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Packed hearing held on Bend’s Westside expansion


The future of Bend’s Westside is up for debate, and a packed hearing Tuesday night was one of the first steps in deciding its fate.

It’s called the Westside Transect Zone, and it’s an area on the west side of town just past the urban growth boundary.

The area was set aside to provide a buffer between high-density areas and more rural residential areas back in 2016 when the new UGB was put into place, a compromise between landowners and those who opposed a high-density expansion.

Those who own the land, a combination of private and public owners, would like to be able to develop it, but keep the rural feel.

That means they want to limit the amount of homes that can be developed in the area, and make sure wildlife is protected and there’s a wildfire protective barrier.

Many shared their views with the Deschutes County hearings officer, from homeowners to the Bend Park and Rec District, as well as golf course management groups that all butt up to the property.

“The city of Bend has a very aggressive UGB goal, and the Awbrey Glen golf club is willing to examine the property to see if there is anything the golf course can do to help the city of Bend achieve its UGB goal,” one man testified. “But that won’t be allowed, because of the accessibility that is provided by changing that Skyliner Ranch Road inside the proposed project.”

Another woman asked for clarification, saying, “We need to get an update on the plan that is proposed, and what is happening here.”

“It looks to me like there is only one road in and out,” one man said. “That dumps onto Shevlin Park Road.”

If the new zoning is approved, the idea is a maximum of 200 single-family homes would go onto the property.

It’s also zoned to allow for schools, fire departments and public buildings.

Already surrounding the property is Shevlin Park and the park district’s new Riley Ranch Nature Preserve, and because of the way the area is set up, the goal is to create a space that’s rural, yet allows for people to live there and enjoy the feel.

This proposal is expected to go to county commissioners sometime later this year.

For more information on the Westside Transect Zone, click here.

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