North Campus Conditional Use Permit

North Campus CUP Map
Project Status
The North Campus Conditional Use Permit project has begun.  The university has selected the landscape architecture and planning firm Cameron McCarthy to facilitate the development of a new master site plan for the property zoned Riverfront Research Park Special Area Zone (S-RP), also known as North Campus (and formerly known as the Riverfront Research Park).  As required by the zone, this master site plan will be reviewed by the City of Eugene through the Conditional Use Permit application process.
Project Timeline
The project will begin late June 2017, with the goal of being complete (receiving City approval) before June 2018.  The conditional use permit application package will need to be submitted to the City by January 2018.  
Why the University Needs a New Conditional Use Permit for North Campus
The university’s North Campus (formerly known as Riverfront Research Park) 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.  North Campus, previously reserved for research park uses, is now an essential element to address the university’s growth needs.
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 faculty, one of President Schill’s initiatives for excellence;
  • Be in a situation where certain areas of North Campus remain 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.
Steps Taken to Date
  • Met with City planning staff
  • Held scoping meeting with representatives of neighborhood associations, adjacent community organizations, and local government staff
  • Held scoping meetings with internal stakeholders
  • Completed a scope of work, timeline, and cost for the City’s conditional use permit requirements and necessary public outreach process

  • Acquired funding for the project

  • Hired consultant(s) to facilitate and complete the conditional use permit application package

Next Steps (also see North Campus Project Timeline)

  • Begin conceptual study of the university’s land along the riverfront (between train tracks and Willamette River)
  • Begin refining Framework Vision Project recommendations
  • Conduct outreach and focus group meetings with stakeholders, interested parties, and community members

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this project?
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 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. 
What is the project’s scope of work?
The North Campus Conditional Use Permit project will consist of the following parts:
  • A conceptual study of the area between the railroad tracks and the Willamette River, 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 submittal package for City of Eugene approval through the Conditional Use Permit process and concurrent applications.
Does the university intend to build along the river?
The Framework Vision Project recommends most of the future 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, and field lighting and stormwater drainage that is sensitive to the riparian habitat.  Any buildings proposed in this area would likely be smaller in scale and have a purpose related to 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.
Who will be involved in the project?
The consultant, Cameron McCarthy, will manage the project and complete the work.  Campus Planning will manage the university’s process and be the university’s main point of contact.  The consultant will work with Campus Planning and key stakeholders to develop the master site plan.  The project will gather feedback and consider input from stakeholders, interested parties, and the community throughout the duration of the project. 
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 conditional use permit application will include 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
Planning Associate
Phone: 541-346-5606

Page updated August 11, 2017