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‘Unique opportunity’: Bend set to get bigger with addition of 261 undeveloped acres

(Updated: adding video, comments from city planner)

City launches online open house to get public input as it plans development

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend is getting bigger, again. The city's Growth Management Division has begun the first steps of planning for the development of 261 acres of land on Bend's southeast side, east of 27th Street and north of Knott Landfill.

Those extra acres come from the Oregon Legislature recently passing a bill moving that land inside Bend's Urban Growth Boundary -- something that hasn't been done outside a metro region.

"It's a unique opportunity," Brian Rankin, long-range planning manager for the city, said Wednesday.

City planners are now working on the Stevens Road Tract Concept Plan, which will lay a foundation for the expansion.

But they have to follow some guidelines, set by the bill.

HB 3318 outlines a process and directs the type of eventual development of a "complete community" on the property. A separate, western section of the Stevens Road parcel is already in the master planning process.

The eventual development is expected to include deed-restricted affordable, workforce and market-rate housing, parks, mixed uses and employment uses. Transportation options that support walking, biking and transit will also be included in the plan and later development. 

The Stevens Road Tract Concept Plan is the first of many steps leading to the creation of a new neighborhood in Bend.  The plan will lay the foundation for expanding the Bend Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), future planning amendments in the Bend Comprehensive Plan, property sale, master planning, and eventual development of the site based on the requirements of House Bill 3318 (HB 3318).  

Rankin says usually, city planners don't have time to focus on a single area for this type of work.

"It's an exciting opportunity, you know, to really spend focus time talking about a specific property and what it could be someday later, when it develops," said Rankin.

So the city's asking for your help.

The city said Wednesday it has launched an online open house on the Stevens Road Tract Concept Plan website, where people can learn more about the project and provide important feedback. The open house will be available through Dec. 15.  

Addressing housing affordability and creating more housing in Bend is a City Council priority.

"The Stevens Road Tract project offers a unique approach to adding land to the Urban Growth Boundary for affordable and market-rate housing," the announcement stated.

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Carly Keenan

Carly Keenan is a multimedia journalist and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Carly here.

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