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Bend Central District’s future could see expansion, new city hall

Planning commission gives node to code changes to encourage mixed uses

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend is working to keep up with growth, and changes, by creating and encouraging mixed-use development in the Bend Central District.

The central district is located to the east of Highway 97, and covers from Revere Avenue to the north down to the railroad tracks at the south end of the district, and it goes as far east as Fourth Street.

The city's Planning Commission looked Monday night at ways to make the area easier to develop.

The city would like to see the opportunity for more housing to happen in mixed-use area, alongside shops and businesses.

So it's looking at code changes that will allow for more mixed-use buildings, make parking more accessible, and maximize buildable space.

Allison Platt, a senior planner with the city, said allowing for mixed uses and creating a walkable neighborhood is something the city feels can help accommodate growth.

"It's really expensive to serve infrastructure as we keep growing out in the city, whereas in the center of the city where we have that base infrastructure we have that access to a complete neighborhood and complete access to services," Platt said.

"You're actually going to reduce your vehicle miles traveled by encouraging that denser development in the center of the city where people can walk to things, where people can access goods in a shorter trip distance."

After the planning commission decided to move forward with code changes Monday night, the proposals to make development easier will be in front of Bend City Council on Feb. 5 for a public hearing.

And the city has other ideas for the Bend Central District.

It's starting to look at the Bend Central District as a possible new location for city hall, which has outgrown the downtown location and uses several nearby office spaces.

Platt said as the city has grown, the true center of the city has moved more to the east.

That makes the Bend Central District a more easily accessible spot for the entire city.

"It's likely that the center of the city will only move more east as the city grows, and so looking at a city hall that is in a more central location can serve all constituents in an easily accessible location," Platt said.

"And I also think we're concerned about parking in downtown and taking away some really prime real estate for commercial activity to take place in downtown."

Right now, the city is still looking to see if it would be able to place city hall in the Bend Central District.

It would have to secure funding for the project if they do decide to move forward with it.

Bend / Central Oregon / Government-politics / Top Stories

Jacob Larsen

Jacob Larsen is a reporter and weather anchor for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jacob here.

Comments

11 Comments

    1. Or maybe, just maybe, baristas, servers, bartenders, college students, retail shop workers, etc, etc! But that doesn’t fit into your little anti-immigrant rant now does it?

  1. I like to see the city having a vision for growth and the future! so many people are just sticking their heads in the sand, and complaining about growth. But it’s going to happen so let’s have the conversation and plans to make Bend a nice city as it grows!

  2. Maybe something will be done with the underpass bottleneck if the city employees have to deal with it on a regular basis. I do not foresee City Hall moving into that area with all the street camping done there nor with all the industrial business’s there unless there are plans to remove all the working people and replace them with parking lots for the “overlords” to use.

  3. How is this “central”? I thought the proposed new library location was “central”.
    New city hall…new library…money money everywhere for projects we don’t need but none for roads. if you must have a new library and empty the current downtown facility, then put the old library to good use and make that offices for the city employees.

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