Bend updates housing codes to promote more ‘middle housing’; take effect in Nov.

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The Bend City Council on Wednesday approved amendments to the Bend Development Code and the Bend Comprehensive Plan that will implement House Bill (HB) 2001.

The updated code will go into effect in November 5, 2021.

Housing is a statewide issue and the state is taking action that the City is required to comply with.

The Oregon State Legislature passed HB 2001 in 2019 which requires cities over 25,000 population to allow the development of “middle housing”, such as duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage cluster developments and townhouses in more Bend neighborhoods citywide.

Here’s what people might notice once the new code is in effect:

• Middle housing in areas of Bend it wasn’t previously permitted. Bendites need a variety of housing choices to fit their lifestyles, and not everyone needs or desires a large home. The new code allows middle housing in all residential areas of Bend, regardless of zoning, with the exception of areas with existing covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs) that prohibit these types of housing.

• Housing prioritized over development standards. Middle housing is designed to be more affordable. Affordability is impacted by building requirements such as parking, height, and distance from the road and other structures. The new code reduces many of the requirements previously limiting the development middle housing, helping to prioritize more units that are likely more affordable than large homes.

• More housing for community members who live and work in Bend. The new code limits permitted short-term rentals for developments that have more than one unit. Previously there was no restriction on the number of short-term rentals units by property. Now, the code will allow only one short-term rentals unit per property in residential zones, as long as the property complies with all other requirements for short-term rentals. This change will further the goal of supporting the use of middle housing for people who live and work in the City of Bend.

The approved code was drafted by the HB 2001 Stakeholder Advisory Group, which was comprised of members from the City Council, Planning Commission, Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Leadership Alliance and others.

To view the proposed amendments and for more information on Bend’s HB 2001 implementation, visit bendoregon.gov/HB-2001.

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