help communities understand both the reach and the limits of the new law. Much of the implementation will be dependent upon rules adopted by the Department of Land Conservation and Development. That is why it is so important for communities to be directly engaged with the agency.”

The new rules take effect in 2021 in Lebanon and 2022 in Albany and Corvallis.

Both sessions will start with an overview from Gelser, who will be followed by a briefing from Kevin Young, a senior urban planner with the state Department of Land Conservation and development. Young previously worked in planning positions with the city of Corvallis and Benton County.

The bulk of the evening will consist of a roundtable involving Young and local planners and officials, with 15 minutes reserved at the end of the 90-minute program for questions.

Tentative participants in the Corvallis roundtable include retired Oregon State University Professor, Court Smith, OSU instructor Laurie Becker, Corvallis Mayor Biff Traber, Philomath City Manager Chris Workman, Philomath Mayor Eric Nieman, Corvallis councilors Hyatt Lytle and Andrew Struthers, OSU planner Bob Richardson and Benton County Community Development Director Greg Verret.

Laura Hanson, Gelser's chief of staff, said the lineup for the Linn County event still is being assembled.

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-812-6116. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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