BEND, OR -- State officials gave the green light this week to the city of Bend’s conceptual plan for the state-owned Stevens Road Tract. Long-Range Planning Manager Brian Rankin says it’s a big first step in development of 261 acres in southeast Bend.
Next, the city needs approval to expand the Urban Growth Boundary, "After that, to do what are called planning amendments. And those are essentially policies in our regulatory document that direct the eventual development of that property," said Rankin.
He expects those steps to play out in the next year. Expanding the UGB is expected to be much faster than in 2016, thanks to a streamlined process laid out in House Bill 3318, "This bill I think is in response to the fact that it takes a long time to do this kind of work and the city of Bend is in a housing crisis. There was a unique opportunity, legislatively, it essentially allowed the city to move forward on a housing-related project because of the site and because we’re in a housing crisis now." He adds, "This bill is unique because 20 acres of that 261 will go to the city," Rankin tells KBND News, "The city’s essentially purchasing that land for a reasonable appraised value, but not urban value. And then that land gets used for deed-restricted affordable housing."
There’s also a large portion set aside for greenspace and parks. Rankin says, "Putting that deed-restricted affordable housing around that park, having a small commercial area, all of that kind of being the heart of that development. So, kind of putting an emphasis on people who are essentially making - I would call it - your average incomes in Bend, being able to have a real seat at some of the prime places in the development. That’s unique." The rest will be sold to a private developer for market-rate housing and commercial properties, with the proceeds benefitting the state's Common Schools Fund.
If all goes smoothly, Rankin says dirt could start moving within four years.