Emergency, fire evacuation fears raised
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Many residents who live between O.B. Riley Road and Mt. Washington Drive in northwest Bend are expressing concerns that a new proposed subdivision may pose future problems, even dangers.
Residents speaking at a packed public hearing on Tuesday raised the need for a second access point into the neighborhood and more street parking, also voicing concerns of would happen if a wildfire breaks out and residents cannot evacuate quickly.
CMW Development, Inc., is proposing to build 67 lots on about 14.5 acres of land off Northwest Hidden Ridge Drive.
Currently, there is only a single-lane route that accesses the residential area off of Hidden Ridge Drive, challenging emergency access and evacuation.
At the hearing, residents said their main fear is that the proposed subdivision may see a repeat of the deadly Camp Fire, in Paradise, California that killed over 80 people because residents were not able to evacuate more easily when a fire broke out.
Bend Deputy Fire Marshal Larry Medina said the scope of his authority is ensuring water supply and making sure everything in the application aligns with the fire code.
" The main thing I want to focus on, and go on record for -- every subdivision with limited access presents a challenge," Medina said. "It's a matter of just mitigating that and reducing the risks in the best design, and making sure it aligns with the code."
River's Edge Golf Course is near the project, and the president of Golf Palisades Owners Association said the residents are not opposed to the subdivision, but there are areas that need to be addressed.
"The residents of Golf Palisades do not oppose the Hidden Ridge development," said Steve Berube. "We are concerned however, about the design, and that design has been expressed regarding the number of ingress and egresses -- especially usable ingress and egresses."
Berube said the streets are too narrow and there aren't any sidewalks, which poses a greater threat for pedestrians, if more people move into the area.
A final decision on the project is scheduled in three weeks, but residents are able to submit rebuttals until Nov. 26.