What is this project about?
The Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) passed Climate-Friendly and Equitable Community (CFEC) rules in 2022 to help cities reduce climate pollution, especially from transportation, by reducing driving. The new rules require cities over 50,000 to reform parking standards, plan for mixed use and walkable “climate-friendly areas” that provide more variety of housing, businesses, and services, and that are safely accessible by transit, bike, and foot. This may lead to more equitable outcomes, especially for those traditionally underserved residents, and give people the choice to not have a vehicle.
Learn more about Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities on the FAQs and CFEC Background tabs.
What does this mean for Albany?
Parking Reform – The city repealed parking, set parking maximums, and updated bicycle parking standards. Over time, parking lots will have more tree canopy, bicycle parking, and electric vehicle charging. Learn more on the Timeline tab.
Climate Friendly Areas (CFAs) – These areas would allow a mix of housing, businesses, and amenities, be walkable and accessible without driving. We hope they encourage more housing and transportation choices and create vibrant and connected neighborhoods.
Phase 1, 2023: The first phase was to study and determine potential locations of climate-friendly areas where 30% of Albany’s 2040 projected housing needs could be located. Staff identified areas near transit lines already zoned for a mix of uses that could meet the CFA requirements with little to no change to existing standards. CFAs were identified in all areas of the city – north, downtown, south/west, east, and in the middle. Candidate CFAs were reviewed and revised based on community input. See the final candidate CFAs and learn more in the study reports:
- Map of Potential CFAs,
- Albany’s Study of Potential Climate Friendly Areas,
- Anti-Displacement Analysis.
Please send any comments about these reports to
Phase 2, 2024: The second phase is to determine any amendments that may be needed to the development code standards, zoning, and comprehensive plan maps as needed by the end of 2024. The city will engage city residents and property owners in the candidate CFAs to get feedback on any proposed changes before going through a process to make a final decision on the location and boundaries of the CFAs and to officially designate the areas needed to comply with the rules, and then update the standards.
How do I stay informed or get involved?
- View the Community Engagement and other tabs above.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Albany creating Climate Friendly Areas (CFAs)?
The CFEC rules adopted in July 2022 require all cities over 5,000 in population, counties in Oregon’s eight metropolitan areas must comply with the new rules. Albany is one of the eight metropolitan areas. Designing CFAs may give people more choices for where to live and reduce the reliance on vehicles, which may reduce emissions from transportation and slow the pace of climate change.
What is a Climate Friendly Area?
Climate Friendly Areas (CFAs) will be walkable, connected areas that allow a mix of businesses, housing, and amenities such as parks and schools. Development in these areas will require high quality pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure and transit access.
Where are the Climate Friendly Areas proposed and when will they go into effect?
Albany has identified candidate Climate Friendly Areas (CFAs) that are on or near transit lines where a mix of uses and/or taller buildings are already allowed within the city. The primary CFA is proposed for the Heritage Mall area, including surrounding commercial and residential development. “Secondary” CFAs are proposed in downtown, north, south, and east Albany.
After public engagement with property owners and residents, the Albany City Council will make a final decision regarding which areas to designate as CFAs by the end of 2024.
Development within CFAs will occur over many years based on market demand. The new rules will help ensure these areas provide a mix of uses in easily accessible areas, which we hope, will improve the livability and vibrancy of the city for all residents over time.
Will the rules eliminate single-detached dwellings and homeownership opportunities?
No. Most areas zoned for single-dwelling development will stay unchanged.
Home ownership can be through fee-simple ownership or condominium ownership.
Housing allowed in the new CFAs will include any housing that can be constructed at a minimum net density of 15 units an acre in most CFAs, which would include smaller houses, townhouses, duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, apartments. Housing in the primary CFA proposed for the Heritage Mall area must be constructed at 25 units a net acre.
Will some businesses be prohibited in the new mixed-use areas?
Most commercial and service business types will be allowed in the new mixed-use areas; however, standards that require safe pedestrian access may discourage auto-depending retail.
Will the rules increase housing costs?
Many factors affect housing prices – the cost of land, construction, parking, supply and demand, location, unit size, to name a few. The following rule changes may reduce housing costs:
- Parking and Vehicle Ownership. Parking adds cost to development and people who don’t own cars pay indirectly for other people’s parking. Vehicle ownership is expensive. Parking is no longer required with development. Lenders and market dynamics will determine parking needs.
We recognize that Albany transit and bike/ped systems may currently not provide the stop frequency or connectivity yet to support car-free living and that most residents have cars and want parking.
- The hope is that over time parking may be “decoupled” from the cost of housing, which may in turn support increased transit ridership (and ultimately better transit service) and walking and biking for services and jobs in closer proximity.
- Higher Density vs. “High Rise” Construction Costs. High rise buildings (5 or more stories) will not be required in the new urban centers, but we must allow for buildings up to 85 feet in the primary CFA (Heritage Mall area). Buildings over 4 stories have different construction requirements and can be more costly per square foot than buildings up to 4 stories. As land increases in value, taller buildings may cost less per square foot.
A market analysis for east Albany (east of I-5), indicated Albany’s residential development is anticipated to be 4 or fewer stories in the near term. A market study of all proposed CFAs will provide the city with more information about the type of development we could expect over time.
- EV Conduit: Apartment complexes with 5 or more units must provide electrical service capacity and conduit for 40% of provided parking spaces; however, the wiring and electric vehicle chargers are not required. The intent is to reduce costs to install charging stations later as demand for EVs grows.
Will the rules increase costs for businesses?
- Parking. Parking is no longer required, which may reduce development costs. New standards will encourage conversion of underutilized parking areas and facilitate shared parking. New parking lots over ¼ acre in size will be required to provide more tree canopy or solar panels.
- EV Conduit. State law currently requires commercial buildings in private ownership to provide 20% of new parking spaces with EV conduit and electrical service capacity (ORS 455.417). The new rules for mixed -use buildings with 5 or more dwellings, increase this requirement to 40% of parking spaces provided.
The first phase is to study and determine potential locations of climate-friendly areas by December 31, 2023. Following this phase, development standards for these areas will be adopted by December 31, 2024.
|Albany Area||Transportation Planning Rule major report (5/31)||Transportation Planning Rule minor report (5/31)||Transportation Planning Rule minor report (5/31/2026) and major report (5/31/2028)||Transportation Planning Rule minor report (5/31)|
There are three phases of parking reform (A, B, and EV Conduit). Parking Part A will go into effect on January 1, 2023. EV Conduit went into effect April 1, 2023. Parking Reform B amendments will be effective June 30, 2023. These last changes include repealing parking citywide, setting parking maximums, updating bicycle parking and amending parking lot standards for lots larger than one quarter of an acre to require solar panels or more tree canopy.
The city’s parking standards can be found in Article 9 of the Albany Development Code.
Why reduce parking requirements?
Parking is expensive to construct, and car ownership is expensive*. Transportation pollution accounts for 38% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Minimum parking requirements hide the costs of parking to households, housing, goods, services, and businesses. Free or ample parking leads to more people owning cars and driving than they would if they were aware of the true costs. Knowing these costs may lead to using alternative modes of travel.
Many communities let the market determine how much parking to provide and lenders usually require sufficient parking.
*According to AAA and Consumer Expenditures in 2019 by the US Department of Labor, the average vehicle costs more than $9,500 a year including loan, fuel, insurance, and maintenance.
What are the parking and transportation rules?
Reduced parking requirements for certain uses, along transit corridors, and in mixed-use areas will go into effect January 1, 2023. These rules are intended to free up land for housing and services and help to create these mixed-use urban areas and support transit and alternative modes.
Additional parking standards encouraging redevelopment of underused parking lots and shared parking, as well as require more tree canopy or solar panels in larger parking lots, and further reduce parking requirements will go into effect July 1, 2023 if not adopted by the city prior to that date.
EV Charging Capacity
By April 1, 2023, residential developments of 5 or more units will need to provide more electric vehicle charging capacity than the building codes currently require.
Transportation Systems Plan
By the end of 2029, the city will need to update or adopt a new Transportation System Plan that will prioritize systems that provide a wider range of equitable and climate-friendly transportation options such as walking, biking, and/or riding transit, rather than focusing solely on motor vehicle congestion.
The next round of community engagement will be regarding the boundaries of the proposed Climate Friendly Area (CFA) and necessary development code amendments to comply with the CFEC rules.
Join the mailing list to stay up to date. Please send questions, comments and suggestions to
View prior public event meeting materials:
Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) Background
Oregon is not meeting its goals to reduce climate pollution. In 2007, Oregon legislators adopted a goal to reduce Oregon’s climate pollution by 75% by 2050 because that’s what the science calls for if Oregon is going to avoid catastrophic impacts to our environment, communities, and economy. Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-04 in March 2020 which is the basis of the Oregon Climate Action Plan (OCAP), which directs many state agencies to address climate change in a variety of very specific ways.
The Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is the state agency that oversees land use and transportation planning. Transportation accounts for 38% of Oregon’s greenhouse gas pollution. Land use patterns can impact climate pollution by offering transportation, housing, and employment choices in locations that are walkable, bikeable, and accessible by transit to reduce reliance on vehicles.
The Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) initiated the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rulemaking in September 2020. After almost two years of public engagement and modifications to draft rules, LCDC adopted the rules July 21, 2022. Visit the CFEC page for information about the new standards and state climate change resources.