BEND, OR -- Bend city officials received word this week that the latest proposal to expand the Urban Growth Boundary was finally approved by the state. But, City Manager Eric King says the dozens of meetings and years of efforts were just the beginning. "Actually, a lot of the work starts now, and starts in a big way." King tells KBND News, "Because, it’s not just about a line on a map to where Bend is going to grow; it’s a complete overhaul of how we are managing land inside the current Urban Growth Boundary. And, there are many, many sites slated for redevelopment, and there’s a lot of development pressure." The proposal can’t be finalized until after the appeal period, which ends in early December.
"The task at hand is how do we prioritize the expansion areas versus the opportunity sites – those are sites for infill and redevelopment," he says. "And, where does it make the most financial sense to invest, to put infrastructure into those areas; how do we do that with private developers, so what’s the city’s role in that?" King was surprised but pleased at how quickly state officials approved the proposal, which he didn't expect for another month.
He says there's "A lot of further refinement plans and a lot more work to do." But, there are some things that could happen sooner rather than later. "Right away, people can take advantage of what the plan identified, in terms of how to use land. Some land was rezoned, like Third Street. Really, it’s setting the table for the private market. Soon after the first of the year, there’ll be folks that could use that land more intensely, that’s been rezoned for mixed-use and things like that. Now, there’s some that’s really ripe for redevelopment, but others need a lot more work and infrastructure."
To listen to our full conversation with City Manager Eric King, visit our Podcast Page or click HERE.