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Redmond Planning Commission backs expansion projects


Officials are taking steps to expand both the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Redmond’s urban growth boundary.

The basic idea behind both expansions is to keep up with Central Oregon’s growth.

The Oregon Department of State Lands, Deschutes County, and Redmond are collaborating to make these proposed land changes a reality.

On Monday night, the Redmond Planning Commission recommended the city council approve the urban growth boundary expansion and the fairground expansion.

Both projects have been in the works for at least 10 years.

John Swanson, a real property planner with the Oregon Department of State Lands, said they’ll benefit the entire Central Oregon community.

“In the future, when this gets developed, this will be a benefit not only to the common school fund, our obligations, but also the city of Redmond, Deschutes County and the entire region, to supply property for this unique demand for large lot industrial (sites),” Swanson said.

The fairground expansion plan includes an RV park upgrade, another multi-use indoor facility, athletic fields, 4-H expansion and an off-highway vehicle area with trails.

Meanwhile the city’s urban growth boundary expansion is meant for industry and attracting more businesses to Central Oregon.

Jon Stark, senior director of Redmond Economic Development, said it was something that’s very forward-thinking for city and county officials.

He added that it’s important for businesses to grow along with the population.

“As we start becoming a larger metro area, now starting tip the scale close to 250,000 people here, we want to compete for those types of job projects as well,” Stark said. “And these larger lots, 50 acres to 100 acres, really give us that competitive edge to compete for those projects.”

Stark called it a huge step forward for the region in attracting and keeping businesses here.

The official decision on the expansion projects will come at a later date, after the city council and county commissioners hold a joint public hearing.

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