For those who share our fascination with the way the city of Bend works, here is another baffling example.

First, a brief quiz.

What do you find on Third Street in Bend?

If you guessed cars, that is one correct answer.

Why can’t the Les Schwab Tire Center on Franklin Avenue relocate to Third Street?

If you guessed cars again, you win a gold star.

You see, cars, at least in the eyes of Bend’s development code, are not part of the plan. Table 2.7.3220 in the Bend Development Code is about “Permitted Uses in the Bend Central District by Subdistrict.” Retail and “auto-dependent” or “auto-related” land uses are an outright no-no for new entities. They are not allowed — not even with a conditional use permit.

To put a tire store on the desired spot on Third Street in Bend near NE Burnside Avenue, Les Schwab would have to:

• Propose a text amendment to Bend’s development code — no small hassle

• Go before the Bend Planning Commission — get supported or not

• Get approval from the Bend City Council — not necessarily easy, nor guaranteed by a city that approved the development code in the first place

Even if cars and trucks are a scourge of humanity — as some believe — the public does use them. And they require tires. Buses also need tires. Ambulances need tires. Police cars need tires. Fire trucks need tires.

But on what is Business 97 through Bend, the city says there shall be no tire businesses? Would a tire store destroy the feel of Third Street? Might it wound Chevrolet of Bend, which would be across the street? Or does the city have a Stage 4 auto-related phobia?

Tell your Bend city councilors what you think. Email them at