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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.



        1. They clearly aren’t planning well then are they? Rees Market is way over capacity, and that before the development at 15th, and the new proposed development. It’s too bad the planning commission has already make bad moves that will Agee t this town negatively forever. Why fix Murphy RD before Rees Market?

          1. Reed Market is a far more complex, costly endeavor than punching through a new road. It is part of the bond measure and will get done, officials say.
            Keeping up with growth can be hamstrung by many things, from lack of funding (will infrastructure bill help?) to long legal fights with folks who don’t want this or that project in their area. Some folks say “stop the growth!” (not legal) and “keep up with growth!” at same time, which are someone contradictory goals.
            Happy Thanksgiving!

            1. The fact that anytime there is a postage stamp size lot, Deschutes county is all about building a 3 story apartment complex, this has really become evident in Redmond lately. And it’s definitely not affordable, unless you make $50K a year.

    1. .3 of an acre would be a big lot these days, probably more like 20 or more houses to an acre. Crammed in, no parking or parks and remove every tree before they begin. The city planners are making sure this town looks terrible in 20 years. Those of us that want to keep walking our dogs in the desert or woods will be driving 45 minutes each way just to find some solitude. I know the 70’s and 80’s are gone but do we have to cut every tree and pave every available patch of land? That’s a rhetorical question, the answer is a resounding yes.

      1. We have a wonderful new home, moved in early last year just as pandemic hit. (Built a lot better than the early 2000s one we bought during that boom – more energy-efficient, etc.)
        Writing off all new homes as hunks of junk… well, we disagree.

        1. Particle board is garbage. You may not be able to see it because it’s underneath, but it’s what’s holding your house together. Hopefully the volcanos don’t produce any serious earthquakes, cause half of Bend crumble.

  1. Leave it alone as open space, improve it a bit for garbage an trails, no one needs another huge tightly crammed housing development, particularly so close to rural properties already established.

    1. You like having stores and services that cant help you on time because they only have partial crews since no one can actually live here on what most pay in theses parts?

      Good Luck. Why not just move to the middle of Nebraska?

  2. Given that Bend is already having problems with inadequate water supplies, exactly how are you proposing to serve the water needs of additional development? This is ridiculous. You need to figure out the water issues before you jump on the “opportunity“ bandwagon.

    1. The city of Bend has inadequate water supply issues are you speaking of private wells? I don’t believe state land-use laws would allow UGB expansion without ability to obtain adequate water supplies, sewer etc.
      A few more years of bad drought and the challenges could grow larger.

      1. “A few more years of bad drought”? You might want to bone up on the impact that climate change is already having on the PNW. What scientist’s refer to as a baseflow recession and the impact it will have on areas dependent on annual storage in mountainous systems. Suppose the city who’s interest is expanding it’s tax base or developers lining their pockets are considering any of the projections?

        1. In general, under voter-endorsed state land-use laws, you cannot put a moratorium on development due to a lack of water, adequate roads etc. unless you have a definitive plan to create such facilities/add such resources in a definite time frame. So it is very, very rarely used by any Oregon local government.
          Could the laws change? Of course. Until then, the state requires that cities and counties create facilities to handle 20 years of projected growth.

          1. You just dont get it Barney. These are the same people who DESIRE to be ruled by a capricious and infantile group who WOULD ignore laws and make up “standards” to fit their oen agenda and personal benefit.

            The reality that laws create is means nothing to them as soon as they become upset by some facet it that makes them upset. i.e. people moving to a different region.

    2. The water problem solution is simple, raise the price of water to point it is cheaper to buy bottled water at Safeway and then Bend will have lots of excess water to expand the every increasing high density development every liberal progressive and Brooks Resources loves. Let’s Go Mike and Kirk.

  3. With this in the works in addition to the 1,000+ homes being built off Reed Market and in the southeast, then there is absolutely NO NEED to develop the South Canyon area off Brookswood. It is even more ludicrous to try to cram a 279 unit apartment building at an extremely busy Century Drive round about – down the road from a massive hotel and dozens of condos being built (where Pine Ridge Inn was located). Talk about a traffic nightmare, especially when school lets out at Cascade Middle School and on Powder Days at Mt. Bachelor. Rescue personnel won’t even be able to get to the idiot drivers who slide off the road because they were driving too fast trying to get first chair.

    1. Fast Tracks will end the rush for first chair on Pow days. “James” can do a slow, easy cruise up in the Bentley and drop his boss off for cuts in line. A whole new dynamic.

    2. So….because some dopes cant drive in the snow and it will upset a very select group of pure Bend souls, the owners of these pieces of property should be prohibited from doing what the law alows them to do?

  4. I so enjoyed Bend back in 69 or 70. The growth and congestion, crime and homelessness, has gotten out of hand. Yes, I am one of those Bend Old Timers.. If you could only have seen it!

  5. Our city wastes more taxpayer money then our military studying white rage 🥴 they worked on reed market multiple time in the last 15 years and never addressed any of its problems why would we allocate more money to there failed ideas??

      1. You should step back from being an apologist for the city, Sean is being critical of the Stevens project. And yes I agree they botched reed market from the get go and now we’re facing a redo. The city “leaders”can barely deal with the growth we’re facing now. And if it weren’t for the influx of liberals who never met a tax they didn’t like we wouldn’t be stuck with that $190 mil bond.

  6. “Growth Management Division”, if ever there was a more clear definition of oxymoron. There is a concept of behavioral economics called “Minsky moment”, it’s when an overheated market realizes it’s unsustainability and collapses. You can apply this to climate change which include wildfire risk or water shortages and how it affects housing markets for at risk communities like Bend. Eventually lenders, insurance companies, and real estate companies wake up to the risks of their exposure. They can then raise rates or force disclosures, lowering home values and demand.

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