MReport July 2020

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12 | M R EP O RT COVER STORY Anywhere. Anytime. Bringing Today's Lending Headlines into Focus, MReport Digital Puts Mortgage Banking News at Your Fingertips Experts you trust. People you know. News you want. MReport is putting essential mortgage market news at your fingertips with our new digital edition, now available online via your smartphone, tablet, or computer. Enjoy the magazine at your desk, and tap into MReport Digital's easily accessible platform anywhere, anytime. Committed to giving originators, servicers, and all lending professionals access to smarter perspectives, MReport believes it's time to think differently about the mortgage industry. Because the American Dream is evolving . . . are you? Subscribe to MReport and MReport Digital now! Call 800.856.8060 or connect with us online at to take advantage of our special introductory offer! single-family zoned areas. "People are absolutely out- raged," said City Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who is the Portland City Council's liaison to the League of Oregon Cities, ac- cording to a November edition of the Willamette Week. "There were multiple people saying it needs to be repealed." West Linn, Oregon, Mayor Russ Axelrod also referred to the legislation as "stupid" during a work session last year, according to the Willamette Week. Speaking to MReport, Fritz called HB 2001 a "statewide pre- emption of local authority." Fritz said the city officials spent four years on a comprehensive plan and looked at "every single lot" to see which areas were appropriate for "upzoning." "The state legislature decided that they were going to pass this law with pretty much no con- sultation with any of the cities in Oregon. We have over 200 cities in Oregon and nobody was asked, 'Is this something that's going to be helpful?'" Fritz said. Fritz said city officials were doing the same work in a "more thoughtful and careful" way. She also said the idea that more hous- ing is appropriate anywhere in the city "completely disregards the climate crisis." Oregon has a statewide land use planning system that has 15 differ- ent goals that must be balanced. Fritz added, "This law just says, 'Nope, forget all about that. Forget about the climate crisis. We just want housing at any cost.'" Fritz explained that no mem- bers from the League of Oregon Cities Board were in favor of the legislation, and they were not consulted before the bill was passed. Gordon Howard, Community Services Manager with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, noted that Tina Kotek, Speaker of the House of Representatives, introduced the bill in February 2019. Kotek had been working on the bill for more than six months prior. Howard said, like many other regions of the country, Oregon has what is perceived to be a housing crisis—a shortage of hous- ing units for all income levels. Howard said the bill—passed with bipartisan support—has several benefits, mostly designed to increase the number of housing choices. He said townhomes and duplexes were once staples of neighborhoods between the 1920s and 1950s, but most cities later rezoned these areas to exclude anything but single-family homes. "Every single study I've ever seen on the cost of develop- ment finds that it costs more to provide new services to unde- veloped areas on the edge of town without any existing urban services than for increased infill and redevelopment in existing urban neighborhoods because urban services are already there, even if they have to be upgraded and improved," Howard said. Howard added that increas- ing housing density could lead to more housing choice for prospec- tive buyers and help consumers find properties that "fit with their long-term needs." In response to the bill's opposi- tion, Howard said many people are simply used to living in single- family neighborhoods and may have an aversion to change—even if it has long-term benefits for their community and even their own neighborhood. He added that there will likely be "significant opposition" moving forward and when the time comes for cities to write codes around the legislation. "If the city refuses to adopt its own code of the state law, the legislature directed creation of a model code that the city would be required to use as part of their zoning ordinance when reviewing development plans," Howard said. "The city really doesn't have the option of defiance. I suppose they still do, but it would be a very messy court case." Virginia's HB 152 V irginia delegate Ibraheem Samirah—representing the

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