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March 1, 2022

State Proposes Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities Rules

SALEM – After 18 months of technical work and committee discussion, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) will begin their consideration for adoption of new administrative rules to prescribe standards to help communities in Oregon’s metropolitan areas meet their greenhouse gas reduction goals at their meeting on March 31-April 1, 2022.

A draft of the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rules is published on the Secretary of State’s website. An updated draft for the commission’s review will be available on LCDC’s website on March 18.

Following the March meeting, the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) will continue to work on additional changes in advance of the final hearing at the commission’s meeting May 19-20.

To meet state greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals, the draft rules propose to significantly enhance planning for transportation and housing choices and to make it easier for Oregonians to meet their daily needs without having to drive. Currently, Oregon is not meeting its goals to reduce climate pollution. Transportation accounts for roughly 38% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The updated rules would set new standards for land use and transportation plans in Oregon’s eight metropolitan areas — Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene-Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford-Ashland, Portland Metro, and Salem-Keizer. The draft rules are developed to be consistent with Executive Order 20-04 directing state agencies to take actions to reduce and regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

“We are grateful for community members, technical experts, and our rulemaking advisory committee representing a range of diverse perspectives who have helped shape the rules to date,” said Commissioner Nick Lelack who has been serving as a liaison to the Rules Advisory Committee process. “The rules represent the next major step toward healthier, more equitable communities where all Oregonians will experience safer and better choices about how to move around to the places where they work, live, learn, and play.”

Local Implementation and Financial Support

With funding from the Oregon legislature, communities in the seven metropolitan areas outside Portland Metro are set to receive the initial round of funding to implement the first element of the rules in the coming months.

Communities in the Portland Metropolitan area have participated in greenhouse gas reduction planning as a part of the Climate Smart Communities program.

“We are pleased to be able to make concurrent investments in technical assistance and local planning capacity to help communities begin to engage their residents and business communities in identifying the boundaries of climate friendly areas,” said department specialist Kevin Young. “We understand that this is new and challenging. Specialists and regional representatives are ready to help communities understand and engage with the rule requirements.”

In addition to funding for Climate Friendly Area efforts, the Oregon Department of Transportation is working to set aside a significant portion of funding (around $15 million) to support local planning and implementation efforts.

Get Involved

Interested persons may provide verbal and written testimony to LCDC regarding the proposed new rules at the hearing and are encouraged to send written comments in advance of the hearing. Oral and written testimony will be accepted until the close of the hearing. The hearing on this topic is scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. on March 31, 2022. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. Please contact Esther Johnson, esther.johnson@dlcd.oregon.gov for further information. If you wish to address the commission, please use this form to sign-up: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/commission/pages/public-comment.aspx. Oral testimony at the hearing will be scheduled in the order in which requests are received.

Address written comments to the Chair of the Land Conservation and Development Commission, care of Casaria Taylor via email to casaria.taylor@dlcd.oregon.gov.

For questions about the proposed rules, contact Bill Holmstrom at (971) 375-5975, bill.holmstrom@dlcd.oregon.gov or Kevin Young at (503)-602-0238, kevin.young@dlcd.oregon.gov

To obtain copies of the new and amended rules, amendments and related information by mail or email, please contact Casaria Taylor at casaria.taylor@dlcd.oregon.gov. The agenda for LCDC’s March 31, 2022 meeting will be on DLCD’s website at: https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/Commission/Pages/Meetings.aspx.

DLCD will make reasonable accommodation for other formats upon request Please contact Esther Johnson at (503) 383-8911 or esther.johnson@dlcd.oregon.gov at least 72 hours before the meeting, or by TTY – Oregon Relay Services at (800) 735-2900.


Why is this Rulemaking Happening?

  • Oregon is not meeting its goals to reduce climate pollution. While some sectors have made significant progress, transportation-related climate pollution has increased. Under current trends, Oregon would emit more than four times as much transportation pollution by 2050 as the goal it set.
  • Transportation accounts for roughly 38% of Oregon’s climate pollution. Transportation, and especially reducing driving in larger cities, will have to be part of the solution for all Oregonians.
  • Residents are expected to benefit from reducing climate pollution, including better health outcomes, cleaner air, less climate disruption, and more choices for Oregonians on where to live and how to get to places they want to go.
  • Positive outcomes anticipated, including for housing supply. To meet the state’s climate goals in a context of more equitable outcomes, the draft rules call for a suite of updates that include designation of walkable, climate-friendly areas and related code changes; parking reform; and more robust planning for, and investing in, networks for people of all ages and abilities to safely walk, bike or take transit to meet some of their daily needs. For communities expanding their urban growth boundaries based on identified housing needs, the rules add development capacity to the equation.

Learn more about the rulemaking effort, find contact information to provide input, and sign up for updates here.


Oregon’s statewide land use planning program — originated in 1973 under Senate Bill 100 — protects farm and forest lands, conserves natural resources, promotes livable communities, facilitates orderly and efficient development, supports coordination among state and local governments, and ensures community engagement opportunities throughout land use processes.   The program affords all Oregonians predictability and sustainability to the development process by allocating land for jobs and homes, transportation, parks, open space and agriculture for current and future generations.   The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) administers the program. A seven-member volunteer citizen board known as the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) guides the agency’s work.   Under the program, all cities and counties have adopted comprehensive plans that meet mandatory state standards. The standards are 19 Statewide Planning Goals that guide development housing, employment areas transportation facilities, and conservation of natural resources. Periodic review of plans and technical assistance in the form of grants to local jurisdictions support continual programmatic updates at the state and local level.

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