If no one appeals the city of Bend’s recently approved plan to expand its boundaries within the next week, some Deschutes County property owners can start submitting proposals to develop their properties.
But the process for planning large developments could change because the city is looking to clarify planning rules for residential, industrial and commercial developments. This comes after the state recently approved the city’s plan to take over 2,380 acres of land in the county, as well as set rules for what can be built in areas that are currently rural.
Before starting construction, all property owners who own parcels that are 20 acres or larger will be required to submit a master plan, which is a detailed, long-term plan that shows exactly what will be built and how it will impact surrounding neighborhoods, sewers and roads. Property owners will also have to show that they’ve met requirements to build things such as housing or industrial centers, said Brian Rankin, the city planner overseeing the expansion effort.
“(Property owners are) required to show us in their planning how they’re going to do that,” said Rankin.
Right now, that master plan process caters to residential developments. But the Bend City Council took the first step earlier this month to consider a rule change to break up that process into three different categories — one for residential developments, one for institutions, such as hospitals and universities, and another for commercial developments. City councilors are scheduled to make final approval at the Dec. 7 meeting.
For example, 362 acres of Department of State Lands’ property located southeast of the city limits would have to go through the master plan process, said Rankin.
Developers of the property, which is located in the county off of Stevens Road and 27th Street, must provide housing and space for businesses, according to the city’s expansion plan.
City rules require that slightly less than half of the property goes to housing; at least 50 acres must be used for a large industrial site; 21 acres could go to an elementary school; and up to 35 acres could be used for parks.
Jim Paul, director of the Department of State Lands, said the department doesn’t have a timeline for the property’s development. The state created a development plan nearly a decade ago that called for homes, schools and commercial space, but he said that plan would probably need to be updated.
“At least some of the details of the plan will need to be revisited to some degree,” Paul said.
The state has yet to make a decision about whether to go through the master planning process or to sell the property beforehand, according to the Department of State Lands.
Bend’s plan to expand for its urban growth boundary comes after the state in 2010 turned down a proposal that asked for an 8,000-acre expansion — about 6,000 acres larger than the current plan asks for. Since 2014, Bend has allocated $2.7 million to put together the current proposal.
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