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‘We need more land’: Bill in Salem would expand Bend’s urban growth boundary

(Update: Adding video, comment from local leaders)

Final version of bill still being amended; Bend City Council gives input

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For the first time in five years, Bend’s urban growth boundary may be expanding.

But the call isn’t coming from the city. It’s actually Rep. Brian Clem of Salem introducing House Bill 2282.

The potential land to be added is part of the Stevens Road Tract, a large parcel of land just outside Bend's city limits, east of 27th Street. Half of it is already within Bend’s UGB.

State Rep. Jack Zika, sponsor of the bill, told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday, "We need more land to build on."

The Redmond Republican's House District 53 encompasses the section of the tract in the legislation.

Former Bend city councilor Justin Livingston said the bill corrects a wrong the state made by taking away development rights more than 10 years ago for a potential resort in Metolius.

"What the state is doing is making that developer whole for taking away his development rights," Livingston said.

He added that the bill was first introduced last year, but died when the session ended abruptly after Republican lawmakers' walkout.

If the bill passes, the 261 acres of the remaining section of the Stevens Road Tract would be absorbed into the Bend UGB, and the development rights would carry over.

But, usually those decisions begin at the local level.

Old Farm Neighborhood land use chair Karon Johnson said, "Oregon land use law dictates that land use decisions be made by the local people."

She said the neighborhood, which borders the tract, is concerned with control over how the land can be developed.

The Bend City Council has proposed amendments to the bill that call for more affordable housing in the tract.

Councilor Anthony Broadman said, "If Bend is helping the state solve a problem that the state has, then Bend's interests are paramount."

The final draft of the bill is not available yet, but Broadman hopes to see it later this week.

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.

Comments

25 Comments

    1. Yup, them thar developers and real estate folks hurtin’, got to expand to make more money despite an over loaded infrastructure already

  1. Why does someone from Redmond propose legislation that impacts Bend, not Redmond. I was just out there today and the destruction has begun. Soon we will have to drive an hour to find a place to walk.

    1. They don’t care about that, and they don’t care that the roads weren’t even intended to
      support the number of people that lived here 25+ years ago. The only thing that matters is that the politicians are able to push through changes that benefit them, their developer buddies, and the real estate brokers…
      We don’t need more available land, we need less growth and fewer people moving here.
      People say that you can’t stop growth but that’s b.s because if they don’t expand the UGB,
      and they are eventually forced to slow or stop building houses because there is no more available land, there will only be the preexisting houses that become available on the market, which would easily limit the increase in population…

              1. Is that a rhetorical question? It’s surely a philosophical one, and I’m not getting drawn into such debates/arguments. Of course every project has a water impact that planners review (along with roads/traffic, etc.). You’re aware of all the canal piping, etc. efforts to conserve water. But no crisis has been declared.

                1. no, it’s not a rhetorical question. Water is a limited resource and we have had several years of drought conditions. We are told to conserve water on your tv station during the summer months. Do we have enough water for all this planned growth??

                2. To claim there is a yes/no answer to that is my problem with the question. We need to keep working to assure there is, not buy into one side or the other and lob grenades.

  2. The reporter refers to the undeveloped land as ’empty’. That betrays such a city, development bias, as if the only value of land is to build houses on it. Jack should get out and get to know the beauty of hiking and biking on the ’empty’ land. Most of us who have been here for awhile, cherish the empty land.

  3. This all came about because about 15 years ago this developer gave large campaign donations and buddied up with the Governor. He was granted development rights for a resort near Metolius that never should have been granted. When the public found out there was a big stink and the legislature had to rescind the development rights. This is a payback for that action. This 261 acres is worth $x outside the UGB. It will be worth $xxxxx when it is in the UGB. Developer plans to sell it and pocket the difference.
    If this land was brought into the UGB the usual way, the state schools would reap the profit. Political corruption at it’s finest.

  4. The traffic on 27th is terrible. For those of us who live on 27th or must access 27th now, we are having a hard time getting out of our driveways safely as it is. There is a car wash, a very popular Mexican restaurant in business and a 4 story motel getting built. Reed Market and 27th are two lane roads. How do the planners that be think adding all these houses, most with 2 cars, is going to be okay?

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