Navigating a changing Bend

By Bend Chamber Communications Coordinator Rachael Rees van den Berg

Bend is getting bigger; it’s growing up. But how do we navigate these changes? On Wednesday, Bend City Council was presented with text amendments to the Bend Development Code for master plans.

According to the Bend City Council issue summary, Bend Development Code (BDC) Chapter 4.5, Master Planning and Development Alternatives, was adopted in 2006 and has been utilized for developments since that time.

A public hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19 to receive feedback from the community on the proposed text amendments. The code is being updated in an effort to update and clarify the processes, criteria and standards of the chapter, and to differentiate the processes for the various types of master plans, the issue summary states. It also explains that an updated master planning code would help implement efficiency measures and other objectives of the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) remand process.

Text amendments to the code would create three new types of master plans: Community master plan, institutional master plan and employment master plan. In addition, it would create a new Transportation and Parking Demand Management (TPDM) Plan.

“Each master plan is organized in a similar fashion, so it’s easy to go through them,” City of Bend Senior Planner Pauline Hardie told councilors. “Each one would include its own purpose statement and when it would be applicable.”

Hardie spoke about the different types of master plans, submittal requirements and the duration of approval.

Community and employment master plans are required at 20 acres, she said, and are reviewed at staff level unless it’s a major master plan or a deviated plan. Institutional Master Plans are also required at 20 acres, unless it is for an institution of higher education, then a master plan is is required at 10 acres, she said. Neighborhood master plans have some additional standards and regulations such as density, housing mix and trail connectivity. All major master plans will come to city council for approval, she added.

Councilors engaged in a discussion about the impact  a remote campus would have on the community, a topic discussed earlier in June during a work session.

According to the text amendments, a remote campus is defined as a “campus that is physically located separate from the institutional/employment master plan boundary and contains functions/services that are interdependent with those of the master plan.”

Vince Mercurio of the planning commission said campuses have the potential to grow out of their existing spaces over time.

Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell said the reasoning behind creating a master plan for a campus, for example, is because of the interaction with the community. She said a remote campus takes that interaction a step further because it’s essentially a satellite location.

“A school building is really different from an office building,” Campbell said. “And then when you have two school buildings that are in fact interacting, in particular the case of students who have classes in two different places all day, then that to me is the ultimate need for the community to have as good a plan as possible.”

Any time you write a code, the idea is you want it to last 10, plus years, Mercurio said.

“There was a lot of effort to go into this code and I don’t think I’d want to sit there and try to rewrite it in a few years because we missed something,” he said. “As things change then you come back and change the code, but hopefully that won’t be too often.”


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