Let’s cut right to the point. Bend’s growth and future planning is out of control and taking us rapidly toward a dark future.
Our city planners projected in 2019 the need for 17,000 new houses or apartments by 2028 . If you assume two cars for every house, this will put 34,000 more cars on our roads every day. We certainly don’t need a traffic “consultant” to tell us that our roads are already crowded and parking is at a premium. One can only imagine the traffic nightmare in the near future if we remain on this misguided path.
Bend has been “discovered.” No more money promoting Central Oregon need be spent. The local trails, mountains, lakes and rivers are stressed to the max. The main water storage facility for our area, Wickiup Reservoir, has been reduced to a mud puddle the last couple of years. Parking on Century Drive has become difficult, and this season the Forest Service will charge daily fees to access the “wilderness.” While we give lip-service to the environment, we are selling out Mother Nature on a daily basis. We need to realize that our local beauty is finite and impossible to replace.
I always thought that the main job of our local elected officials was to serve the needs of the folks who actually live in the community. Instead our current leaders are more interested in growth and planning for those who don’t yet have a stake in Central Oregon.
Does everyone need to live in Bend/Redmond? Call me a NIMBY (not in my backyard), but if the folks who already live here don’t speak up to preserve the beauty and uniqueness of Bend, then who will?
I believe we need to elect some local leaders who truly value the concept of livability. This means stopping what I view as “urban sprawl.”
This means stop building large “box hotels” at the expense of beautiful views and stands of long existing trees.
Our city council and county commissioners should resist the idea of expanding the Urban Growth Boundary. The notion of more resorts like Sunriver being built in Central Oregon should be scrapped. Like we need more congestion on our roads?
We need to preserve the rocks and juniper trees that define the essence of the High Desert landscape. Don’t compete with other chaotic cities in Oregon ( like the City of Roses) where it’s become risky to venture downtown.
Contributing to the growth and instability is the ever increasing number of transient camps which defy local regulations and police oversight. We should endeavor to create and preserve our own unique vibe here in Central Oregon.
I keep hearing about “housing shortages” and “low inventory.” Really? It seems there is no end to new homes being constructed in the Bend area. I sometimes think the city planners would OK a permit to build a home atop Mt. Bachelor if it meant more property taxes. The natural turnover of existing homes will continue to be driven by market forces and no government subsidies should be needed.
The only way to derail the current madness is to vote for those who agree that bigger is not better and will work to enhance the city for those already invested in the area.