Final Chance to Comment on Code Changes for Higher Density Housing with Less Parking
At their Monday, July 26, 5:30pm meeting, the Bend Planning Commission will be voting on proposed Bend Development Code changes (download them here) to support higher density housing, taller buildings, and less parking (Bend’s response to Oregon HB2001). There are a lot of myths about these changes, so it’s important to point out that Neighborhood Associations like Southern Crossing are not against affordable or workforce housing. We are concerned that, unlike other Oregon cities, Bend has only scheduled one public meetings about these code changes, and that meeting was announced only a week in advance. In comparison, Eugene had over 54 meetings for the public! The City has until June 2022 to make these changes – with money available from the State to have public meetings – but the Planning Commission and the City Council are rushing these changes through with minimal public input.
No matter your opinion about Bend’s implementation of HB2001, please attend the Planning Commission meeting and speak up to let the Commissioners know you want them to listen to the public and not push this through without YOUR voice being heard. Ask them to have more public meetings, with sufficient notice, for voters to give input!
Instructions on how to attend the meeting can be found by going to the Planning Commission web page, scroll down to Upcoming Events, then click the Agenda link next to the July 26 meeting. The process is described at the top of the agenda. Note that you must preregister if you wish to speak. (Once the meeting has started, you can also observe, but not speak, by clicking the In Progress link.)
Starting at 5:15pm, enter the Zoom meeting via the link you’ll receive with your registration and use the “Raise Your Hand” function to indicate you want to speak during the public comment period. You will have only 2 minutes to speak so be prepared! If you write out what you want to say beforehand, that’s about 300 words. (Most likely your camera will be turned off through the entire meeting and, once you are invited to speak, a countdown timer may show on your screen to help you know when to stop.)
You can also express your thoughts by email or mail ahead of the meeting, but actually attending and speaking increases the chances that you’ll be heard. Send email to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and even Mayor Sally Russell firstname.lastname@example.org. Send mail to: City of Bend Planning Division, 710 NW Wall St., Bend, Oregon 97703. Either way, be sure to reference the project number PLTEXT20210421.
The Neighborhood Leadership Alliance has also sent a letter of position to the city, you can download that PDF here.