Nearly 800 homes proposed on 150 acres
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A large development is being proposed for a parcel in southeast Bend, and it means hundreds of homes and a new traffic flow, which is prompting concern among some neighbors.
J.L. Ward Co. is proposing to build 795 new homes on 150 acres of land at Murphy Road and Country Club Drive.
Under a "minor master plan" proposal, city codes require a minimum of 676 homes be built, and 10 percent of the lots must be for something other than single-family detached homes. Also, 10% of the site must be left as open space and within a half mile of commercially-designated property.
A minor master plan can be decided administratively, by a city planner, and doesn't result in a public hearing. However, if the planner's decision is appealed, a public hearing will be held in front of a Hearings Officer.
Bend Senior Planner Karen Swenson shared Monday how the land will continue to be used, in addition to the new homes.
"The master plan also includes 11.8 acres of 'area of special interest,' which is kind of the rocky mound area, which is the central portion of the master plan," Swenson said. "It also includes additional open space that will then be eventually transferred to the Bend Parks and Recreation District."
Swenson said the public comment period has concluded and she will soon draft her decision.
James Dorofi, board chair of the Old Farm District Neighborhood Association, said the board supports the improvements, but questions the progressive design being used to improve the area.
Increased traffic and density are two issues that concern residents because of the location of the project and its proximity to R. E. Jewell Elementary School.
"We need to make sure that all vehicles and people can get safely across and down Murphy Road," Dorofi said, "so when Murphy Road is completed, the new high school and the new park, which is already approved and funded, will be safely accessible for everyone on this side of town."
One resident whose kids attend Jewell Elementary School said she does not believe the development will benefit the neighborhood.
"People drive really fast in this area," Jennifer Sawyer said. "My kids attend Jewell Elementary, and they are on these roads on their bikes. The thought that we're going to add or could have the possibility of adding 1,500-plus cars in this area is frightening as a mom."
Construction could begin as early as the spring, but the project is expected to take many years to complete. The city also is coordinating with J.L. Ward Co. to coordinate major Murphy Road improvements and a planned traffic circle at Murphy Road and Country Club Drive.