The City of Bend is getting close to completing its third (and hopefully final) urban growth boundary (UGB) expansion planning process. The new plan will address a range of important questions about the future of our city.
Do we want sprawl or more infill? Do we want car-oriented growth or more walkable, bikable, and transit-friendly growth? What’s the right housing mix – mostly single family homes or more multi-family options – to ensure that we have affordable housing in 2028? This fall, the Bend City Council will approve a final UGB expansion plan before the end of the year, making some big decisions about the future of our city.
And The Environmental Center is playing a leadership role in shaping the new plan. Mike Riley, Executive Director, serves as the co-chair of the Boundary Expansion Advisory Committee, one of three advisory committees established to provide citizen input to the City Council.
We believe the new plan should help Bend reduce it environmental footprint and carbon emissions by using smart growth planning principles. Bend’s growth plan should include:
- more infill and greater density,
- completion of our sidewalk and bike lane network,
- mixed-use neighborhoods and neighborhood commercial centers,
- transit-oriented development that supports a convenient bus system, and
- a greater diversity of housing types that provide more affordable options.
Your voice is crucial in helping to create the city you want to see. There are several events planned this fall where you can learn more about Bend’s UGB plan and make your voice heard by City Council before they formally adopt a final UGB plan.
- Central Oregon Landwatch is hosting events on September 30th and October 6th to learn how you can make a difference.
- The City has launched an interactive online survey where you can provide feedback and input.
- The City of Bend is also hosting a community meeting on October 1st for everyone to learn about and comment on the UGB project, including an evaluation of different UGB expansion scenarios.
- There will be hearings before the City Council later this fall. Watch our web site, email newsletter and Facebook for dates and times.
- The Residential and Employment TACs will meet on October 7th. This will be the first of several discussions regarding how the City can address Remand requirements for lowering vehicle miles travelled per capita (VMT), a key measure of transportation impact and carbon footprint.
- On October 8th, the Boundary TAC will discuss the results from the scenario evaluation. Continued discussion will occur on October 22nd, where the goal is for the Boundary TAC to direct the preparation of a hybrid UGB scenario.
We encourage you to get involved today!