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Bike Park Improvements Hit Snag 

County Hearings Officer nixes parts of the expansion plans at Big Sky Park

  • Bend Park and Recreation District
The big things that were coming to Big Sky Park may get scaled back, depending on the outcome of a special hearing by the Deschutes County Board of County Commissioners.

After Bend Park and Recreation District submitted its plans to the Deschutes County development department earlier this year, nearby homeowners raised concerns about lighting, noise, dust and increased traffic. That caused the plan to go before a hearings officer.

Dan R. Olsen reviewed the public comments and county land use laws—the park is outside of Bend's Urban Growth Boundary, and is zoned Exclusive Farm Use—conditional use permits and other factors and denied some of the uses BPRD intended for the expansion of Big Sky.

According to information from BPRD and hearing paperwork on the County’s website, Olsen denied  the proposed slopestyle course, the use of field lighting and lighting the radio-controlled racetrack—except the use of lights to comply with county building, fire life or safety codes.

According to documents, Olsen also turned down the idea of holding races or competitions at the tracks. BPRD’s original plans included the notion of racing events at the slopestyle course to put Bend on the slopestyle racing map.

Perry Brooks, BPRD landscape architect for the project said in an email that BPRD will appeal some of the Hearing Officer’s decisions. According to the Notice of Appeal filed on Sept. 10 by BPRD's attorney, Garret Chrostek, of the law firm Bryant, Lovlien & Jarvis, “The Hearings Officer erroneously imposed Condition of Approval No. 8 precluding ‘organized events’ at ‘bike park west’ [the slopestyle course] or at the R/C vehicle track. Applicant never proposed such a condition nor suggested that no events would ever occur."

“These facilities are located within the ‘Luke Damon Sports Complex.’ As the name suggests, the overall park is intended for ‘organized events’ and the BPRD Board of Directors authorized funding of these facilities with the anticipation that events would occur. BPRD requests that the condition be removed, or in the alternative, that the Board impose a reasonable limit on the number of ‘organized events’ at these facilities," Chrostek wrote.

Other conditions denied include permanent amplified sound systems.

The Deschutes County Board of Commissioners has not yet set a date for the special hearing, but Brooks told the Source he anticipates the date to be sometime in October. 
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