Public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Bend Urban Growth Boundary

The Bend City Council and the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners will hold a joint public hearing on a proposed amendment to the Bend Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) on Thursday August 25, 2016.  The hearing will be conducted in two sessions.  An afternoon session will start at 1:00 p.m. and will end no later than 5:00 p.m.  An evening session will start at 6:00 p.m. and end no later than 9:00 p.m.  Both sessions will be held at the Barnes/Sawyer Room, located on the first floor of the Deschutes Services Center, 1300 NW Wall Street in Bend.  People interested in providing testimony can attend either session.  Written comments may be submitted in advance to Senior Planner Damian Syrnyk, or 709 NW Wall Street, Suite 102, Bend, OR 97701.

The hearing materials are posted on the project website:

Here is a summary of some of the main items to consider:

  • Bend will grow by approximately 30,000 people between now and 2028.
  • The actual proposed expansion of the UGB is roughly 2400 acres.
  • The majority of the forecast jobs and housing needed for the new residents will be located within the existing UGB.
  • This means Bend will urbanize.  Proposed policies and regulations in the UGB package enable more urban style development in specific areas within the existing city.

As a city in Oregon, Bend is required to plan for and contain 20 years’ worth of land within its UGB for a variety of uses – residential, employment, commercial, parks, schools, etc.  Based on the work of over 60 community members  who worked on three separate Technical Advisory Committees and analyzed land use, infrastructure and transportation data, the City is proposing a plan that accommodates approximately 60% of the anticipated growth within our existing UGB.  The result is a plan that relies on an efficient use of resources.  In order to accommodate that growth, 9 specific “opportunity areas” will experience more urban/dense type developments that mix housing, employment, services and commercial uses.  This approach protects existing neighborhoods by focusing infill and redevelopment within those opportunity areas.

What does this mean for our local business community?  Based on the direction of policy and development regulations, there will be a wider array of housing choices meeting a wider variety of income levels.  Employers within our community continue to report difficulties in recruiting talent to Bend due to a low vacancy rate for rentals and the high cost of housing (average sales price of homes is close to $400,000).  The mix of housing that results from these changes will meet a wider spectrum of income levels than our current inventory allows.


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