BEND, OR -- The plan to expand Bend's Urban Growth Boundary easily cleared its last local hurdle, Wednesday. Deschutes County Commissioners unanimously approved a number of zoning and planning ordinances relating to the city’s plan.
At the meeting, Commissioner Tony DeBone explained why all were approved with an emergency clause. "We are supporting the city of Bend’s timeline by stating the emergency; and that’s the bottom line, here. Instead of really putting that hard 90 days in before anybody can proceed, we’re allowing other actions to happen."
After the vote, County Commissioner Alan Unger appeared relieved. "I guess we’re celebrating the fact that we’ve gotten through this long process and we’re moving forward." Commissioner Tammy Baney added, "I’d like to say thank you to the city of Bend, as well. I think our partnership has been really strong, and I think that we’ve been able to walk this together in a way that’s been as expeditious as we possibly could be. But, I think without that good partnership, and without the commitment of working well together, we wouldn’t be here today."
The city’s proposal to expand the UGB by about 2300 acres is much smaller than a version rejected by state officials six years ago, which would have grown the boundary by 8900 acres. It will soon be sent to the state Department of Land Conservation and Development for consideration. Bend City Manager Eric King has said he’s hopeful the plan will be approved by early next year.