From more housing units, to pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, there are big changes in store for Bend.
During the first council meeting of 2016, Bend City Councilors discussed proposed text amendments to the Bend Development Code for accessory dwelling units (ADUs), discussed General Obligation Bond plans and eliminated the Infrastructure Advisory Committee.
An ADUs is a separate dwelling unit that can be attached, detached or above a garage. Proposed changes to ADU code discussed during the work session included eliminating the fee, as well as the required conditional use permit for ADUs. Instead, a Type 1 permit would be required on lots 3,000 square feet or greater, and a Type 2 for lots or parcels less than 1,000 square feet. For lots over 6,000 square feet, there was also a proposal to allow an ADU in size up to 800 square feet.
Bend City Councilor Casey Roats said he hopes the amendments to the code could help more people move forward with the construction of ADUs.
“My hope for the update in the code was that we would encourage more of these to encourage more housing stock,” Roats said.
Councilor Nathan Boddie agreed.
“We talk a lot about the supply and demand impact on housing prices and affordability in Bend. I think this is an area, where this is supply,” Boddie said. “We would like to be able to have buildable land. Owners of property would like to do these projects. It helps increase our density. It helps increase affordable and workforce types of housing.”
Councilor Doug Knight said he was in favor of conscientious growth, but thought some of the proposed changes, such as increasing the size of ADUs and the changes to the permits, might have some unintended consequences. Knight said he believed neighbor notification needed to be a part of the ADU process.
“This use is basically taking a living arrangement and inserting it into our backyards of our community,” Knight said.
Chudowsky was in favor of outright permitted use. He said neighbor notification could invite a lot of “neighborhood conflicts and things that could go on endlessly.”
A public hearing for the text amendments on ADUs is scheduled to take place Jan. 20. The current ADU code for the City of Bend can be found at: http://bendoregon.gov/modules/showdocument.aspx?documentid=24771.
During the regular city council meeting, councilors received anupdate for the General Obligation Bond for 14th and Galveston Corridor Projects, as well as an overview of recently completed projects including Reed Market and 27th Street.
Nick Arnis, growth management director for the City of Bend, told councilors that staff would like to expand the limits of the 14th Street project with two additional sections of 14th Street: Simpson to Colorado and Galveston to Newport.
Including the two additional new sections of road would help improve poor road conditions, while alleviating pressure from the Street Preservation Fund, Arnis said.
The two sections would also be consistent with the Central Westside Plan, enhance recent transit enhancements and coordinate with the Regional Solutions Team Transit Project for OSU and Central Oregon.
In other news, the Infrastructure Advisory Committee was removed from the City of Bend Code.
Both Chudowsky and Roats opposed the motion, voting no. The motion was passed 5-2.