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Awbrey Butte residents oppose proposed 42-unit ‘middle housing’ development

Opponents cite traffic, fire risk developer says they are doing 'what the city wants'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- If you walk the full length of Glassow Drive in Bend's Awbrey Butte neighborhood, you'll pass 40 homes, but a new proposed development could double that number and has sparked some opposition and concern.

The West View Subdivision would add 42 townhomes and duplexes ranging in price from $400,000 to $1 million on the 6 1/2-acre site.

The developer said the project is in accordance with HB 2001, state legislation requiring that larger cities (over 25,000 population) allow "middle housing" (duplexes, triplexes and "cottage cluster" developments) in zoning formerly limited to single-family homes, which the city of Bend approved local rules for in October.

But the proposed development is facing opposition from some residents living in the area. More than 100 signatures were gathered on a petition opposing the plans, claiming the project would cause parking issues, increase fire hazards and that the homes would not help to meet Bend's need for affordable housing.

Glenn Kotara with Oregon Builders Developers is behind the project. Kotara and his partners bought the land this summer, with plans to add 42 units to the neighborhood. He told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday that claims the project would cause parking issues and fire hazards are untrue.

“Even if we wanted to short-circuit the system, the city of Bend doesn’t allow you to do that," Kotara said. "The city of Bend has books this (very) thick with codes that we all have to adhere to."

Along Glassow Drive, you'll find several protest signs claiming: 'West View is 2 Big.'

In a statement to NewsChannel 21, the Awbrey Highlands Neighbors Steering Committee wrote, “We understand Bend’s housing crisis and the need for housing infill. This development is not about affordable housing. It never will be. This development is an example of a purely profit-motivated development that fails to address any of Bend’s longstanding goals for affordability, neighborhood compatibility, traffic safety, and stopping the clear cutting of trees.”

But Kotara said he's adding homes to a growing city, which is what the city wants and needs.

“The city is encouraging every builder to densify," Kotara said. "We are providing more houses for the city of Bend, and that’s what the city wants.” 

Neighbors and developers will meet on Dec. 23 to ask and answer questions about the project.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.

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