Latest Land Use Issues Facing Southern Crossing Neighborhoods
From Deby DeWeese – SCNA Vice Chair/Land Use Coordinator
New Development at 600 SW Bond Street:
If you would like to learn more about the new development going in at 600 SW Bond Street, there is a public meeting on August 19 at 5:30pm about this 19,000 foot mixed use building, including 2 residential units and a ground floor restaurant. That meeting will be held at the Residence Inn, 2 doors down, at 500 SW Bond St.
Council Decision regarding sidewalk requirements in Woodriver Village:
The Bend City Council entered into new territory by voting unanimously on August 7 to exempt Woodriver Village from City Code and not require sidewalks to be built as part of development in that area of the Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association. Instead, builders will need to pay a fee that will go into a fund to “improve sidewalks” in Woodriver Village in the future. A large number of Southern Crossing Neighborhood members sent in emails for and against changing the Code with a majority writing in that they did not want the Code changed. Other Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association members attended the City Council meeting about this and 15 people spoke to the Council about this issue – thirteen were against changing the code, one was for, and one of the speaker’s opinion was unclear.
The main reason for the neighbors to not want the change was because of concerns that an exemption would prevent sidewalks from being built in the future on Woodriver Road, a particularly busy road that has become dangerous for pedestrians, bicycles, and our disabled neighbors. They were also concerned about safety on the other busy roads in Woodriver Village that people walk on and bike on to get to and from Woodriver Park, Farewell Bend Park, and the Deschutes River Trail. The two individuals who brought this issue before the Council a few months ago and those who were for the exemption felt that building sidewalks was too expensive, unnecessary everywhere in Woodriver Village, and would change the “rural character” of Woodriver Village. The Planning Commission voted on this issue last month and disagreed with changing the City Code stating the exemption would “set a bad precedent,” but the Council disagreed with the Planning Commission with their August 7 decision.
This decision is a compromise, of sorts, and may please everyone who was for or against this exemption as Woodriver Village will not have to build “sidewalks to nowhere” and some of the money that would have gone to those sidewalks will now go toward a fund to build sidewalks on the streets where they are actually necessary. The Council is still firming up the cost to pay into the fund based on square footage with a cap of $5000 being mentioned. In addition, the Council currently has no plans to determine which roads will be given sidewalks and in which order because they expect it will take years for the fund to even have enough money to build the first sidewalk.
At the end of the meeting, Councilor Justin Livingston advocated for other neighborhoods to also be able to bypass City Code and exempt sidewalks and pursue alternative solutions.
August 5th began the application period for Neighborhood Street Safety Program
If you are unaware of this new program please check out the City’s website for at this link.
If you are interested in submitting an application, click here for an overview on how to do just that.
Click here for the City’s YouTube video about it.
If you have any questions regarding this or want to let SCNA know what ideas you have for improvements contact Deby DeWeese, Vice Chair/Land Use Coordinator for the SCNA at firstname.lastname@example.org or 628-400-3438.