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Commission to consider street changes

Proposal would affect Blue River’s downtown

EUGENE: Next Tuesday, the Lane County Planning Commission will get to hear the public’s ideas on how they would like Blue River to look as it rebuilds. A proposed amendment to the county’s land use code could trim back what opponents have called the current language’s excessive right-of-way setbacks.

The Public Works Division developed the proposal after talking to local property owners. A problem was initially identified when plans to reconstruct the O’Brien Library after the Holiday Farm Fire. It was learned the new structure could not meet setback requirements along Blue River Drive. While the current language calls for a 60-foot of right-of-way width along the road; the code also requires an 80-foot minimum right-of-way width because Blue River Drive is designated as a minor collector road. Added to that was an additional 10-foot setback that would amount to a 90-foot right-of-way width,

Language in the code amendment calls that a width that size not only “impractical to support” but also “it is not necessary to meet the transportation needs for the downtown portion of Blue River Drive.”

In support of a smaller setback, planners point to text in the code saying the intent of development setbacks is “to protect the vested interest of the public in the existing and proposed capacity of roads…and to prevent or reduce deterioration of property values.”

Also noted was the relatively flat topography of downtown Blue River, which shouldn’t more setbacks along Blue River Drive east of the Blue River Bridge.

People interested in giving testimony can attend the Planning Commission meeting, scheduled for February 7th, at 7 p.m. in the Goodpasture Room at Lane County Public Works, 3050 N. Delta Hwy. in Eugene; or via a hybrid option by phone at 1-253-215-8782 or 1-206-337-9723, or an online video connection at


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