Letter: Grow Up, Not Out

June 17th, 2015 Letter to the Editor in The Bulletin

It’s time for OSU and Bend to grow up together. No need to continue consuming more valuable farmland and wildlife habitat by expanding the urban growth boundary. No need for more than 46 acres for the new OSU-Cascades campus.

Back in the 1950s and ’60s, Vancouver, British Columbia, decided to grow upward and curb its outward growth. Consequently, it became one of the top 10 most beautiful and livable cities in the world despite housing one of the densest populations in North America.

Bend and OSU can learn from B.C. and grow upwards, let’s say 10 to 15 stories per building. This way OSU would fit nicely onto its 46-acre site, and with underground parking at each high-rise, less acreage would be lost to surface parking.

The same goes for Bend itself. No more urban growth outwards with the resulting loss of wildlife habitat and farmland. Instead, by growing upward and taxing new vertical housing units and adding a student fee at OSU, this could cover much-needed infrastructure and mass transit for the Bend metropolitan area.

There you have it. Two more problems solved. Now if only we can convince the Realtors, land speculators and the general public that growing up isn’t hard to do unless you want to despoil the area with urban sprawl and an excess of parkways, boulevards and freeways.

Give it some careful thought and consider Bend and OSU growing up together.

Bill Friday