“The changes that the council is making right now to the Bend development code are going to have impacts decades in the future,” said Bend City Council member Anthony Broadman.
The city of Bend is now the the first major city in Oregon to implement changes to its development code based on House Bill 2001.
But what is the bill?
How do these changes impact Bend’s future?
“So House Bill 2001 is a state law that requires cities to essentially allow essentially many more housing types that are more affordable in our city,” said Broadman.
House Bill 2001 orders cities in Oregon to change local codes to build what’s called “middle housing”.
“So duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhouses, and cottage clusters,” said Pauline Hardy, Senior Code Planner for the City of Bend.
This means middle housing will now be allowed in residential areas zoned for single families; promoting development of more, and cheaper, housing units.
House Bill 2001, and the council’s actions, focus on land within current city limits.
“We can limit sprawl, and that really helps keep our vital, rural, wild landscapes that we all know and love intact and thriving,” said Corie Harlan, Program Manager for Central Oregon LandWatch.
The plan has plenty of opponents who have concerns with changes to building height requirements and expected parking problems.
In its meeting last night, the city council eliminated parking requirements for developers of middle housing.
Though the word ‘eliminate’ brings up the fear of crowded streets, the city council stresses that lowering the minimum requirement for parking encourages developers to meet the needs of the community, instead of wasting space.
“We’re going to need complete neighborhoods. complete streets, and ensure that people are living close to work, school, shopping, all of the things you need to have a complete neighborhood,” said Broadman.
The second reading and review of the changes to bend’s development code under House Bill 2001 is on October sixth, thirty days after, the changes will go into effect.