SALEM, OR -- The Oregon House approved a bill Thursday designed to streamline the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) approval process for local cities. The legislation was introduced by State Representative Knute Buehler (R-Bend).
"State land use plicy has not kept pace with the rapid growth of Bend and other Oregon cities. As a result, we have an extreme shortage of housing options and available industrial land which affects our livability," Rep. Buehler said in a statement, Thursday. "Bend is a special place to live with a unique quality of life. HB 3282 will help Bend grow responsibly through streamlining the process and smarter planning."
According to Buehler, the Land Conservation and Development Commission improved methods of approving UGB expansion applications in 2013. One of the methods, called periodic review, reportedly allows cities to receive incremental approval of an application. Buehler's bill aims to ensure that cities that have been directed to amend portions of applications can still take advantage of that periodic review. Bend is currently amending its application and periodic review could potentially streamline that approval process. Representative Buehler says his bill "will allow for timelier and less expensive approvals, and will create more housing options. An improved UGB process is a change Bend and other growing cities desperately need now."
The bill is expected to have its first reading in the Senate on Monday.