Central Oregon LandWatch recognizes the urgent need to increase housing choices for people across the income spectrum. We also believe that existing Bend residents should be considered in the planning process as much as developers and potential new residents.
These ideas are not mutually exclusive: the recently adopted Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) plan balances them by focusing zoning for density and redevelopment in several “Opportunity Areas.” Opportunity Areas like the Bend Central District or KorPine are efficiently located and mostly avoid impacting existing neighborhoods.
Last week, the Housing Collaborative Workgroup recommended 12 policy tools that would make changes to the UGB’s balanced approach to density. This group and its report were sponsored in part by the Central Oregon Builders Association, Central Oregon Realtors Association, and Bend2030.
While we support the workgroup's recommended policies that help to implement the UGB plan, we have concerns about several of the tools that would speed up change in neighborhoods. Read Paul's responses to the Workgroup's recommendations here: May 24, 2017 & July 17, 2017.
We have not yet seen how the UGB plan will shape our city's future so it may be premature to change it so soon after its adoption. Instead, the City should focus on implementing the community’s vision for the Opportunity Areas, which provide areas for appropriately planned housing and mixed use density.