Around the O Article, October 31, 2017
Around the O Article, August 1, 2017
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 77 acres north of Franklin Boulevard, does not have a current Conditional Use Permit. The previous Conditional Use Permit was in place from 1988 to 2012. It is expired; therefore, a new permit is needed. This project, resulting from city code requirements, is necessary to allow the university to address future land use needs and opportunities.
Project 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. The purpose of the project is to complete a land use application package for City approval, so that the university may improve and develop its land for its needs as opportunities arise. The Master Site Plan, the key component of the land use application, uses the concepts of the Framework Vision Project as a basis while meeting the requirements of the city land use code.
The North Campus Conditional Use Permit Project has consisted 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.
- A land use application package for City of Eugene approval through the Conditional Use Permit process and concurrent applications.
This Conditional Use Permit request is part of a four-step planning process, including:
- The Framework Vision Project (University of Oregon process - completed)
- The North Campus Conditional Use Permit (City of Eugene process - underway)
- The Campus Plan Amendment Process (University of Oregon process to incorporate the North Campus area into the Campus Plan - forthcoming)
- The Campus Planning Process (University of Oregon process for any future projects- as needed)
The North Campus Conditional Use Permit application was submitted to the City on February 26, 2018. A public hearing is anticipated in August 2018.
The CUP Proposal
The key component of this Conditional Use Permit request, as required by the City of Eugene Riverfront Park Special Area Zone (S-RP), is a Master Site Plan. The purpose of the proposed Master Site Plan is to protect the Willamette River and accommodate essential future development, allowing the University of Oregon to meet its mission of teaching, discovery, and service. Being able to provide the necessary facilities and environments for current needs, growth and unforeseen change is critical to the success of students, faculty, and the operations of the university. The university’s proposed Master Site Plan balances the long-term needs of the university and desires of the community as a whole. Specifically, it:
- Commits the area between the railroad tracks and Willamette River primarily to riparian restoration and open space opportunities.
- Concentrates most of the potential building development south of the railroad tracks.
- Establishes a 200-foot development setback from the river top of bank (the code requires a 100-foot setback).
- Overall, dedicates 31 acres of 77 acres to riparian restoration in addition to other open space. (North of the tracks, dedicates 25 of 42 acres to riparian restoration.)
- Restricts building coverage, building heights, and recreation field coverage well beyond the code allowances.
- Limits vehicular access and parking primarily to south of the tracks, and contains no new through-roads.
- Limits recreation field coverage to three fields (a net increase of one field) and commits to treating stormwater and mitigating lighting impacts if they are built.
- Addresses key interests in bicycle and pedestrian connectivity, river access, riparian restoration, safety, and active uses.
Of the 42 acres north of the railroad tracks, the Master Site Plan proposes:
- 60% for conservation
- 20% for site elements and other open space
- 16% for recreation fields
- 4% for buildings
The Master Site Plan is based on the Framework Vision Project (an 18-month-long planning study that was landscape-focused and explored how the university could accommodate growth on campus), a Conceptual Study of the university’s land between the railroad tracks and the Willamette River, and the land use code requirements for the Conditional Use Permit. It has been informed by feedback from university and community stakeholders gathered through public outreach.
Materials (Most Recent)
- North Campus Conditional Use Permit - Master Site Plan Documents
- CUP Proposal Compared to Code Requirements
- Questions and Answers
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
- Campus Planning Committee Review
- December 2017
- Revise Master Site Plan
- January 2018
- Community Feedback
- February 2018
- Finalize Master Site Plan
- Submit Land Use Application
- Summer 2018
- Public Comment Period
- Public Hearing (anticipated August)
Who is Managing the Project?
The consultant, Cameron McCarthy, is managing 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 worked 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 gathered feedback and input from stakeholders, interested parties, and the community throughout the duration of the project to inform the Conceptual Study and development of the Master Site Plan. The project engaged both internal and external groups, with internal efforts focused on the university community (faculty, staff, students, and administrators) and external efforts focused on community leaders, business leaders, city and agency representatives, neighboring property owners, river and ecology advocates, neighborhood associations, and other interested parties.
The public process started in July 2017. Below is an overview of the outreach to-date (not an exhaustive list):
- Eight focus group meetings (five internal, two external, and one combined internal/external).
- Two public open houses.
- Two neighborhood meetings.
- Information-sharing meetings with internal and external stakeholders and interested parties.
- Individual interviews with community members representing key interests.
- Three Campus Planning Committee meetings.
- Five e-updates to an e-mail list of interested parties.
- Five e-updates to the community stakeholder focus group.
- Three updates in Around-the-O.
- Sharing information on the project web page, including open house materials and providing a function for public comment during the open houses.
Below is a link to a diagram summarizing key stakeholder priorities (not an exhaustive list):
What we Heard Diagram
How Can I Be Involved?
Feedback from the wider community was primarily gathered during November and January, during which the university held public open houses and neighborhood meetings.
If you would like more information or have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Campus Planning directly (Emily Eng, firstname.lastname@example.org, (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.
Why the University Needs a New Conditional Use Permit for North Campus
Unlike the majority of campus, which is in the Public Land Zone, the entire North Campus area (delineated by the S-RP zone) needs a Conditional Use Permit in order for any development to occur. As mentioned, the previous Conditional Use Permit is expired; therefore, a new permit is needed. However, this is not a typical Conditional Use Permit application. It is not for a site-specific known development; rather, it is for a vast area of land for most of which the university has no definitive plans and/or funding to improve yet. The timeframe for this Conditional Use Permit will be at least twenty years. This long-term Conditional Use Permit is required because of the area's unique and special location along the Willamette River.
The university knows that it needs some of the land in North Campus for future buildings and year-round recreation fields, as found in the Framework Vision Project. It has limited land holdings and limited development opportunities and, as the university grows, it wants to do it in a way that preserves and improves upon the quality of campus that people enjoy today, with its beautiful interconnected open spaces, thoughtfully-designed buildings, and high-quality pedestrian environment. The university would be able to achieve this if it can accommodate growth and change in this part of campus. This Conditional Use Permit would be a first step in allowing the University of Oregon to plan for the future and improve the area. If the university does not receive a new Conditional Use Permit for North Campus, its ability to accommodate growth and change will be extremely limited, forcing the university to be unable to respond effectively to needs and opportunities. Consequences include but are not limited to:
- Locating new buildings in places that are inappropriate for those building types (such as an administrative building in areas of campus that are reserved for classrooms or student services).
- Building in designated open spaces.
- Having to purchase adjacent land and build in neighboring areas with potential negative impacts to neighbors.
- Further spreading university uses off-campus.
- Having limited or no options for surge or replacement space, which will become all the more necessary as the university builds and improves research facilities and offices for current and new tenure-track faculty.
- Not being able to attract new faculty and students due to the inability to provide essential facilities.
- Keeping North Campus in a situation where areas continue to be unsafe and an eyesore.
- Remaining isolated from the Willamette River, 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
- Questions and Answers Handout (also provided in Most Recent Materials above)
- North Campus Conceptual Analysis Diagram
- North Campus Master Site Plan Set (Updated 1/11/2018)
- Riparian Assessment and Management Report
- Conceptual Utility Plan
- Utilities Report
- Building Coverage Context Diagram
- Building Height Context Diagram
- Note: Please see materials for the Nov 28 Campus Planning Committee meeting and Nov 8 Open House (below) for additional background information, including presentations and conceptual study.
- CPC Mailing
- CPC Presentation
- CPC Review Description
- North Campus Process Diagram
- Master Site Plan Documents (Draft, updated 11/22/2017)
- Project Description
- Project Overview Presentation
- Site Tour - Slideshow
- Site Tour - Poster
- North Campus Area Map
- Existing Conditions Map
- Feedback Summary Diagram
- Riparian Assessment Report
- Draft Utilities Report
- Conceptual Study of Riverfront Area (north of train tracks):
- Master Site Plan Documents (Draft)
- Context Map
- Building Heights and Precedents
- Community Stakeholder Questions (updated 11/21/2017)
For more information, please contact:
Page updated May 11, 2018