BEND, OR -- Father's House Church bought property off Stevens Road in southeast Bend, but they can't build on it until they get the okay from Deschutes County. Church leaders say they've outgrown their current building and are in desperate need of something bigger.
County Commissioner Tammy Baney says they heard more than five hours of testimony, Monday, about whether the new facility would fit in with other buildings in the area, which is designated as mixed-use, "I think the main point that individuals wanted to convey was, it isn't about the church, it's about the compatibility. I thought it was, with that many people and that amount of time spent on an issue, the dialogue was really respectful and I appreciated that very much." She tells KBND News, "The land use patterns in that area, mainly Multiple Use Agricultural land, which is kind of a transition zone; and then, it is on the outskirts of the Urban Growth Boundary, and then it's also surrounded by Exclusive Farm Use land, as well. So, it's kind of a mixture, which I think then brings about the question of 'Is it compatible and harmonious with that particular area'?"
Baney says it's still very early in the process. Commissioners are still accepting written comment; they've already received hundreds of pages of testimony. They'll also review the final notes from church leadership before rendering a decision. She believes it will be at least a month before Commissioners can rule on the conditional use permit.