BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors are expected to decide in a couple of weeks whether to change the zoning of Troy Field. The Bend-La Pine School District wants to sell the downtown property to raise money for several school projects.
Some residents have been vocal about keeping one of the city's few downtown green spaces. But, School Board member Nori Juba says the district needs the $2 million that could come from the land sale. "We understand the community's desire. We understand the neighbors - they've had the green space for a long time and most of us like green space. I think one of the great things about Bend is that it does have quite a bit of green space. We have Drake Park and other parks that are in our neighborhoods. And so, I think we have to weigh our priorities, and as a school district, we have to think what's best for our students."
The property is left over from when Bend High was located downtown; Troy Field was an athletic field. Recently, a Hearings Officer ruled the City Council could legally change its zoning to allow a developer to build a hotel on Troy Field, but he recommended against it since it is one of downtown's few green spaces. "I think we've heard from a lot of people in the community and I know it's a controversial topic," Juba tells KBND News. "I think we've looked for every way that we can to come up with the money to finish these projects. We're going out and asking the City Council to approve this so we can do right by our kids."
City Councilors are scheduled to vote on the zoning change at their February 24 meeting.