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BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors approved changes this week to regulations around Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), but not everyone is pleased with the easing of restrictions. Local real estate agent Fred Johnson says getting rid of the conditional use permitting process will anger neighbors, who now don’t have a say in whether an ADU is built next door. "This allows apartments in a single-family neighborhood, basically. And, it’s interesting, because it flies in the face of exactly what we were talking about with short-term vacation rentals and the main concerns were: they didn’t want rentals in residential neighborhoods, they didn’t want traffic and they didn’t want noise. And then, this comes along less than a year later and completely flies in the face of all of those main objections of the short-term rentals."

 

Johnson disagrees with the changes likely to be made to to the permitting process, ADU size allowances and parking. "There’s a requirement to have one off-street parking, then there’s a credit provision for an interesting thing called tandem parking – which is where you park end to end, in other words, you have a little longer driveway. The reality is, it sort of works for a vehicle that isn’t used frequently. The way that would work is, you go to your wife and say, ‘hey, honey, I want to go to the store, can you move your car?’ Well, that’s only going to go on for so long before somebody finally just parks the other car out in the street."

 

City Councilors voted 5-to-2 to ease restrictions on permitting, parking and unit size, during the first reading of the ordinance. The second reading is scheduled for February 17. Johnson says if it passes, the new ordinance will remove resident control of their own neighborhoods. "There’s been a number of regulatory entities that are allowed to protect the neighborhood and protect our land rights. Basically, what this does it flies into that and says nope. They removed the conditional use process, which means there’s no need for a public hearing and there’s no way that the adjacent property owner can state their objection or appeal the application process." Click HERE to read more about proposed changes.
 
Supporters say the move will create more much-needed affordable housing in Bend.

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