600-home subdivision in SE Bend sparks concerns

Association says street upgrades are necessary for development

By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin

If you go

What: Bend City Council meeting

When: 7 p.m. today

Where: City Hall, 710 NW Wall Street

A proposal for an 88-acre master planned community in southeast Bend has raised concerns for neighbors, who said old roads in the area are inadequate to handle an influx of new residents. Developers have said the project, called Stone Creek, would provide homes for 600 families on land south of Reed Market Road and north of Brosterhous Road.

The City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on whether to give final approval to the Stone Creek master plan. City councilors unanimously voted for preliminary approval of the plan on July 16.

Members of the Old Farm District Neighborhood Association are particularly concerned that Brosterhous Road, which lies at the southern edge of the proposed development, lacks bike lanes and has only a couple of sections of sidewalk.

Henry Louke, chairman of the board for Old Farm District Neighborhood Association, said at a July 16 Bend City Council meeting that the association generally supports the master planned development.

“However, we do have serious concerns about the infrastructure upgrades to the adjoining roads, specifically Brosterhous Road,” Louke said. “With the proposed increased density on the northern half of the project, it is imperative at the very least that the north half of Brosterhous Road … have safe pedestrian and bicycle travel lanes.”

Nan Loveland, chairwoman of the association’s land use committee, said at the same meeting that it is especially important to make streets in the area safer because the master plan includes a new public elementary school. “Brostherhous is one of southeast Bend’s few east-west connectors, and it has considerable traffic,” Loveland said.

The development would include single-family homes, multifamily housing such as townhomes, a school, a park and a shopping area. Most of the development would be single-family homes on small lots. The developers hope to begin construction on the initial phase of the subdivision in the second quarter of 2015.

City officials have said the company that owns the Stone Creek property — Lands Bend, a development company created by U.S. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., and his wife, Cathleen, along with Harry and Rosalynn Crowell, also of California — is not required to agree to all the street improvements sought by neighbors in order to receive approval for its master plan.

City Engineer Russell Grayson said Tuesday that the city is separately negotiating an agreement to identify the bicycle and pedestrian improvements that developers will build along Brosterhous Road, American Lane and Brentwood Avenue. “We’re trying to do it over the next couple months, before they start really working on the first subdivision,” Grayson said of the agreement.

Grayson told the City Council at the July 16 meeting that it is a priority to build pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure in the area. Land-use lawyer Tia Lewis, who represents the developers of Stone Creek, did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Amy Barry, a senior planner with the city, said Tuesday the development agreement would outline work that is not required in order for the city to approve the master plan.

However, the Stone Creek developers would have to pay significant development impact fees to pay for the large project’s impact on city streets, sewers and other infrastructure. Sidewalks and bike lanes in the area are already on a list of capital projects the city hopes to build in the near future.

The agreement could allow the developers to build the street improvements themselves and ensure that sidewalks and bike lanes in and around Stone Creek are built sooner.

“It is a high priority for the city to get those improvements in,” Barry said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, hborrud@bendbulletin.com