Building on momentum from community urban growth boundary discussions, Central Oregon LandWatch and The Tree Farm LLC successfully reached a settlement agreement on a proposed development west of Bend. This follows closely on the heels of a groundbreaking cooperative effort between LandWatch and west side landowners and developers regarding the future of Bend's western edge.
While recent UGB discussions centered on which lands will be brought into the city's urban growth boundary, this agreement addresses how county land west of Bend will be developed. Last year, LandWatch appealed The Tree Farm LLC's proposal for a residential development between Shevlin Park and NorthWest Crossing to the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) due to wildlife habitat and wildfire concerns.
LandWatch will withdraw its appeal after coming to an agreement that addresses these concerns. As part of the settlement, developers commit to develop the Miller property in a manner consistent and in compliance with the "transect concept". The transect concept requires density to taper as the city boundary nears the forest in order to protect homes from wildfire and to preserve wildlife habitat.
Additionally, Brooks Resources, managing partner of The Tree Farm LLC, agrees to support the city's Central Area Plan, which calls for increased urbanization and revitalization of the Third Street corridor. "The Central Area Plan is important to us," says Paul Dewey, Founder of COLW. "It responds to LandWatch's goal of limiting sprawl around the city and will provide a vital, vibrant, mixed-use and pedestrian-friendly extension of downtown Bend."
The Tree Farm is located on 533 acres west of Bend's city limits in Deschutes County. The property is located off Skyliners Road bordered mostly by U.S. Forest Service land and on the west by the beloved Shevlin Park. The community will consist of 50, 2-acre homesites, with the remaining 80% of the property as dedicated open space.