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Duplexes/Triplexes/Fourplexes Issue Scheduled for New Work Session

City Council Recap – August 15, 2018

Courtesy: Tor Hanson, Bend Chamber Special Projects Reporter

 

Bend is becoming increasingly expensive when it comes to homeownership. Now Bend City Council is aiming to make it possible to build duplexes, triplexes and fourplexes on smaller lot sizes in an effort to add housing units.

The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,590 according to the city’s performance dashboard.

Currently, demand is outweighing supply by a wide margin creating an upward trajectory when it comes to home and rental pricing. The median price for a single-family home is $449,000, up from $410,000 in January 2018. The average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,590 according to the city’s performance dashboard.

In May 2017, Bend 2030 presented 12 recommendations to city council focused on the so-called Missing Middle housing. The term refers to a range of housing types that can provide more than one housing unit per lot and can be compatible in scale with single-family homes.

With research in hand, staff presented city council with several options to provide additional middle housing in Bend.

The original Bend 2030 workgroup draft recommendations (#10) focused specifically on fourplexes: “Allow fourplexes in standard residential zone.” Currently, the Bend Development Code (BDC) only allows construction of duplexes and triplexes in RS designated zones.

Throughout the summer, city staff has looked at several cities to explore best practices regarding multi-family units. They looked at Olympia, Washington; Flagstaff, Arizona; Cincinnati, Ohio; Livermore, California; and Portland, Oregon. With research in hand, staff presented city council with several options to provide additional middle housing in Bend. Most of the recommendations are based on how to recalculate the city’s density requirements.

 

  • Option A: the planning commission should consider creating small flag lot requirements; review triplexes as Type I process and eliminate design review; allow duplexes and traditional lots and corner lots when they meet minimum lot size requirements (8,000 sq. ft.); and allow a house with two ADUs or a duplex with one ADU on 10,000 sq. ft. lots
  • Option B: Reconciling the existing lot size to density requirements to allow builders to utilize the current lot sizes in the RS zone rather than density. This would allow duplexes on 8,000 square foot lots and triplexes on 10,000 square foot lots without calculating density.
  • Option C: Allowing duplexes on 4,000 sq. ft. lots, triplexes on 5,000 sq. ft. lots and fourplexes on 6,000 sq. ft. lots in the RS zone. This option needs additional research when it comes to development standards, local requirements, and incentives.

 

At their July 18 city council meeting, a straw vote initiated by Mayor Roats indicated the councilors were ready to move forward based on city staff’s recommendations, although Councilor Livingston added he was in favor of even smaller lot sizes to add more housing units.

A month later, at their August 18 meeting, City Manager Eric King presented maps indicating where duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes would be allowed in Bend. Links to the maps are available at http://bend.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=9&clip_id=442. No decision has yet been made about allowing duplexes, triplexes, and fourplexes on smaller lots sizes.

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