The Community Development Department’s Planning Division provides information to the general public and the development community on the City’s Comprehensive Plan (page), land use policies and statewide planning goals. It implements the plans through the daily application of the Development Code, which involves the processing of a variety of land use applications ranging from subdivisions to variances.
The Planning Division is responsible for providing staff support to the Planning Division, City Council and various committees to ensure the Comprehensive Plan and its implementing regulations are up to date and reflect the community’s vision for long-term quality of life through growth management, conservation, and development. The plans and implementing regulations provide for quality of life with lands designated for quality neighborhoods with a range of housing, commerce and employment, and economic development opportunities. The Planning Division also administers those implementing regulations to ensure the day-to-day decisions meet the development standards consistent with the long-term vision and growth management objectives to ensure Grants Pass’ desirable quality of life.
For example, the division reviews all site plans to ensure the proposed development meets the criteria for zoning, setbacks, landscaping, access, and other regulations established by the City Council for safe, orderly growth.
Urban Growth Boundary
In 1998, the City Council and the Josephine County Board of Commissioners signed an Intergovernmental Agreement (PDF) transferring development jurisdiction of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) to the City of Grants Pass. The Grants Pass Comprehensive Plan, Zoning Map and Development Code standards apply to properties with urban zoning within the UGB. The City completed an update to its Urban Growth Boundary and also adopted Urban Reserves in 2014. DLCD acknowledged the update in 2015. Some properties recently included within the UGB still have rural zoning. These are still managed by Josephine County under the rural Comprehensive Plan and Rural Land Development Code as described in a separate management agreement.
Each year, the Grants Pass City Council considers whether additional properties within the Urban Growth Boundary should be annexed into city limits. The City Council is seeking to assure logical boundaries for the city are maintained over time, and to meet the requirements of the agreement between the city and county to evaluate periodic annexations.
Residential Development in Grants Pass
An informational sheet summarizing some of the Development Code updates and key programs related to residential development in Grants Pass.
Affordable Housing and Fair Housing
The City of Grants Pass does not currently have a separate Housing Division. Affordable housing is addressed in partnership with different city departments, divisions and community partners. The Planning Division coordinates some work with other city departments, divisions and partners. Additional information about affordable housing and community partners is available on the following city webpages:
- Fair Housing
- Housing Resources
- Housing Resources Directory
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and Consolidated Plan
- Housing Needs Element of the Comprehensive Plan
- Vertical Housing Development Program (partial tax exemptions for qualifying development)
Housing Needs Survey
Grants Pass has a number of low-lying areas which are historically prone to flooding. As a part of its floodplain management program, the city provides flood insurance rate map (FIRM) determinations as a community service. The City of Grants Pass maintains a file of accurately completed elevation certificates on any new construction in the floodplain.
The city has a Certified Floodplain Manager available to meet with residents. This certification program lays the foundation for ensuring that qualified individuals are available to meet the challenge of breaking the damage cycle and stopping its negative drain on the nation’s human, financial, and natural resources.
Climate-Friendly & Equitable Communities
In March 2020, Governor Brown signed Executive Order 20-04 directing state agencies to reduce climate pollution. The Order directed state agencies to promote cleaner vehicles, cleaner fuels, and less driving. It also directed the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) to draft changes in Oregon’s planning system for communities in Oregon’s eight (8) most populated areas, including the City of Grants Pass. The rules require those 48 cities to change their local transportation and land use plans to ensure that citizens have more safe, comfortable ways to get around while improving equity helping community transportation, housing, and planning to serve all Oregonians, especially underserved Oregonians. On July 22, 2022, after approximately 18 months of meetings by a Rulemaking Advisory Committee, the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted permanent rules related to the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) initiative. Various sections of those rules go into effect at different times over the next few years, but the first trigger date is January 1, 2023, and relates to off-street parking requirements.
Pursuant to direction from OAR 660-012-0430 through 0440 issued by the State of Oregon, the City of Grants Pass (City) Community Development Department shall apply the following CFEC parking reforms for all development applications submitted on or after January 1, 2023.
- Grants Pass Community Development - CFEC Memo 1 (download pdf)
- Grants Pass Community Development - CFEC Memo 1 GIS Map (download pdf)