Why We Oppose HB2001

HB 2001 is a state take-over of local neighborhoods. It removes the right of local governments and communities to determine what zoning and development is appropriate in each local area. One bill, written by Portland-area legislators and developers, will silence the voice of every resident and every neighborhood everywhere in Oregon. This violates Oregon’s Planning Goal 1: “To develop a citizen involvement program that insures the opportunity for citizens to be involved in all phases of the planning process.”

HB 2001 eliminates single family house neighborhoods. It allows developers to build multiplex apartment buildings, up to quadplex, or dense developments of more than four houses per lot, with no off-street parking, everywhere.

HB2001 means widespread demolition and higher housing prices. The bill will lead to demolition of existing houses and neighborhoods to build multiplex apartments. Studies of this sort of “upzoning” in Portland and elsewhere show it drives up housing prices, as lower-price housing is replaced with new luxury housing. Vulnerable communities are displaced as they are “priced out” by redevelopment.

HB2001 will damage our environment. The demolition of buildings amounts to a staggering amount of embodied energy that is thrown away. Every time we raze an older house and replace it with a new one – even an efficient new building – it takes an average of 50 years to recover the climate change impacts related to the demolition. That doesn’t even include the trees cut down and the toxic dust from demolitions.

HB 2001 is an even worse follow-on to 2017’s HB 2007 bill. Oregonians defeated that bill.

HB2001 goes way too far. Should quadplex apartments with no parking and other dense development be allowed in some areas? Of course, and local voters, communities, and their local elected representatives should decide where more density is desirable, based on a thoughtful planning process considering affordability, traffic, transit, infrastructure, environmental consequences, and more. The legislature in Salem shouldn’t dictate density for every neighborhood lot, street, block, city, town and county in Oregon.

If you also think HB2001 is wrong, email the Oregon House Committee and your own legislator.