BEND, OR -- An advisory committee has found some middle ground on Bend's latest proposal to expand the Urban Growth Boundary. The group is looking at adding 2,000 acres around the city for future expansion. UGB Project Manager Brian Rankin tells KBND News, the group has done a good job finding some agreement. "So, we have a really diverse committee, first of all. It's folks from different parts of town, folks that are pro expansion, folks that typically haven't been pro expansion in the past, lots of different viewpoints. The great thing about the meeting, I thought was, the committee really clicked. They had one more meeting; the City Council said go ahead and figure this out, 'help us to get more consensus from the group, see what you can all agree to and bring it back to us.' And, the group really performed well."
In 2010, the state rejected Bend's UGB plan to expand by 8,000 acres, saying it was too large.
A meeting last week focused on the west side of Bend. "The west side kept presenting a number of difficulties, really around how much development, where that development should be on the west side," says Rankin. "We also talked about all the other parts of the city, as well, where the expansion is going to be located." He adds, "There was one committee member who didn't agree with the final result. But, it's really tough to get 100% of folks to approve anything this big and controversial. So, I think it was still a great success."
Public hearings on the UGB proposal will be held in the spring, and the city plans to formally apply to the state in June. Rankin expects to hear within a year if it is approved.