Urban Growth Boundary Update: Expansion Scenarios

Those of us who call Bend home take pride in our outdoor heritage, our vibrant neighborhoods and the natural beauty that surrounds us.

Word has gotten out; our population has quadrupled in thirty years. In order to preserve the many benefits of living and working here, we must make careful decisions about how and where to grow.

Last week, the Boundary Committee reviewed three scenarios for where and how Bend could allow new lands to be developed for employment and housing purposes.

All three of the expansion scenarios include intensive development west of Bend, where risk of a major wildfire is highest. That risk was highlighted by the recent Shevlin Park fire.

LandWatch supports spreading the costs and benefits of growth equitably across the community; however, the scenarios presented favor large property owners over smaller property owners.

In the midst of our affordable housing crisis, does it make sense to build expensive homes in the forest? Perhaps we should be including land to the North and Northeast, which is more likely to yield affordable developments.

On June 24th, the Boundary Committee will reconvene to look at refined scenarios in advance of the UGB Steering Committee on June 25th (2-4:45pm at 1300 NW Wall St.).

Tell the UGB Steering Committee to include for further study a scenario that:

  • includes small property owners,
  • reduces risk to life and property from catastrophic wildfire in forested lands,
  • promotes affordable housing options,
  • and protects our forest.

UGB Steering Committee (USC) Email Addresses
Nathan Boddie nboddie@bendoregon.gov
Barb Campbell bcampbell@bendoregon.gov
Victor Chudowsky vchudowsky@bendoregon.gov
Jim Clinton jclinton@bendoregon.gov
Doug Knight dknight@bendoregon.gov
Casey Roats croats@bendoregon.gov
Sally Russell srussell@bendoregon.gov
Tony DeBone tony.debone@deschutes.org
Bill Wagner bwagner@bendoregon.gov
Rex Wolf rwolf@bendoregon.gov

Bend UGB expansion concept closer, committee still split

Recommendations expected to be finalized at June 24 meeting

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

Published Jun 10, 2015

Link: http://www.bendbulletin.com/news/3235980-151/story.html

An advisory committee working on the expansion of Bend’s urban growth boundary aims to have a slate of recommendations ready in just over two weeks but remains divided on where the city’s future growth ought to be concentrated.

Earlier this year, consultants working with city staff developed three scenarios outlining different ways the boundary could be expanded by close to 2,000 acres. All three scenarios propose to place future growth in some combination of eight identified areas scattered around the perimeter of the city’s current urban growth boundary but vary significantly in what should go where.

Tuesday, members of the UGB Technical Advisory Committee met to discuss the three possibilities, and any changes that might be necessary before the scenarios and associated maps are passed on to a separate committee composed of the Bend City Council, two planning commissioners and Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone for final approval.

The state Land Conservation and Development Commission will have to approve the city’s proposal before the UGB expansion is official.

Members of the Technical Advisory Committee and members of the public at Tuesday’s meeting offered their input on the three draft scenarios and will be meeting again June 24 to finalize their recommendations.

Committee member Rick Ross said he thought it was a mistake to dedicate a large portion of the southern area known as “The Thumb” to commercial development. Ross said he felt the area might be better suited to home sites, as the land is covered with ponderosa forest and is owned by the J.L. Ward Co., one of the region’s largest residential developers.

Multiple members of the committee said they’d like to see more options for moving future residential development from the city’s west side to the east and northeast.

Committee member Sharon Smith said although it might not be possible to develop the West Area and Shevlin Area parcels at the same density as other areas because of the need for buffers to mitigate wildfire risk, the committee shouldn’t reject including such areas in the urban growth boundary. The expansion process should seek to provide different styles of housing that will appeal a range of residents, she said.

Testifying to the committee, Bend resident Wayne Purcell said he was disappointed to see very little land in Bend’s northeast corner allocated for residential development. Flat lots are essential for affordable housing, Purcell said, and flat land close to schools and parks is abundant on the city’s northeast.

Bend Park & Recreation District planner Steve Jorgenson and attorney spoke in favor of further research of property in the Shevlin Area, as did attorney Tia Lewis, who represents the Coates family, owners of around 700 acres in that area. Both said the area provides many opportunities for an expanded trail system connecting existing and future park sites.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com