Local News

Bend Council Mulls Updates To Development Fees

BEND, OR -- The Bend City Council received more information this week about a proposal to update development codes and fees, in an effort to manage continued growth. The city is reviewing its System Development Charge methodology and codes. Mayor Melanie Kebler tells KBND News changing how SDCs are applied will help create more affordable housing, “This is just to make it easier to build those smaller types of homes, which can be more affordable and can help us do some of the infill that we want to do. Instead of sprawling, we want to make sure we're filling in inside of our boundary so that we're leaving our wild open places intact outside the city. So, this is just one part of that strategy to do.”

She says this review was necessary as some of the methodology for applying impact fees hadn’t changed in 20 years, “We also wanted to take a look, especially at how we were charging SDCs for housing, new housing and try to make them proportionate to encourage smaller housing and not have a barrier. it doesn't make sense for a 3,000 (square) foot home to pay the same price as an 800 (square) foot home.”

She acknowledges that proposed updates to non-residential SDCs couldmake commercial construction more expensive, “We are still hearing feedback from folks about this. This methodology is out for comment for a while more before we make a final vote. So, we’d love to hear from folks about specific instances. These are the one-time fees when something's built. So, not an ongoing cost and we're hoping to calibrate it to represent the impacts that growth has on our city.”

A public hearing is scheduled for January 17th.

Councilors also want to streamline how the city handles contracts with utility companies that use city infrastructure.

“So, we have been individually negotiating agreements with folks to put their stuff into our right of way. And we are moving to develop just a code that will apply to everybody, and kind of have a more fair approach,” Kebler said, adding they’re meeting with utilities next week, and will vote on the proposed code at a meeting next month.


Redmond Woman Killed In Wednesday Crash

REDMOND, OR -- A 30-year-old woman was killed in a head-on crash south of Redmond, Wednesday afternoon. The incident shut down S. Canal Boulevard for more than two hours, south of Helmholtz.

According to the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, the woman was northbound on Canal, when she collided with a southbound pickup. Paramedics say she died at the scene

Witnesses reported the woman's car was in the oncoming lane. The driver of the pickup, a 42-year-old Bend man, told investigators he was unable to avoid the collision. DCSO says he was not hurt and is cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

MOCU Identity Theft Protection Seminar Dec. 12

BEND, OR -- Identity Theft remains a growing problem. 33% of Americans will face some sort of the crime, according to the national council on identity theft.

Mid Oregon Credit Union’s Kyle Frick tells KBND News those chances increase this time of year, “People are ordering things online, they're tracking packages, they get a text to track a package, click on this and it's not for their package. It's for someone to be able to track, to get their information.”

Those tips and more will be given at next week’s identity theft seminar.

“It's going to be presented by the Bend Police and the Deschutes County Sheriff's forensic team. So they see this stuff all the time. They're reacting to it and they're going to share some information on how you can protect yourself,” Frick says adding, “Anyone who has a cell phone or who has a bank account is definitely vulnerable. So, yeah, you should definitely learn about these things.”

Thieves target all ages. “30 to 39 year olds were the most victimized. And what we usually hear is about Seniors that get taken advantage. Well, it's not so much anymore,” he says

Mid Oregon Credit Union hosts a free seminar December 12th , discussing ways to prevent ID Theft and what to do if it happens. You’ll find details on the credit union’s website

Concerns Raised Over Bend SDC Proposal

BEND, OR -- The city of Bend is considering changes to how it calculates System Development Charges (SDCs) - those are fees paid by developers to cover the cost of increased demands on infrastructure, like roads, water and sewer. But Brian Fratzke, of Fratzke Commercial Real Estate, worries it will slow the pace of development.

It would increase water SDCs "For new medical buildings by 100%," Fratzke tells KBND News, "And if you want to do an indoor athletic facility - crossfit gym, pickleball court, indoor volleyball, the fees are going up 371%." He adds permit fees have also increased, "Even if the cost of construction went flat and labor went flat, it’s still really tough to get a building to pencil. We did an analysis: a new 7,000 foot medical building in Bend, the dirt costs less than the fees that are charged to build a building."

Other changes are proposed for transportation and sewer SDCs. The city has said revisions are needed to stimulate housing development and be more fair to high-density projects. Fratzke worries about the future impact on non-residential buildings, "Those fees, they think, ‘oh, the developer will pay them.’ Yeah, the developer’s going to hand them over to guys like you and me that are leasing the space. Our medical rates are already high. At some point, what I think will happen is people will say, ‘I can’t afford the rent.’ And you’re going to see a slowdown in construction."

A public hearing is scheduled for the January 17 Bend City Council meeting.


102-Year-Old Pearl Harbor Survivor Honored In Bend

BEND, OR -- Central Oregon’s last living Pearl Harbor survivor was honored by the Bend City Council Wednesday night. Councilors proclaimed Thursday Pearl Harbor Remembrance and Dick Higgins Day, in recognition of the 102-year-old.

Councilor Barb Campbell recounted Higgins’ bravery on December 7, 1941, "Immediately after the attack, Dick Higgins helped salvage PBSA aircraft, so that some would quickly become operational." She also noted his continued efforts to honor his fallen comrades, "Higgins visits the Erickson Aircraft collection in Madras, Oregon, during annual airshows, educating the public on the Pearl Harbor attack and the gift of freedom."

Campbell’s grandfather was also at Pearl Harbor. She got emotional while reading the city's proclamation, "The City Council encourages the citizens of Bend to honor those Americans who died as a result of their service at Pearl Harbor by flying American flags at half staff." Click HERE to read the full proclomation. 

Dick Tobiason, head of the Bend Heroes Foundation, reminded Council the attack propelled our country into World War II, "There are only 75 Pearl Harbor survivors left in the United States. Dick represents all of those. He represents all of our World War II veterans." He says 60 million Americans went to war; 407,000 didn’t come home, "On a smaller scale, here in Bend, a city of 10,000 people when the war started, 3,000 young men went off to war; 72 did not come back alive."

Following the presentation, Higgins’ granddaughter Angela Norton thanked the city for its ongoing support for veterans, "They gave so much for us. Grandpa always says freedom isn’t free. And there’s a lot of lives lost in World War II and on that day, especially, in Pearl Harbor."

Higgins moved to Bend to be closer to family after his wife of more than 60 years passed away. He will also be recognized in a special assembly Thursday morning at Bend Senior High.

Photo courtesy of the City of Bend.

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