North Campus Conditional Use Permit

North Campus Conditional Use Permit Map
News
Campus Planning Committee Review Meeting (open to public)
Tuesday, November 8, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
EMU, 1395 University St.
Diamond Lake Room

Around the O Article, October 31, 2017
Around the O Article, August 1, 2017

Materials from Open House on November 8th

CLICK HERE TO PROVIDE COMMENTS 

Background
The area of campus within the Riverfront Park Special Area Zone (called North Campus for the purposes of this project) requires a new master site plan as part of a land use application process with the City of Eugene.  The area, approximately 70 acres north of Franklin Boulevard, does not have a current Conditional Use Permit.  This project, resulting from city code requirements, is necessary to allow the university to address future land use needs and opportunities.  
 
Project Status, Purpose, and Scope
The University of Oregon began the North Campus Conditional Use Permit Project late June 2017 with the assistance of landscape architecture and planning firm Cameron McCarthy.  We are nearing the completion of a draft master site plan and its supporting work, and will be ready to share it with the wider community in November.

The purpose of the North Campus Conditional Use Permit Project is to complete a land use application package that will be approved by the City, so that the university may improve and develop its land for its needs as opportunities arise.  The master site plan will meet the requirements of the land use code, using the concepts of the Framework Vision Project as a basis.

The North Campus Conditional Use Permit Project consists of the following parts:

  • A  conceptual study of the university’s land between the railroad tracks and the Willamette River (to inform the master site plan), using the Framework Vision Project as a basis;
  • A master site plan for North Campus (delineated by the S-RP zone boundary), meeting the requirements of the City of Eugene land use code and using the Framework Vision Project  as a basis; and
  • A land use application package for City of Eugene approval through the Conditional Use Permit process and concurrent applications.
Project Timeline
Below is a basic project timeline:
  • July through October 2017

    • Conceptual Study Work
    • Master Site Plan Development
    • Stakeholder Input
  • November 2017

    • Conceptual Study and Draft Master Site Plan Complete
    • Community Feedback (Open House 11/8, Neighborhoods Meeting 11/8)
    • Campus Planning Committee Review (11/28)
  • December 2017

    • Finalize Master Site Plan and Land Use Application Package

  • January 2018

    • Submit Land Use Application Package to the City

  • June to July 2018

    • Conditional Use Permit Hearing (anticipated)

Who is Managing the Project?
The consultant, Cameron McCarthy, is managing the project and completing the work required for the land use application.  Campus Planning is managing the university’s process and is the university’s main point of contact.  The consultant will work with Campus Planning and key stakeholders to develop the master site plan.  Cogito Partners is on the consultant’s team and is managing the community outreach outside the university.
 
Who Has Been Involved in the Project?
The project will gather feedback and input from stakeholders, interested parties, and the community throughout the duration of the project.  About a year before the project, Campus Planning met with university stakeholders and community stakeholders (including representatives of neighborhood associations, adjacent community organizations, and local government staff) to understand areas of interest and concern prior to determining the scope of work for the project.  Since July, the project team has been working with several groups of university stakeholders and a group of key community stakeholders to gather feedback and information, informing the development of the master site plan.  (Note: The community stakeholder group represented a wide range of community interests and was focused primarily on the area north of the tracks.)

Below is a link to a diagram summarizing key stakeholder priorities (although it is not an exhaustive list):
What we Heard Diagram

How Can I Be Involved?
If you would like more information or have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Campus Planning directly (Emily Eng, eeng@uoregon.edu, (541) 346-5606).

Project updates will be primarily shared through Around the O.  You may also request to be on an e-mail distribution list to receive updates.

Feedback from the wider community will be primarily gathered during the month of November. There will be two opportunities to view presentations and materials in person and provide feedback.  These are the public open house (12-5 pm) and neighborhoods meeting (6-7:30 pm) on November 8.  We will also post materials on the web page and provide a comment box.  As mentioned, you may also contact Campus Planning directly.

Why the University Needs a New Conditional Use Permit for North Campus
North Campus contains land needed for future university buildings and year-round recreation fields. The recent Campus Physical Framework Vision Project, which analyzed various enrollment growth scenarios, found that the university can accommodate growth on land that it already owns while also preserving the beauty and functionality of campus by locating many of the new facilities in North Campus.  
 
The Issue
We currently cannot build in North Campus because it has a zoning problem that needs resolution before the City can issue building permits for any new development.  North Campus was previously regulated by a conditional use permit that expired in October 2012; therefore, a new conditional use permit is necessary.  The land use code requires a master site plan for the entire zone (Riverfront Park Special Area Zone), which the City would review through the conditional use permit application process.  This would require a Campus Plan amendment as well.
 
Why We Need to Address this Issue
If the university does not resolve this zoning problem now it will be forced to:
  • Locate new buildings in places that are inappropriate for those building types (i.e., locate an administrative building in the campus core, which must be reserved for academics and classrooms so that students and faculty can get to their next class, a function that is essential to the university’s mission);

  • Build in neighboring areas with potential negative impacts to neighbors;

  • Further spread university uses off-campus;

  • Have constrained options for surge or replacement space, which will become all the more necessary as we build and improve research facilities and offices for new tenure-track faculty, one of President Schill’s initiatives for excellence;

  • Be in a situation where areas of North Campus continue to be unsafe and an eyesore; and

  • Remain isolated from the Willamette River, the UO’s most underappreciated natural asset.  Connecting to the river will open opportunities for research, teaching outdoors, recreation, improving the ecology of the river’s edge, and improving pedestrian and bicycle connectivity.

Questions and Answers

Does the university intend to build along the river?
The Framework Vision Project recommends most of the future building development to be located south of the railroad tracks.  The area north of the tracks, along the river, is envisioned to be used primarily for athletic fields for physical education and other uses that are compatible with the riverfront and its habitat.  The conceptual study of this area will look at athletic field options, the feasibility of other university uses and support facilities, bike path configurations, riparian restoration, and field lighting and stormwater drainage that is sensitive to the riparian habitat.  Any buildings proposed north of the tracks would likely be smaller in scale and/or have a purpose related to this unique location along the river.

How is the Conditional Use Permit Project different from the Campus Plan Amendment process?
The purpose of the Conditional Use Permit Project is to complete a land use application package that meets the requirements of the code.  The master site plan for the land use package will provide less detail than in the Campus Plan Amendment. The Campus Plan Amendment is the university’s process that will establish principles and guidelines for North Campus that provide the same level of detail as those for the rest of campus.  For example, the amendment will establish an open space framework, major pathways, and density guidelines, and identify development opportunities and constraints.

Is the Knight Campus building site within the S-RP zone? Will this project impact the Knight Campus Project's timeline?
No.  The building site for the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, located on Franklin Boulevard between Onyx Street and Riverfront Parkway, is not within the S-RP zone.  This project will also not have any impact on the timeline of the Knight Campus Project.  However, the new conditional use permit will allow for a parking structure to serve the Knight Campus in a location consistent with the Framework Vision Project.  It is anticipated that the timing of the land use approval will work within the timeline to meet Knight Campus's parking needs.

For more information, please contact:
Emily Eng
Senior Planner / Project Manager
Phone: 541-346-5606

Page updated October 31, 2017