Last night marked the first open public meeting of the "Truth in Site Coalition," a citizen group concerned with the proposed location of the new OSU Cascades campus on the westside of Bend. Here's what you need to know:
-->While the campus is set to open in the fall of 2015, the group is threatening to take legal action against the location, a 10-acre lot and former pumice mine on Chandler and Simpson Ave.
-->During the first public meeting at The Bend Armory, around 200 people showed support for the coalition's mission, asked questions and expressed concerns about the current proposed location.
-->Repeated concerns included increased traffic, parking, surrounding neighborhood property values, student housing and the cost burden of other improved infrastructure that the University will require.
-->"This is not a done deal," repeated Scott Morgan, a spokes person for the coalition. He also made clear that the time frame for the site selection and opening of the campus by fall of 2015 is unrealistic, saying that it's a better timeframe for building a custom home than a well-planned university.
-->The coalition made it clear that they are not in opposition of a 4-year university in Bend. They claim to be proponents of a well thought out location for said school and a measure of public input on site selection.
-->The coalition plans to take legal and technical opposition to the campus location by hiring a traffic engineer, a land use lawyer and soil specialists.
-->The group says they have raised $10,000 of a required $50,000 (likely more after taking donations at last night's meeting) to take the legal action they have planned.
-->Although the meeting was put on by private citizens, Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU Cascades, was in attendence as well as several planners from the city to hear public concerns.
You can learn more on the group's Facebook Page: OSU Cascades- TRUTH in Site