It’s an effort to prevent another neighborhood uproar that has affected the neighbors of Brookswood Meadow Plaza. The Bend City Planning Commission Monday night, approved on a 3-2 vote an amendment to tighten up the Convenience Commercial Zone to prevent a move similar to one the DMV just completed. That state agency is locating a branch to serve the entire City from what many believe is a remote residential mall designed only to serve a neighborhood. Many neighbors of Brookswood Plaza used the occasion to once again protest the DMV Branch Office, but City staff restated this amendment would have no affect on that move. The amendment to the Convenience Commercial Zone will specifically forbid the main branch office of a government entity to be located in such a zone in the future. The amendment must be approved by the City Council before it goes into effect.
Meanwhile, residents in the River Rim neighborhood in southwest Bend, continue to fight plans to put a DMV in a nearby shopping center. The group filed a lawsuit against the State and Department of Transportation for not meeting its own criteria on where to put a DMV office. Not all residents of the River Rim Neighborhood Association feel the lawsuit is a good idea, but organizer Maria Simonton says a majority do: “It’s my HOA money as well and my HOA fees and dues. And I would rather see that money going towards protecting the integrity of the community rather than putting in some new landscaping in the medians or planting a few new trees in the spring. So I think the long term effects are going to be much greater. And that people who aren’t willing to see a small increase in dues or to have their money go elsewhere in the short term are being short sighted. “ The lawsuit claims the new DMV location in southwest Bend is not near public transportation, nor is it centrally located. The DMV is scheduled to move into the Brookswood Meadow Plaza in January.