Talent considering zoning changes after residents express concerns

TALENT, Ore. – The city of Talent continues to rebuild from the devastating 2020 Almeda Fire.

According to the city’s mayor, roughly 80% of private homes lost are now back. 

In 2019, the city council approved an ordinance that any new homes build in a high density areas must be multi-family housing.

But the fire burned down many of the homes in high density zones, so the city had to make a change.

“The city has allowed per an executive order and emergency declaration to build like-for-like, meaning that if you had a single family home we would allow you to build a single family home,” Talent community development director Kristen Maze said.

That emergency declaration is set to expire in March.

Residents argue that their subdivision’s codes only allow single-family houses, which many of them do.

However, the city said that any zoning criteria it implements would override any codes written by the subdivision.

Multi-family housing can be an apartment complex, duplex, tri-plex and so on.

Residents in high density areas tell us they are concerned, because even though there are single family homes on their street, a duplex can still be built next to their home.

But the city is hoping to find a solution.

“They’re concerned about their current zoning,” Maze said. “We discussed with them the possibility of rezoning that area to a medium density residential. That would be a lengthy process.”

Autumn Ridge, a community in Talent with just over 40 houses has seven lots that have not been rebuilt on.

Residents there tell us they’re worried about potential parking issues and the character of the neighborhood being ruined if multi-family housing is built there, thus bringing in a lot more people.

Maze said the council plans to extend the emergency declaration in an upcoming meeting next week.

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NBC5 News reporter Zachary Larsen grew up in Surprise, Arizona. He graduated from Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. At ASU, Zack interned at Arizona Sports 98.7FM and Softball America. During his Junior year, Zack joined the ASU Sports Bureau. He covered the Fiesta Bowl, the Phoenix Open and major basketball tournaments. Zack enjoys working out, creative writing, music, and rooting for his ASU Sun Devils.
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