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‘This is a big deal’: Bend officials talk with residents about big neighborhood housing changes

(Update: adding video, new info, comments from city staff)

State lawmakers require cities to make more room for duplexes, triplexes and the like

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend hosted a community information session Thursday evening regarding proposed code amendments under House Bill 2001, passed by the Oregon Legislature in 2019. The goal is to provide Oregonians with more housing choices, especially options more people can afford -- but the changes coming to established neighborhoods could raise eyebrows, if not objections.

"A lot of where this bill came from, when it moved through the Legislature, was thinking about how we make more opportunities for more homes of more types for more people in our state, and in the cities in our state," City Councilor Melanie Kebler told the audience.

HB 2001 requires Oregon large cities with more than 25,000 residents, like Bend, to allow the development of certain types of “middle housing" in areas formerly reserved exclusively for single-family homes.

Essentially, areas currently zoned for residential use, which allow for the development of detached single-family dwellings, must now also allow for the development of duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters and townhomes.

"The Legislature told cities, 'Hey, you need to start changing your code, and you can no longer have places in your city where the only thing that is allowed to be built is a single-family detached home," Kebler said.

"This is a big deal," she added. "It was a big deal when that bill was passed, and now here we are, a couple years later, at the end stages of actually implementing what the legislature wanted us to do."

Due to the new legislation, city officials must update the Bend Comprehensive Plan and Bend Development Code to be in compliance with HB 2001.

City staff spoke virtually with more than 100 community members Thursday night. At the end of the meeting, they opened up the floor for any questions.

Some people raised concerns, including one resident who asked, "How do you require a city to build a wider variety of things while also keeping the price down?"

To that, Bend's Affordable Housing Manager Lynne McConnell replied, "The only way we can absolutely guarantee affordable housing is if we have some skin in the game. We have to invest in that property in some way in order to take a deed restriction or record a covenant on that property which allows us to keep it affordable over term."

McConnell said Bend does not have the money to subsidize and solve the housing problem on its own. She said they don't have the resources to do as much as the development community would like, but this is a good step.

City staff have spent the past several months working with the HB 2001 Stakeholder Advisory Group, which is comprised of members from the City CouncilPlanning CommissionAffordable Housing Advisory CommitteeNeighborhood Leadership Alliance and members of other stakeholder groups, to draft a package of proposed amendments for consideration by the Bend Planning Commission and City Council. These amendments cover a range of items, from parking requirements to design standards.

To view the proposed amendments and for more information on Bend’s HB 2001 implementation, visit bendoregon.gov/HB-2001.

The Bend Planning Commission will hold a hearing on the code changes next Monday night.

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Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

Comments

76 Comments

        1. That is a bit of a cop-out. How many state laws on sanitation and drug trafficking are being violated at the homeless “village” by Lowe’s? One can guarantee that this will not be enforced in the West side by the college, but shoved into neighborhoods in the East side. And when they start building more sq footage on a site; how are they going to replace all of the trees we need to better air quality?

        1. What does an Affordable Housing Manager do? Does she have a staff? Does she hangout with the Sustainability Manager and the other half dozen goofball managers the city has hired. Not goofy nanagers, just goofy departments.

  1. State is open. Mask requirement lifted. City council needs to meet in person with all of us. They need to stop hiding behind zoom and do their jobs meeting with us! Hey KTVZ how about a hard hitting story on that?!

  2. yes, it is a big deal. We in established single family home ‘hoods don’t want high density housing, thanks. The 4-plex that HFH put in down the street looks like a dump. We have two duplexes on the street with garages that look great.

        1. You stay off of my property and I stay off of yours. Please don’t ask me for permission for what you can do at your house. Houses aren’t the problem, it’s the inhabitants. Kinda like guns.

  3. This is simply a horrible idea and we all need to speak out. What an unreal governmental grab that will have massive impacts on their homes value if a duplex moves in next door. Total BS. It won’t effect my home, but this is not fair to any home owner that will be effective and we need to stand together. Call your council en masse.

  4. Good, about time to buy some land on the west side and slap in some quadplexes. A lot of older properties with big lots where a quad would fit, plenty of on-street parking as well. Knock down a few overhanging trees to get the room to go up and out to the property boundaries, plenty of space.

      1. Jealous of the west side? Why? Just because they have removed so much winter range for the deer and elk? Just because they have overpriced the old mill housing? Just because they look down their collective noses at the working class? Get real, the west side is just a bunch of overpriced, overhyped, self-serving snobs. I have no desire to live there and the best thing to happen there would be section 8 housing and bum camps.

  5. More Social Tinkering!!!

    Never works. Will only run down the nice neighborhoods.

    The hard working people will just move and leave behind rental heaven.

    The liberal mind is just a mushy pile of confusion.

      1. Careful HSLD. You are getting close to Tio and Anon stupidity. Do you remember Barney Frank? Probably not, so do some homework and see what happens when Libs try to put the lazy with the hard working. When you give loans to people that can not make the payment. Get back to me when you have done some homework.

  6. Future slums on the way. Thanks Salem. Another way to get affordable housing is to allow cities to enlarge their UGBs, upping the supply of available land to meet demand.

    Infill and density is fool’s gold.

    1. Spot on. This state legislator is so against urban sprawl. If they would be realistic or if they truly wanted affordable housing they would expand UGB instead of infill. But in reality they don’t really care about it. It’s all lip service, actions speak louder than words or in this case some ridiculous code change.

  7. It is the State Law, passed onto you by your DEMOCRAT overlords, interesting how many liberals squeal when their overlords pass a law that affects them. Myself, I am all for infilling and going higher in town, which keeps the urban sprawl away from me.

  8. People you vote for these duds and this is the results. Look what is happening nationwide we have a man in the WH who is sick and ruining our country. VP behind is 10 times worse so you get what you voted for.

      1. Is this not a new law written under the umbrella of that act? If so, we should be able to undo that particular bill. Yes, we need different choices to be made. This new law is going to directly effect property values. Investors for the better, and local residents for the worse.

        1. Of course laws can be overturned. It’s like asking if someone can sue over this or that. Folks can sue/appeal anything, but if courts rule it fits with land-use laws, it’ll stand. Always a balancing act. But considering what housing prices are doing due in large part to lack of supply, the “hurt my property values” argument night be a tough sell.

  9. I do so love it when Bendites drop the mask of civility and faked concern and show their utter contempt for the poor and their fellow man like this. The truth is as refreshing as it is ugly.

    1. Poor has nothing to do with it. They could put a coupla luxury townhouses next to me and I still wouldn’t like it. I like my quiet and solitude which is why I bought single-family residential; allowing more density means more traffic, trash, noise, and everything else. They changed the rules and it will be “interesting” to see what happens now, to say the least.

    2. nice rant Blue, nonsense but nice. There is plenty of new land being developed for high density housing for, as you so eloquently put it for the ‘poor’. YOU and you ilk are just full of envy and don’t like the fact that there are happy tax paying citizens in establihed single family neighborhoods.

  10. Bend NIMBYs should unite and hit back with a property tax strike !
    No property taxes until the municipal government does exactly what each individual property owner demands.
    Stand up for your rights, put your property where your mouth is and never give in. Without your resistance high rise condo towers full of “other kinds of people” will spring up in every neighborhood, every intersection will become a roundabout and people from other places, with non-Bendian cultures will move in bringing what NIMBYs fear worst of all, change.

  11. You can’t have an answer when you create your own problems. With the city wanting to stuff housing of any kind and any where they can put them thinking they need to house any one wanting to mover here is absurd. Bend was never designed for all the people here now and all the people that are going to move here. The roads system wasn’t designed for all the cars either. I’ve watched police and fire having a hell of a time trying to get to calls when the stop lights are packed.

    1. That’s why cities grow, adapt, and change. When there are not enough homes, you build more. When there are not enough roads, you build more. When a city grows, it must be enlarged to accommodate that growth.

      There was a time New York City wasn’t designed for all the things it would one day have either. That is why it got redesigned; over and over through the decades.

  12. “This is a big deal,” she added. “It was a big deal when that bill was passed, and now here we are, a couple years later, at the end stages of actually implementing what the legislature wanted us to do.”

    Interesting only Bend is “implementing” but nothing heard about Redmond or any other town / city in Central Oregon making such a fuss to do the same.

    And since it’s been several years since the bill was passed it would be interesting to learn what, if any, penalties the State has at its disposal for those locales that have not / will not / can’t afford to implement such code changes. If there are any to begin with…and which state agency would enforce such penalties?

    This is one of those stories that invites some good investigative reporting and follow on articles.

    And yes, the city council needs to return to public meetings in person and get out of the comfort zone the Zoom has created for them when it comes to truly interacting with those who they are accountable to.

  13. Hey democratic voters of Bendamento and Portland, hows that big Govt working out for you. Its all hip and cool to vote democratic until your neighbor moves into a retirement home and his kids level his house and build a quadplex in your retirement community.

  14. LOL! If you pay property taxes you NEVER own the land your castle is on. The land, house and anything you “own” can be taken from you with the snap of a finger and if you think the value will just keep going up then keep dreaming. Don’t like it crybabies then move!

    1. ………….your envy is showing, as usual. Had you properly prepared for adulthood you would have a nice affordable single family house in an established neighborhood.

    1. that’s the issue, it won’t be allowed in subdivisions with CC&R’s, so this will disproportionally effect the middle and lower middle class. This is a terrible change

  15. Much of the desirability of Bend comes from decades-old Oregon land use law that prevents sprawl. I am sure some of us here appreciate that. But, with that desirability comes an influx of people hoping to stake out a bit of the American dream in our city. HB 2001 makes it possible to accommodate the folks who wish to work and raise families here. It may also reduce the need for people to be forced into more dire circumstances–such as existence in locations such as Hunnell Road.

  16. We all love Bend. One reason is the absence of sprawl, and we can thank Tom McCall (a Republican governor) for land use law that enhances the quality of life that many of us moved here to enjoy. So, why not implement HB 2001? It would help those who wish to stake out a piece of the American dream, raise families, and participate in our civic life–but without ruining the Central Oregon experience.

    1. the absence of sprawl is because we used to be a small town just 20 years ago. We love it here because it’s not a city and we don’t have tall building blocking our views and we can have some elbow room. This is an abhorrent change to our zoning laws and trust me, few will be happy with this change in their neighborhood. It won’t effect me as my CC&R’s wont allow for it, but to all the rest, you better call it out now.

      1. Gotta love the grip about building and infilling from people who live in a CCR community. Like no one there to tell you what you can and can not do.

  17. There is plenty of room for high density housing in the new developemts. Habitat for Humaity built a 4 plex down the street and it is A DUMP, Christmas lights all year long, 8+ vehicles/work trucks parked in front, no garages ….. There were only 2 duplexes in the neighborhood with encloed parking that look great.

  18. As long as subdivisions are allowed that have HOAs with CC&Rs that prohibit non-SFD housing or ADUs (which most recent subdivisions have done) I don’t think you’ll be seeing much difference except in the older neighborhoods.

    1. “How will existing and future Codes, Covenants, and Restrictions (CC&Rs) be
      affected by HB 2001?
      HB 2001 prohibits the establishment of new Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions or
      similar instruments that would prohibit middle housing or ADUs in a residential
      neighborhood. However, existing CC&Rs will remain in place.”
      https://www.oregon.gov/lcd/UP/Documents/HB_2001_HB_2003_Frequently_Asked_Questions.pdf
      (So presumably, over time, things will change. The usually do…)

      1. Good by me, although I’m hoping that the existing subdivisions with restrictions don’t become the bastion for NIMBYism. Yup, time will tell.

  19. What is good for Portland is good for Bend… fortunately we have options, so happy to be leaving my home which I first visited in 1971 with our family home in Sunriver, and have been here full time since 1996. What Bend has turned into is not great or sustainable, our city managers are a collection of angry humans who seem to have total disrespect for the people who made Bend the best it could be and purchased homes here, now they want to rewrite the restrictions to invite rent controlled structures wherever… why not just repurpose the city parks and golf courses for homeless people, that will be next. This is not a storm that will pass, it is a rewrite of Bend.

    Sold our home and moving to someplace secret and never looking back at Bendsterdam and the exponentially growing OK to be homeless demographic. So sad and sorry for everyone who understands this situation needs strong leaders (any party) that wants the best for Bend as a city, the plan now is terrible.

    1. I have lived in Central Oregon for 31 years. Since I was 10. I graduated from high school, worked jobs, and went to COCC to educate myself so I could have a better paying career. I now have a great career where I have worked my butt off for 8 years providing care for patients. I care about and take care of my patients. As time has passed I have been given raises for my hard work. I now make great money which is helping me raise my kids. But now that I make a livable wage prices have increased for housing so rapidly I can’t even afford to live in the one place I want to continue raising my kids. A beautiful, lovely place that is pushing my family out. I pay my taxes, always pay my rent and bills on time, keep my apartment clean inside and out, and work in the health industry taking care of people. Yet I can’t find a single family home because I don’t make enough to pay a mortgage in Bend and afford to feed my kids. So why don’t you tell me why I have to leave the only home my kids and I have ever known to afford something I’ve worked so hard to get?

  20. This sounds like a new property development gold rush in Bend. “ You get a quad, you get a quad, every lot gets a quad!” Affordable housing is a noble pursuit until you have to live next to it. What it turns into is a carousel of rude renters that have no regard for the community.

    1. I’m not a rude renter. My kids and I have always been polite and quiet. We keep our place clean and respect others. I serve others in my career as a Medical Assistant. I pay all of my bills on time. I make decent money in the career I’ve worked in for 8 years. I’ve worked hard to earn raises so eventually I can move out of apartment living and move in to a single family home. Now that I earn a wage that could get me a single family home the prices have overwhelming sky rocketed. I have lived here for 31 years (moved here at age 10) and love living in a place where my children and I feel safe. I can’t afford to move into a single family dwelling anymore though and feed my family at the same time. I need affordable housing, as in $1200-$1400 a month. How fair is it that I now have to leave the only place my children and I have lived, where I have taken care of people in need, and only been kind to my neighbors because people who make more money than me think I am automatically rude because I don’t make as much money. Thank you for the judgement.

      1. That is definitely a sad, frustrating situation, and you make your points well.
        But… how is this not really another painful outcome of the laws of supply and demand that government only has limited ability to change?
        I am not going to pull the old “didn’t you learn early on that life’s not fair?” crap, because … it often isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth asking the questions and voicing dismay at where we’ve gotten to.
        I was just curious what path you would have the community and those tasked with managing it take. Obviously the issue isn’t limited to Bend, or Central Oregon. To just say “there are no easy answers” and move on also sounds a cop-out, a write-off, a digital shrug of the shoulders that doesn’t respect the many being priced out of a city they’d love to stay in.
        We can’t make it illegal for folks to move here, or prices to rise in the supply-demand equation. So much of what government does (or Habitat for Humanity etc.) feels like nibbling around the edges, not getting to the root of the problem. But it’s a tangled root.

        1. Barney; ideas could include an expansion of UGB as percentage of population of city grows, not a static line; mandate solar panels only on top of building, not on solar fields like between Bend and Redmond on 97 that is usable building site; mandate college buildings at OSU-C be 5 story towers so spread is up not out; require city council to provide a database of each “affordable living” unit that developers were given waivers to CDCs fees from the last 20 years to include the building costs and what the current tenant is paying both in rent and their current income to see if it has remained part of “affordability” housing (suspect most of not and are now part of flippers market; require developers to pay full CDCs until market prices drop by at least 20% including duplexes and apartment buildings as previous homebuyers are essentially subsidizing new schools and parks for new owners. Require any new gov’t building bought or leased be put out on highway 97 heading toward Redmond so those facilities are easily accessible and the places in town can be changed to three story towers of affordable housing. For example; the county courthouse needs to be replaced, so add a surcharge CDC for all developers at this time of booming prices to build the new one out on 97 and let them fight over buying that property when they get done paying for new courthouse. There are a few that simply require the council menders to get out of bed with the developers in Central Oregon and achieve what the state is mandating.

          1. As you know, UGB expansion is a costly, laborious process that can take several if not many years to win state approval. To lower the standards of proving the need/projecting the growth/where it should go would definitely face its challenges.
            As would mandating solar panels/green energy.
            Some of the other ideas would definitely be the land-use lawyers full employment act.
            And I doubt requiring govt to help sprawl Bend toward Redmond would fly. Nor adding more SDCs – builders have a strong lobby in Salem (just like the tourist industry.)
            Interesting ideas worth discussion, and not as “simple” (simplistic) as some throw out there, but full of devilish details and tradeoffs that could get tripped up by residents’/developers’ opposition and inevitable politics.

  21. require every resident beginning with the politicians to have multi family tents on their property. politicians force this crap on people, they need to lead by example.

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