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Re: “Bring the UGB Back to Earth

To the Bend city council members ... (metaphorically) ... Full disclosure, I am not an Oregon resident ... There are millions of us in larger metros in the Western US who would love to move to a place like Bend. However, due to LCDC Commissioner John VanLandingham's Election Day non-negotiable 150 page Final Order against your great plan for Bend's UGB over the next 20 years, we are afraid to move ... fearing increasing unemployment, land banking by speculators, and huge rents, with only 10 years left if a new UGB is not formulated... Perhaps (as suggested in the Bend Bulletin on Oct. 6, 2010), you may decide to Sue DLCD, John VanLandingham, Richard Whitman, and Greg McPherson (et. al., the LCDC) in the Oregon Court of Appeals, to defend your 5 years of tremendous work (and, the work of your talented planners, 4 millions dollars total). If I was a resident, I would write you (The City Council and City Manager) a letter suggesting this. Since I am not a resident, I hope that citizens will see the light, that a smaller UGB with high density Smart Growth (versus low density Smart Growth like at NW Crossing) will mean higher rents, less economic growth, less productivity, less salary growth, and less population growth. Same thing happened in Portland: Bend is unique among Western US tourist towns, in supporting entrepreneurs, new businesses, and 48% population growth, from 2000-2009, along with high tech industry (also in Redmond), and plans for Juniper Ridge with more high tech businesses. Bend could play an ever increasing role in the Intermountain West mixed economy of tourism, education, and small high tech startups, with increased ties to Boise, Reno, Salt Lake City, and Spokane. Juniper Ridge and a new University, perhaps with grad degrees, would certainly make the market competitive with these other markets. Bend is a high energy place of intelligent, creative people, compared to ANTI-growth towns with crime and drug problems, such as Eugene, Medford-Ashland, Santa Cruz, and Flagstaff. All these places have special interest groups similar to COLW and 1,000 Friends. People come to Cities to meet people, and these places have stopped new people from moving in. Bend is a more socially interesting place than these other "gentrifying" places, because it is growing. Since growth controls, the Creative Class (Richard Florida) prefers growing cities (i.e. Austin, Denver, Seattle, Raleigh-Durham, etc.). Small cities like Medford-Ashland, Eugene, Santa Fe (NM), and Flagstaff (Arizona) with their growth controls do not attract as many highly talented entrepreneurs. Artists? Writers? Organic farmers? Acupuncturists? Yes, they do ... but they do not drive economic growth or create patents. If Bend unemployment remains at 15%, and growth continues to remain on hold, then Bend will fall to the level of these cities, who all rank very low on the Policom Index for Economic Vitality (whereas Bend still holds on with a moderately high ranking, but this could change): From Harvard University, this paper explains how the "urban health" of a city is based on 1) population growth 2) rising productivity 3) rising incomes From Harvard's Josh Gottleib and Ed Glaeser: Anyway ... with a few references to prove my point (please write back with your side of the story) it's up to Bend residents to discuss these issues with their City Council members know. Meanwhile, Bend is the poster child for State Controlled Growth Bureaucrats like Whitman, McPherson, and VanLandingham, versus Cities who have highly talented and creative local planners with better ideas than the State. Indeed, planning issues are best left to local city and county officials. That's the way it is in most U.S. states... an outdoors enthusiast myself, if there is any city who should be allowed to grow like it wants to, it's Bend ... given the City's commitment to green amenities ... the riverwalk, bike paths, parks, preservation of native trees, etc. etc. It took me 5 years of living in 6 Western states to figure this out, and the difference between places like Bend versus the others. All the best to you. Good luck to the City and residents of Bend as they work on these conflicts.... Tom Lane @

Posted by Tom777 on 11/22/2010 at 10:06 PM

Re: “LandWatch Has Our Backs

Great article. Thanks for informing us "outsiders" about the local situation there. Bend and Redmond, Oregon both need to expand their urban growth boundary and GROW, in order to attract entrepreneurial talent from other regions, for emerging high tech businesses. Otherwise, the towns will dry up and turn to anti-growth Meth Cities, like eugene, medford, and flagstaff, arizona. When a tourism/retirement town fails to recruit high paying jobs, doesn't provide an environment conducive to entrepreneurs and increasing productivity and wages over time, then wages for everyone stall ... and the service wages also stop increasing (that's most Bend residents) ... they cannot pay the expensive rents...and quality of life goes down as you have to work 2 or 3 jobs..."poverty with a view." Unfortunately, John VanLandingham and Richard Whitman denied Bend's very modest UGB request of only 8,000 acres (not very large, at least double that would be typical of a Texas town for 20 years) on Election Day, 2010. This denial will, to some extent, continue the speculation process that resulted in Bend's soaring land costs, and high cost of living in the first place. Same thing happened in Portland, substitute "DLCD and John VanLandingham / Richard Whitman" for "City Planners" - Urban growth boundaries are not sustainable. There are economically sustainable approaches to open space preservation that don't cause housing bubbles i.e. conservation easements, land trusts, nature preserves, philanthropic trail building, tree ordinances, community gardens, etc. etc. Look at COTA. They keep building mountain bike trails. And, look at NW Crossing (The Garner Group) and their maintaining Native Pine trees during construction, and their Community Gardens. A great company who should continue to build westward, in a very green way. Since I would guess that Central Oregon Land Watch and 1000 Friends are not run or supported by by Land Use Economists or Urban Planners, then with all due respect, what credentials do they have to tell the City , County, or DLCD what to do? Land use decisions are best left to the City Planners in Bend who are certified with the APA (American Planning Association), who are well trained in Urban Planning and Land Use Economics. It's up to Bend residents if they are going to listen to others with background in land use economics. Most of the Western US has imposed even stronger anti-growth regulations than Bend. Truly, Bend is unique as a mountain town in supporting a majority of the major national chains. Kitzhaber was voted down 2:1 in Deschusets County, and the Bend City Council and Planners want to bring new industry to Juniper Ridge. I am hopeful that the People of Bend will continue to predominately support their pro-business leaders, rather than the anti-business special interest groups. And, truth be told, the City is also very green, with its commitment to bike paths, the riverwalk, parks, and open space. Having evaluated about 20 cities similar in demographics to Bend in 6 Western States, if there is any city grows yet also meets environmental quality principles, it's Bend. Check out the differences in traffic and pollution between Bend and Boulder, or Bend vs. Eugene, or Bend vs. Santa Cruz, and you'll see what I mean. I would not worry about another 40,000 people in 20 years in Bend. Destination resorts will bring more money to the area, helping to raise salaries of service workers. If the City of Bend decides to sue DLCD and wins, then the 8,500 acre UGB expansion will ensure an end to Bend's recession by the end of 2020. Tom Lane @

Posted by Tom777 on 11/22/2010 at 8:57 PM

Re: “Bend UGB Decision Forthcoming

control on land use.Thank you for covering this very important story. John VanLandingham said no, in a 150 page order against the City. I think that Oregonians should consider secession - eastern Oregon, and the State of Jefferson. I will link your story (and, any additional ones), back to it on my web site where I have as many Bend UGB stories as I can find. I support and advocate local control of land use issues. Unfortunately, local cities don't even control their own cities anymore, because of statewide laws such as growth management acts in a few states. On a national level, Bend really is the poster child for a pro-business city council versus anti-growth / anti-business state officials with DLCD. I know of no other place where there is so much conflict. Look at the PSU population results. Deschusets County was the fastest growing county in Oregon, 2000-2009 at 48% - vs. 10% in Multnomah County (Portland) and 7% in Lane County (Eugene). Every few days I search for "Bend UGB," and as more newspapers become aware of the DLCD order, they will cover it. The Bend City officials are some of the best urban planners in the Western US. They have created a City that has consistently ranked highly in so many categories. If there is any city that deserves to grow in Oregon, it's Bend ... due to its focus on parks, open space, and bike trails. DLCD's Richard Whitman, Bruce McPherson, and John VanLandingham should leave eastern Oregon and State of Jefferson cities alone. I wish you all the best with 15% unemployment, fortunately, you're ranked with a 46 on the Policom Economic Vitality Index (out of several hundred). That is a great number, and indicates the exceptionally talented entrepreneurs who are moving to Bend/Redmond. Interesting that even housing starts are up about 10% in New England, because they don't have such strong Socialistic

Posted by tomcomment on 11/18/2010 at 9:27 PM

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