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Some SE Bend neighbors worried about housing development

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.

Bend / Central Oregon / Government-politics / Top Stories

Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.

Comments

17 Comments

  1. No matter where or what is proposed, there will always be the NIMBY contingent who will oppose it. And most of the arguments they use are fabricated without evidence or any basis in fact.

    1. “And most of the arguments they use are fabricated without evidence or any basis in fact.” trumpanzees no doubt !!!

      That’s gonna be like 6 or 7 houses per acre. Rugged.

      1. when it is all said and done, good chance third to half will be tiny homes, city of bend folks only care about revenue not quality of life. one just needs to look back during the past 30 years.

  2. The City of Bend “””We must build it to see what kind of extra congestion it will cause””” “””Then we will tear up newly paved roads and poorly patch them together””” “””Creating windy instead of straight roads that are poorly engineered and banked””” “”” Trust us, we’re from the City of Bend, we know what were doing”””. Counting tax dollars !

    1. I’m sure they would sell it as is if someone wants to buy it and leave it as an open space. The planners and some of the commenters on here won’t like that either though because they like to fill in any open space.

      “the public comment period has concluded” – interesting that this is when some of us hear about it for the first time.

        1. Yep I get the letters all the time. I watched one guy fight for a year to remove a home that was built on two lots. He wanted to remove the one small home (not much more then a shack) and build two homes, one on each lot. From the bitching you would have thought he was trying to build two 50 story apartment complex’s on them. Added traffic was one of the so called issues. LOL

  3. These people that don’t like this should not talk to the news or anybody else. It’s pretty simple really, and then you drive off potential home sales. That’s pretty easy to do too, and LEGAL if you do a little homework

  4. More californians refugees great Like the one two weeks ago that couldn’t tell murphy was icy came into my lane forcing me onto the sidewalk and still hit me tearing the back off her car and scuffing the tire of my jeep lol Not to mention the destruction of our quality of life!

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