The City of Bend is close to annexing more land into the city's Urban Growth Boundary, aimed at adding more affordable and workforce housing inside city limits.
The concept plan for the 262-acre Stevens Road Tract includes roughly 147 acres for affordable housing, as well as space for employment, commercial services, open spaces and a multi-modal transportation system, according to Senior Planner Damian Syrnyk.
The plan for Stevens Road Tract was introduced in 2021, after HB 3318 was passed in the Oregon legislature. The bill provided the opportunity for the area to be included in the city's UGB with the goal of creating a community of affordable and workforce housing. In order for the City to bring the land into the UGB, a City summary from 2022 suggested that it would need at least 20 acres of land set aside for affordable housing.
The City has been working on a concept plan that would satisfy the terms of the bill, said Syrnyk, focusing on the development of deed-restricted housing.
The property is currently managed and owned by Oregon Department of State Lands and sits right next door to the 382-acre Stevens Ranch, which was brought into the UGB in 2016 and purchased in 2020 for development.
The amendment to include the Stevens Road Tract in the UGB will need final approval from City Council at its next meeting on Sept. 20.
The area, once approved by the City and County and master planned, will then be available for an individual or a group to come in and develop the area. The city will hold an open house on Oct. 18 at Caldera High School to answer questions from residents about planning amendments.
Considering the addition of these areas into Bend's UGB, it's important to look at what other changes can be made to the UGB in the future. According to Syrnyk, new bills and programs coming into place are paving the way for Bend to have new ways to evaluate and amend the UGB yet again to expand Bend's housing options.
House Bill 2001, which abolished single-family zoning in the state and makes it easier for cities to make decisions related to increasing housing, could make the process of amending UGB's less lengthy in the future. According to Syrnyk, Bend will restart the UGB evaluation process in 2026 once they have new rules and updated housing data.