The city of Bend sent notice this week that the state is ready to give Bend a final word on its 25-year growth plan, which the city submitted to the state earlier this year after several long years of work by city staff, the planning commission and the council.
However, it looks as though the plan is likely to be kicked back to the city for a major re-work, according to one person with close knowledge of the formal process, who spoke to me off the record about the project.
The plan has long been the subject of controversy, a sort of proxy battle over the city’s history of pro-growth policies. And the council made no bones about its desire to include as much land as legally defensible in the new plan, which delineates how and where Bend can grow as the urban area expands into the surrounding rural areas of Deschutes County. However, it looks as though the city’s go-big strategy is going to result in a go-home result, as the Department of Land Conservation and Development sends the city back to the proverbial drawing board. Meanwhile, it’s anybody’s guess as to how long it will actually take Bend to exhaust the existing inventory of unsold and/or unfinished homes – not to mention all the unfinished and bankrupt housing development projects that dot the landscape.