Dear Neighbors of Southern Crossing (SCNA), SouthWest Bend (SBNA), and Century West (CWNA) Neighborhood Associations:
Some of you are learning about this project for the first time, while others have been actively involved in conversations for the past several months. This communication is meant to bring everyone up to the same level of knowledge regarding the potential development of the COID land consisting of 100 acres of open land and trails located between the Deschutes River and the westside Brookswood Blvd neighborhoods running North from near Blakely Park to the South where the pipe comes out above the footbridge on the Deschutes River. The issue at stake is protection of trails and open space for this property. To understand the area of discussion, please click here to view the map. The 100 acres includes all of the area highlight in orange, salmon, pink, and purple.
For those of you who have been active in the conversation to date, this update is coming out later than Deby (Land Use Chair from SCNA) expected because there are many moving pieces on this project. Because the development of the COID land does not affect just one Neighborhood Association, there are now three Neighborhood Associations working together on this project (Southern Crossing (SCNA), Southwest (SBNA), and Century West (CWNA). Deby will no longer be personally responding to emails – future communication will be shared among these three neighborhood associations. If you have questions, from now on please contact [email protected].
For those of you who are just learning about this potential development, be aware — there is not an existing application! This is a proposed future development! As such, there has not yet been any kind of neighborhood meeting required by the developer for this project and, thus, the City Planning Department does not yet have information on this project. For background information on the project, you can go here: https://mailchi.mp/1315a66cf997/coid-notification-list-test-4753097?e=7e77cb04d1
Before we get into this update, Deby did want to provide 3 corrections to her first, background update email (at the link above):
- The fiber optic line that was put back on the COID land to manage the power station was installed by Century Link not Century West.
- Deby referred to the power plant on the COID land as a pumping station and found out that both COID and PacificCorp (who asked COID to restore the fiber optic lines back after they were removed for the COID piping project) each refer to this as a “powerhouse switchyard.” The key point though is that, as long as this power plant is operational, the Mt Bachelor Village Condos Resort view easement is supposed to remain in force until April 1, 2034.
- The trail many of you who live in the SouthWest Neighborhood Association (SBNA) use to enter the COID land from near Brianne Place was accidentally left out.
Here are highlights of recent activities and meetings:
- Members of the SCNA and SBNA Boards have been giving tours of the land to some of the City Councilors and Board Members of Bend Parks and Recreation. From the feedback we are hearing, the City Councilors are not receptive to changing the zoning because they want housing on the property. The housing will most likely not be affordable, but the new Councilors especially believe in the “trickle down effect” so they think if someone moves up from one home, that opens up more affordable housing for someone waiting to buy that first home. Bend Parks and Rec understands the value of the land and sees it as a connectivity hub to other trails.
- SCNA had a well-attended special meeting as required by their By-Laws and voted unanimously to annex the land from SBNA in order to absorb any future houses developed on this land.
- Meanwhile, SBNA decided that they do not want to put the annexation to a vote at their general meeting “at this time” in order to better communicate with their neighbors.
- As neighbors in the Mt. Bachelor Village development have a view easement looking out over the COID property (expires April 1, 2034, dependent upon the power plant operation), CWNA has been invited to participate in the communications to our neighbors.
- The City Council did include saving trees in their recent Council goals though they did qualify this by saying they want to balance saving trees with building housing. If you are interested in working on proposed changes to the tree ordinance to protect more trees on this land in the event of development, you can learn more at this website: https://protectbendtrees.com/
- We are creating a “sign brigade” for those of you who might be interested in putting up signs about this development to encourage others to get on this email list. If you are interested in helping with this project, send an email to [email protected]
- Pahlisch has put in writing that they are still doing their due diligence and expect to close on the property in about a year. After that, they do not expect to begin any construction “for a few years.” Thus, as they put it, development of that land “is not imminent.”
- The real estate agent for COID has put in writing that COID is not able to entertain any back offers from the community as “COID has made other contractual arrangements and will honor them.”
Despite the last point, there is a group of neighbors in SBNA, particularly those living on Rock Bluff, who want to try to save the land by purchasing it. They are reaching out to the Trust for Public Land to see if this is a possibility. SBNA is having their General Meeting on April 15 at 6:30pm to discuss this and their Board wants to hear if those of you who live in SBNA want to pursue this path. Thus, if you live in SBNA, we strongly urge you to attend that meeting by registering on the SBNA home page: https://southwestbendna.org/
After the SBNA General Meeting, the representatives from the 3 Neighborhood Associations will meet and decide how to proceed and how those of you who want to be involved can do so. We’ll send out an update for everyone after that meeting.
What you can do in the meantime:
- Talk with your neighbors, those using the COID trails, or those affected most by this change. Participate in creating and placing signs per above. Encourage people to get on the email list for these updates: tinyurl.com/xb3z9h2c
- Pahlisch’s intent seems to be to put 750 homes on the 100 acres in this property. There will be some multi-family homes in the middle of the property with single family homes on the edges for a smooth transition from current residences. However, the City Council is currently considering code changes as it relates to Oregon House Bill 2001 (HB2001): http://www.bendnaforums.org/land-use-hot-topics.html
- This bill allows any lot zoned as residential to have duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, or cottage clusters on that lot instead of a single family home. Get involved in the HB2001 discussion and related code changes to help the City Council understand the need to preserve open space. Additional housing and open space do not necessarily have to be mutually exclusive, but thoughtful planning for the benefit of the entire community should be the priority. These changes to the code for denser housing are imminent and are currently scheduled to be presented to the Planning Commission in May. (You can get code updates by emailing [email protected] and asking Pauline Hardie to be placed on her notification list.) You can email the Planning Commission at [email protected] and you can email the City Council at [email protected]
- Stay up to date and participate in your Neighborhood Association meetings. Watch for more update emails to learn how this project progresses.
Deby DeWeese (Vice Chair and Land Use Chair) and Karen Bergsvik (Chair), SCNA
Lisa Mushel (Land Use Chair), CWNA