BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors will hold a joint public hearing with Deschutes County Commissioners Thursday to gather feedback on the latest proposal to expand Bend’s Urban Growth Boundary. Senior Planner Damian Syrnyk tells KBND News it’s a chance for everyone to weigh in on the proposed expansion. "We’re expecting a lot of testimony from folks who are going to support the expansion. It’ll be good to hear from people who don’t because, for example their copy may not have been included and they want to make a case for it being included. And, hopefully use it for an opportunity, as well, to see what issues folks might have outside of those."
He says public input is an important step in the process. "It will make a big difference because, in addition to everything the City Council and the Board of County Commissioners approves, we’re going to be sending the state all of the written testimony we’ve received - So, everything from the beginning of the project that’s been submitted to both the city and the county – and see if, based on their review we’ve satisfied all the requirements of law." City officials have been working to expand the UGB for nearly a decade. The original 2007 proposal asked to bring in nearly 9,000 acres. This latest proposal is a much more modest 2,380 acres.
Despite the years of work, Syrnyk says changes can still be made. "We have a proposal right now that was recommended by our steering committee, which included the City Council, two of our Bend planning commissioners and County Commissioner DeBone. But, it’s all possible they may hear something [Thursday] they want to think about and act on. So, it’s not a done deal." He's hopeful the final proposal will be ready to resubmit to the state by the end of September or early October.
Thursday’s public hearing begins at 1 p.m. in the Barnes-Sawyer room of the County Services Building at 1300 NW Wall Street. A second session starts at 6 p.m.