BEND, OR -- In an effort to incentivize the creation of more affordable housing in Bend, City Councilors will consider an increase to Transportation Systems Development charges. Bend Growth Management Director Nick Arnis says those fees help pay for necessary infrastructure like intersection improvements and road development. But, he tells KBND News, they were intentionally kept low for years, "Back in the recession, we went through an update, and we didn't increase them. They haven't really been increased except for inflation, for many, many years. We're just at a place now where housing is so critical that we need to make some changes here and the Council really felt like they needed to do something here." The proposal is based on goals established by the Council for the next budget cycle, "Their two goals are housing and transportation," says Arnis.
Transportation SDCs are paid by developers based on the anticipated impact of a project on the city's transportation infrastructure, "The current rate is about $6,800 per vehicle trip, and we would make two steps," Arnis tells KBND News, "The first one, we'd raise it to $7,400 on July first, 2019; and from there, we'd go up to $8,000 a trip, on January first, 2020." That increased revenue would pay for transportation-related work, "We have a number of projects to improve congestion, or lessen congestion, and then they will allow for more housing in different areas of the city, also."
Councilors plan to discuss the proposed fee increase at a public hearing, during the June 19th Council meeting.