The Bulletin recently printed an article that conflates concerns about growth with concerns about the current Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) process - see "Some Bend Residents Protesting Growth". This is a mistake. Well-informed citizens know that whether the city grows in population or not, we will only maintain our quality of life if we plan for the future thoughtfully.
In 2008, the city proposed an expansion of 8,400 acres, which would have increased the size of Bend by 40%. Nothing induces growth, traffic, and destruction of natural resources like the type of sprawl included in that original proposal. LandWatch lead the opposition to that plan, and the State remanded it back to the city, which got us here.
The current UGB proposal adds significantly fewer acres to the City of Bend. It addresses concerns about wildlife, wildfire, and transportation where the city abuts the forest, and it increases the diversity of housing options in order to help with the affordability problem our workforce faces.
I understand the concerns of neighbors who are faced with proposals for upzones next to them. However, the recent controversial development projects are not associated with the Urban Growth Boundary planning process. Please don't make the mistake The Bulletin makes.
Please join us in supporting the 2016 UGB proposal at the Public Hearing on Thursday, August 25th.
What: Joint City Council and Board of Commissioners Public Hearing on UGB expansion
When: Thursday, August 25th 1pm - 5pm and 6pm - 9pm
Where: Barnes/Sawyer Room - Deschutes Services Center 1300 NW Wall Street
If you can't be there, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested Talking Points -
"I support the UGB proposal because….”
- By expanding onto fewer acres, the UGB proposal reduces urban sprawl by about 70% compared to the city’s original 2008 proposal.
- The Westside transect addresses wildlife, wildfire, and transportation concernswhere the city abuts permanent natural areas.
- It diversifies the housing mix so that residents will have a variety of housing options beyond simply single-family homes on large lots.
- Using Bend’s existing urban land wisely, with infill and redevelopment focused on key opportunity areas, reduces the need for large infrastructure costs to serve new developments.
- The Bend Central District represents a perfect opportunity for a lively, mixed use urban center without impacting existing neighborhoods. The code revisions proposed by Central Oregon LandWatch and Brooks Resources should be adopted to enhance this transformation.
- The plan creates new walkable, mixed use and complete communities while also complementing existing communities in Bend. This reduces the need for people living on the edges of the city to drive long distances, and cuts down on traffic.
- It meets state requirements so that our city can move forward with a clear plan for well-designed growth.
- Once the plan is in place, please ensure there is follow through to get it done. Make sure the Long-Range Planning Department is adequately supported to enable a successful annexation process.