BEND: Pump the Brakes and Include the Public in Planning for Middle Housing Code Changes!
Let the City of Bend know you want the community to be heard before adopting code changes that are coming soon.
This website is about Oregon House Bill 2001 (HB 2001), what it is, what it isn't, and how the City of Bend is excluding the public from a transparent discussion about the impacts of pending changes to the Bend Development Code. Help ensure that middle housing succeeds in Bend because the community supports it.
* This is a project by concerned community volunteers, neighborhood association members, NA board members, and NA land use chairs.
House Bill 2001 (HB 2001)
The population in Bend, Oregon is growing at a rapid rate and needs more housing – ideally, housing that is achievable and affordable. The City Council’s goals include making sure that those who live and work here can afford housing.
In August 2019, Oregon's Governor signed House Bill 2001 (HB 2001), far-reaching legislation designed to provide Oregonians with more housing choices. HB 2001 allows the building of various housing types – duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhomes (collectively known as “middle housing”) – everywhere that single-family detached housing is permitted.
In addition to permitting the development of middle housing throughout the community, HB 2001 also mandates changes to development codes concerning middle housing that essentially eliminate density caps, reduce or eliminate off-street parking requirements, reduce minimum lot sizes, increase the scale of buildings, and have other major impacts on development. These changes will likely have a significant effect on how Bend develops in the future and the overall quality of life here.
Everyone who supports providing more housing choices, especially for the City's workforce, should be concerned that the new rules adopted by the City will be supported by the community. Other Oregon cities are engaging in extensive public outreach to ensure community acceptance. Bend's residents deserve the same opportunity to participate in determining the shape of the city going forward.
Proposed Middle Housing Code Amendments Available for Review
City staff have drafted amendments to the Bend Development Code (BDC) to implement House Bill 2001, which requires that cities allow middle housing types where single-family homes are permitted.
To review the draft amendments to the Bend Comprehensive Plan and the BDC on the City's web site, click the button below. The proposed changes address minimum off-street parking requirements, as well as siting standards for setbacks, lot coverage, floor area ratio, and building height and scale, as well as design standards for garage doors, front door orientation, and windows.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT & HOW TO GET INVOLVED:
June 14th Planning Commission work session
1st UP: A final draft will go to a Planning Commission work session on June 14th. To watch the meeting, click here and scroll down to the date and select "video".
THEN: Hearings before the Planning Commission and City Council are expected to be held in July and August. The City Council has asked the Planning Commission to expedite this process. We are asking that it be slowed to allow the pubic to participate. The state has given the city until June 2022 to make the necessary changes.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW! Email your thoughts on the proposed code changes and the need for more community involvement to the Planning Commission at: CityPlanningCommissionAll@bendoregon.gov and the City Council at: Council@bendoregon.gov.
Let the City Council know your opinion: Do you want the public to be more involved in the process of changing development codes in the City of Bend?
Who we are.
We are an ad hoc group of community volunteers who care about the welfare of our city and want to see smart policies guide the city's growth. Most of us are active in monitoring the City's land use policies and have been studying HB 2001 and the draft code extensively.
We are not affiliated with City government. Please sign up for our mailing list to be kept in the loop regarding pending Bend Development Code changes and their impact on our community.
What We Support.
We support the well-planned development of middle housing and want to see the stated intention behind HB 2001 come to fruition. However, it will require widespread resident buy-in to make that happen. Members of the general public MUST be included in the process and the community at large needs to understand and support the integration of middle housing into our neighborhoods for it to succeed.
Affordable housing advocates will be the first to tell you that there is a difference between "little a" affordable housing – which is the overall concept of people being able to afford to rent or buy housing – and "big A" Affordable housing, which is government-subsidized (think Section 8). We support both! But affordable housing that is actually achievable in a city such as Bend is another discussion altogether. We want our community to have housing, and not just for the very bottom and top of the income scale. We want to see true MIDDLE housing that is integrated throughout the community and affordable for the city's workforce.
The City of Bend needs to slow down and really engage the public in the process of implementing HB 2001. We have a chance – RIGHT NOW – to take a good look at the status of housing in Bend and plan for the future. Bend needs SMART growth! That means middle housing that is compatible with existing neighborhoods and attainable for those in the middle of the income spectrum. Once these code changes go into effect, they will have a long-term impact on the shape of our city. This can be a positive process for all the citizens of Bend IF it is implemented in a smart, practical, and inclusive way.