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.