Take Action to Stop Huge Environmental Rollback of HB 3414

Urge your Representatives today to Vote No on HB 3414, unless Section 2 is remedied!

Bird Alliance of Oregon is supportive of the Governor’s and Democratic leadership’s efforts to increase housing affordability and supply across the state – but strongly oppose the strategy they’ve laid out in Section 2 of HB 3414, which would facilitate the biggest rollback of urban environmental protections that Oregon has ever seen.

As written, Section 2 of HB 3414 would require municipalities to grant variances (exemptions) to housing developers to a wide array of land use regulations that were put in place to protect natural resources, community resiliency and livability. This could include protections for trees, wetlands, environmental zones, floodplains, the Willamette River Greenway, among thousands of other land use regulations in communities across the state. The number of variances requested from a developer would not be capped, and there is no requirement that they demonstrate their projects will include a public benefit, like including affordable housing or even additional units. Instead, it paves the way for greater profits for housing developers and throws urban conservation protections out the window – including Bird Alliance of Oregon’s 40+ years of work to integrate nature into our built landscape.

Tree-lined residential street in Portland, OR
Photo by Michael Stokes.

Talking points for HB 3414

  1. Vote No on HB 3414 as currently written

2. Remove Section 2 of HB 3414

    • It would be the biggest rollback of urban environmental protections since the land use planning system was put in place – to the benefit of housing developers.
    • It would require municipalities across the state to grant an unlimited number of variances to local land use regulations to any requesting housing developer – compounding environmental losses for urban communities.
    • It does not require a housing developer to demonstrate they are providing any public benefit, either additional units nor increased affordability – thus doing little to lessen the housing crisis.
    • It would decrease the resiliency of our future housing stock by allowing for full removal of urban tree canopy – only exacerbating environmental justice issues for urban communities.

3. If Section 2 remains, use the -5 Amendments as a starting point for a future amendment to mitigate the environmental harm and ensure the policy actually increases housing affordability

    • Strengthen -5 to prohibit developers from seeking variances for resources protected under a Goal 5 natural resource program
    • Strengthen -5 to prohibit developers from seeking variance from local tree codes
    • Strengthen -5 to prohibit developers from seeking variance related to remediation of contaminated sites
    • Strengthen -5 to prohibit developers from seeking variances from the Willamette River Greenway (Goal 5)
    • Strengthen -5 by limiting Section 2 to apply only to Middle Housing, which will incentivise this much needed housing type

Please cc the Governor’s office and Chief Sponsors of the Legislation:


Thank you for taking action to protect urban environments across the state.