Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking

The following bit of information comes from the City of Bend’s Jon Skidmore | Chief Operating Officer/Assistant City Manager regarding the sweeping changes that will affect urban planning throughout the state as a result of Governor Brown’s recent executive order 20-04 on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  There are links below for more information.  The time to provide public input is NOW.


I wanted to follow up on our brief conversation from last week about the Department of Land Conservation and Development’s (DLCD) Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities rulemaking process that is currently underway.  There were a number of members of the Neighborhood Leadership Alliance (NLA) and members of the community who were surprised by the requirements contained in HB 2001.  As mentioned in the past, the time for members of our community to get involved is when rules and laws are being considered at the state level.  Once they are approved and require local jurisdictions to adopt, there is little that can be done at the local level to change such mandates.  The editorial board weighed in on this topic in Sunday’s paper (here).

So, in that spirit, I would encourage the members of the NLA and others who are interested in the changing land use landscape to get involved with DLCD’s current rule making process.  Frankly, the changes in the proposed rules are sweeping.  In my opinion, the proposed rules completely change how urban planning is to be done within metropolitan areas in Oregon – of which, Bend is one.  What is interesting is that the proposed rules stem from a relatively general Executive Order from Governor Brown (  Typically, these types of changes would stem from legislative action versus an executive order based on what I’ve seen over the years.

The rule requires some very specific approaches to urban planning in an attempt to “meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals through rule updates while increasing housing choice and creating more equitable outcomes for community members on the ground.”  Here is a link to the website for the Rules Advisory Committee:

Some of the concepts that will get people’s attention include:

  • Creation of Climate Friendly Areas that can accommodate 30% of forecast housing needs and allow 100-foot tall buildings outright.
  • Removal of parking mandates.
  • Required installation of electric vehicle charging infrastructure upon major remodel or renovation of certain buildings or parking lots.
  • Required annual reporting on a variety of performance measures.

The other standout is the timelines within which DLCD intends to adopt the rules and cities are required to adopt locally.  DLCD is planning to adopt these rules by March of 2022 with local jurisdictions required to adopt in March of 2023.

There is a lot more detail contained in the materials that are posted online at the link listed above.  One could argue that the proposed rules will have a much larger impact on how communities grow compared to HB 2001.  If NLA members or others are interested in being involved, now is the time to engage.  Once rules are adopted, the city will be required to implement the changes.


Jon Skidmore | Chief Operating Officer/Assistant City Manager