They say it's rushed, lacks adequate public input and have other issues
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --Karon Kutz, land use chair for Bend's Old Farm District Neighborhood Association, is upset city councilors might move forward too quickly with changes to the city's comprehensive plan and development code that will be presented at Wednesday’s city council meeting.
"It makes the quality of life for renters less,“ Kutz said Monday.
Councilors will hold a public hearing to gather comments on the proposed changes, designed to add more affordable housing and deal with the area's continued growth.
In 2019, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 2001, which requires cities with over 25,000 population to allow certain types of middle-income housing, such as duplexes, triplexes, and quadplexes, within all residential zones.
Kutz was so upset with the city's plans for implementing the bill, she and her husband took out a full-page ad Sunday in The Bulletin, urging residents to voice opposition to the housing approvals, and have created a website to press their case.
They said the changes in floor-to-area ratio would allow allow "three-story McMansions" and not require the duplexes, triplexes and quadplexes would not have to have 15% landscaping, street trees, private open space, balconies or patios or storage areas and trash-recycling enclosures.
The couple said cities have until June of next year to make the changes and should have involved residents in developing the new code early on.
"We ran this ad to try and get the attention of even more people hoping that we can convince the city to stop and examine what they are doing," Kutz said.
Bend City Councilor Melanie Kebler spoke with NewsChannel 21 Monday afternoon and said councilors have been getting plenty of input from community members along the way even before the ad was put out and she feels there has been transparency through the entire process.
Keebler added that all the changes made included input from a stakeholder advisory group which included members from the city council, Planning Commission, Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Leadership Alliance and other groups.
Kutz showed examples of what she believed reducing restrictions on housing would look like.
"You're going to have tricycles, bikes on the lawn because there's no place to put these things. So in essence, you're degrading the quality of life," Kutz said.
She’s also upset that builders of multi-family units would not have city-set off-street parking requirements, which the city now requires one parking spot to be made per housing unit.
Kutz also has a website and petition set up online for people to learn more about their issues with the city's plan and a petition people can sign to oppose the housing code changes.