New plan for central Bend goes public soon

Taller buildings, better pedestrian, cycling and transit amenities under consideration

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

Published Aug 10, 2014 at 12:01AM

If you go

What: Public meeting on Bend’s Central District

Where: Downtown Bend Public Library

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug 18

The latest version of a proposed redevelopment plan for the largely industrial areas in the center of Bend is set to be presented to the public at a meeting later this month.

The Central District, as identified by city planners, stretches from the Bend Parkway east to Fourth Street, and from Revere Avenue on the north to the railroad overpass on the south.

The city has been developing a plan for the area over the past few years with help from a citizens advisory committee and comments from the public at previous meetings.

Wendy Robinson, with the city’s Community Development Department, said Friday the Central District plan is in part driven by Bend’s ongoing wrangling with the state over its urban growth boundary. The state has been pushing Bend to increase density within already-developed parts of the city before expanding the boundary farther, Robinson said, and the city has identified the Central District as a place where density could be increased.

Code changes recommended in the plan would switch much of the area from its current light industrial zoning to a mixed employment zoning, which could include housing alongside business uses. Buildings in much of the area subject to the plan could be built up to 65 feet high if all code changes under consideration are approved by Bend City Council. Buildings providing at least 50 to 80 percent of their required parking in a garage within the building footprint would be allowed to go as high as 85 feet.

The plan calls for improving amenities for cyclists and pedestrians along Second and Fourth streets, Robinson said, in an effort to push nonmotorized traffic away from Third Street. Improved transit within the affected area is a priority as well.

Robinson said the city has not identified any funding to put toward implementing the plan. Many of the investments probably would come from developers looking to build within the Central District, she said, while the city may pick up the tab on some street and sidewalk improvements.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com