On Jan. 22, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) unanimously approved the City of Bend’s amendments to the Bend Development Code to allow for additional housing to be built in areas zoned for employment use. The code changes go into effect immediately. These code changes were made possible with the adoption of House Bill 3450 by the Oregon State Legislature in 2019.
House Bill 3450 allows the City of Bend to adopt changes to its comprehensive plan and land use regulations authorizing high-density housing on non-industrial employment lands. The bill requires the City to retain an adequate supply of employment lands remain with the addition of high-density housing.
City staff worked with community advisory groups and partner public agencies over the last year to draft and review the code changes. The Planning Commission and City Council approved the code changes last fall before they were sent to LCDC for review and approval.
The code changes intend to help provide additional housing options and supply in Bend by providing flexibility for the development of housing on underutilized, strip commercial lands located near existing transit, retail, employment, and other core services and amenities. To be eligible, properties must be located within a quarter mile of a transit route, within certain commercial zones, and must meet additional location, development, and design standards. As laid out by House Bill 3450 and the adopted code, no more than 40 total acres of employment land citywide can be developed as housing under this legislation. Here is a map of non-industrial employment properties that are eligible to develop housing.
“This code update allows Bend the flexibility to permit additional housing at a time where it’s needed more than ever,” said City of Bend Affordable Housing Program Manger Lynne McConnell. “By focusing on areas with transit and other amenities, we are providing opportunities to reduce vehicle trips between home and work, while supporting much needed housing development and nearby business development opportunities.”
In a recent survey of the Bend community, 23 percent of respondents ranked housing and affordable housing as their top concern, making it the highest-ranking community concern. Bend City Council reviewed results of the community survey to help inform the biennial goal-setting process. Housing continues to be a top priority for City Council and is expected to be included in its goals for the 2021-2023 biennium. City Council will adopt its two-year goals in March.
Contact: BreAnne Gale, Senior Planner, firstname.lastname@example.org