BEND, OR -- With the expansion of the OSU-Cascades campus on Bend’s west side, several Homeowner Associations in the area are looking at rules and regulations to make sure a potential influx of students doesn’t change their neighborhood. Bill Bernardy helped draft new rules for the Skyliner Summit HOA and says changes have been in the works for a while, based on problems that have come up in recent years. He tells KBND his neighborhood went from nearly zero rental homes to around 20% rentals during the recession. "We found ourselves having to do more compliance enforcement just because of the rentals. And then, when people started to raise the issue of student rentals, what will that mean? We thought we ought to step back and take a look. There were some odd, almost funny things that came out of that; like, we now have a rule that prohibits putting furniture on the roof. Things we hadn’t encountered before, I mean, who would think to put furniture on the roof!" Other new rules include limiting overnight street parking to two vehicles per home and no large parties in driveways, front yards or streets.
Bernardy says the HOA felt it was important to take a proactive approach before the new OSU-Cascades campus opens in the area next year. "There’s nothing about those rules that prohibit students from living here, it just tightens up what seems to be some loopholes. We hadn’t anticipated the possibility that somebody might throw a party with 300 people in our neighborhood park. But that has happened in other cities, including Corvallis."
He notes that the changes closed loopholes in the existing rules, and are all in an effort to preserve the character of the neighborhood with potential changes. "I don’t think that anybody believes that all students are going to be a problem. But, the reality is, some students can be a problem; some renters who aren’t students can be a problem and some owners can be a problem. Every year we have one or two who think of something that no one has ever thought of before."