Locating Your Business

Selecting a Location for Your Business

If you are moving your business to a new location or expanding in your current location, it is likely that you will need a tenant infill or change of use permit. Before investing in property or construction design, it is important to get preliminary information on development regulations and associated fees. We strongly urge you to visit the Permit and Information Center early in your preparations before you lease or buy new space. 

Three main areas are reviewed by staff when locating a business:

1. Use (Land Use Code)

Businesses are classified by use under the Eugene Land Use Code (Chapter 9). When a building or commercial space has a change of use, this change may trigger new zoning requirements. Typical topics to discuss with land use staff include:

  • Is the location of the proposed business suitable for the zone that it’s in?
  • Is the business a change of use from what was there before?
  • Is more on-site parking (vehicle or bicycle) required?

2. Occupancy (State Building Code)

"Occupancy" classifies business activities under the Building Code. Changes in occupancy may require fire/life safety, structural, or accessibility changes to the space, which can increase the cost of your project. Typical occupancy topics to discuss with a commercial code analyst include:

  • What is the occupancy classification for the business?
  • Is it a change of occupancy from what is already legally established for the space? (e.g. retail use changing to a restaurant)
  • Will a change in occupancy require an additional exit, fire rated doors, fire-rated walls or sprinklers?
  • What are the mechanical and plumbing requirements for a commercial kitchen or bakery?
  • Will I be required to provide handicap accessible parking spaces?

3. Systems Development Charges (SDC’s)

Developments that intensify the use of a public system pay Systems Development Charges. These charges help to cover the impact the new use will have on the public infrastructure systems (sewers, roads, and parks).