Bend city councilors on Wednesday moved one step closer to allowing Les Schwab Tires to move its downtown Bend location to a new spot on Third Street.
Les Schwab is requesting to move from a current location on Franklin Ave. to Third Street, which would require the city to approve a zone change that currently doesn’t allow another auto-based business there. The Prineville-based company has two additional Bend locations.
The council voted 5 to 2 to direct staff to prepare the zone change. A final vote on the proposal is expected early next month.
In August, the Bend Planning Commission denied Les Schwab’s request, leaving it up to the council to make the final decision.
Opponents of the move say it will increase traffic in an already congested area and isn’t in line with what city leaders envisioned for what’s known as the Bend Central District.
Supporters have said the move will allow for development on the sprawling Franklin Avenue site and having a new Les Schwab facility on Third Street actually will enhance that area, which already is home to a handful of businesses including a car dealership and strip club.
Councilors Barb Campbell and Genna Goodman-Campbell were the two no votes on the proposal.