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Promoting Sprawl at Juniper Ridge

In your Feb. 14 edition regarding Juniper Ridge, you sound like a clone of The Bulletin: "The city also needs a master plan to proceed



In your Feb. 14 edition regarding Juniper Ridge, you sound like a clone of The Bulletin: "The city also needs a master plan to proceed with the development of Juniper Ridge, and everyone seems to agree that the Cooper Robertson plan is an excellent one." If you think everyone is on board with this plan, you better get out more and talk to people. Everyone I know thinks the Juniper Ridge plan stinks, would create sprawl, and is a financial sinkhole.

The city did not survey the public on what they wanted for this parcel but instead imposed their idea of what could bring in the most revenue to bail them out of their current financial mess. This financial mess was caused by sprawling development in the first place without charging developers enough system development charges during the boom of the past 20 years. Now with the boom finally busting, the city has increased SDC fees. However, we are in the red for hundreds of million dollars for street, water, sewer, storm drain, and school infrastructure needs, not to mention money for basic maintenance. Yet my property tax bill has money going away from the existing city limits to Juniper Ridge. The original justification for Juniper Ridge was we needed more industrial land, yet very little of this project is planned for industrial uses. Redmond has plenty of industrial sites not far down the road from Juniper Ridge where the current vacancy rate is over 17%. The public strongly opposed sprawl during the Juniper Ridge public comment process, yet this message seems to have gotten lost somehow.

Currently, the City of Bend can't deal with basic services within its existing city limits. How about getting a better handle on snow plowing, fixing pot holes, traffic congestion, synchronization of traffic lights, functioning buses, and other city functions before adding more land which will need additional services?

Why is Juniper Ridge a good location for a university? The current campus in Bend has plenty of land which could accommodate this use without creating sprawl and be more in line with good land use planning and the sustainable development goals of the 2030 vision plan. Is Bend really green or just going for the green? Maybe the Urban Land Institute could suggest other less sprawling ideas for the public good. Maybe a regional park?

Jeff Boyer

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