We work to improve Bend's quality of life by advocating for policies that spread the costs and benefits of growth equitably across the community as a whole, promote sustainable growth, and prevent sprawl in order to preserve Central Oregon's natural beauty for all.
The Bend Central District (roughly the area around Third Street between the Midtown neighborhoods and the railroad tracks) has been identified since 2007 in city plans as an area that would transition from primarily industrial uses to a mixed use neighborhood.
Central Oregon LandWatch is launching an initiative to build momentum for the Bend Central District’s transformation into the community's vision for a healthy and vibrant urban neighborhood with safe connections between east and west Bend. This initiative will honor and support the pioneering and industrial spirit of the Maker's District and work to find ways to preserve those uses. It will also advocate for the city to improve the area with urban parks, better connections for pedestrians and bikers, and active streets.
pivotal role in Bend's urban growth boundary success
Throughout the eight years of Bend’s Urban Growth Boundary planning process, LandWatch was the leading public interest group advocating for a limited expansion to prevent urban sprawl, encourage cost-effective growth, protect wildlife habitat, and foster affordable housing.
LandWatch’s strong voice in the planning process helped to create a plan that will add more housing capacity to the city while reducing urban sprawl by 70% compared to the original proposal in 2008. By focusing density and redevelopment in several efficiently located “Opportunity Areas,” the plan avoids impacting established neighborhoods. These key urban renewal areas will complement existing neighborhoods so that more people have more options for economic services, grocery shops, and dining out closer to where they live.
Now that the plan for the Urban Growth Boundary has been adopted, it must be put into action within the planning window. Bend’s future hangs in the balance of this plan’s successful implementation, and Central Oregon LandWatch is the only group with the background and legal understanding to see that Bend’s visionary plan becomes reality. We will be watching and actively involved to ensure we are truly becoming a better Bend.
There is a housing crisis in our city that threatens to push the people who live and work here out of our community. It doesn’t have to happen that way. We believe Bend can and must plan to provide housing that will accommodate a diversity of incomes and lifestyles without sacrificing our quality of life.
The proposed Urban Growth Boundary plan will help alleviate this crisis by providing for a more diverse mix of housing options for Bend residents and by reducing transportation costs for folks who will be able to live near where they work. However, it will not solve the problem. LandWatch will be working with community leaders, decision-makers, and those who are most affected to find policy solutions to this crisis in coming months and years.
Banner Photo courtesy of Central Oregon Photobug; Family in Old Mill courtesy of Christian Heeb