New Middle Housing Code Takes Effect March 16

Posted on February 22, 2022

City of Salem – 02/22/22 12:00 PM

New land use rules in Salem will soon allow development of multiple-household dwellings, known as middle housing, on building lots of at least 4,000 square feet.

Salem City Council passed the new zoning code at their meeting on January 24, 2022. It takes effect March 16, 2022, and applies to lots in any areas zoned residential that allow detached single-family dwellings. Zones affected include Single-Family Residential (RS), Residential Agriculture (RA), Duplex Residential (RD, and Multiple Family  Residential I (RM-I). Find the zoning of your property.

The changes were made in response to Oregon House Bill 2001, which requires larger Oregon cities to allow for different housing types, especially options that more people can afford. Salem’s middle housing code allows for attached as well as detached middle housing. Examples of the various options include duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters.

What can be built depends on the size of the lot:

  • Duplexes, at least 4,000 square feet
  • Three-family use, at least 5,000 square feet
  • Four-family use, at least 7,000 square feet
  • Cottage cluster, at least 7,000 square feet

The new code doesn’t change a property owner’s ability to build a single-family residence. It simply allows for a broader mix of housing in specific residential zones. Accessory dwelling units also continue to be allowed under a separate section of Salem’s zoning code.

To learn more about Middle Housing, contact the Planner’s Desk at 503-588-6213.

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