Lane County May Tighten Floodplain Regulations and Adopt a Drinking Water Protection Zone 

Contact: Lane County Land Management Division Associate Planner Keir Miller at 541-682-4631 or



On Tuesday, October 26, the Lane County Planning Commissioner and the Lane County Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing to determine if proposed changes to the County’s floodplain regulations should be approved, modified or denied. The Board will also consider whether or not to adopt a new set of zoning regulations intended to protect sources of public drinking water.


The proposed code changes are intended to achieve the following related objectives:


  • Protect human life, health and property.
  • Minimize the potential for contamination of public drinking water.
  • Manage the alteration of flood hazard areas to minimize the immediate and cumulative impacts of development on the natural and beneficial functions of the floodplain.
  • Minimize expenditure of public money on costly pollution remediation projects and emergency response operations.


The proposed floodplain regulations would prohibit critical structures, such as fire or police stations, from being built within the floodplain and would also place further restrictions on other development within the more hazardous “floodway” portion of the floodplain. In addition, the proposed rules would require that new structures built within the floodplain are constructed to higher elevations. 


The proposed drinking water overlay zone would establish 200 foot protective setbacks around rivers and lakes that are sources of public drinking water. Within these setbacks most new development, including the installation new septic systems, would be prohibited. In addition, the removal or destruction of vegetation would be prohibited in these areas. However, existing lawns and other landscaping could be maintained. The overlay zone also includes requirements designed to protect sources of public groundwater from hazardous chemical spills.


In advance of the public hearing, the Lane County Land Management Division will host an open house on Wednesday, October 20 to share information and answer questions about the proposed regulations. Community members are encouraged to drop in.
Alternately, community members may call the Land Management Division with questions (541-682-3577) or visit the code update website to learn more:



Open House and Public Hearing:


What:  Informational Open House

When:  2-7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 20

Where:  Harris Hall, Lane County Public Service Building, 125 E. Eighth Ave., Eugene



  Public Hearing

When:  6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 26

Where:  Harris Hall, Lane County Public Service Building, 125 E. Eighth Ave., Eugene





Amber Fossen

Public Information Officer

Lane County Government

125 E. Eighth Ave.

Eugene, Oregon 97401



541.359.9143 (cell)