Urban Growth Boundary Expansion Amendment Moves Forward
After a series of public meetings, on Thursday, Aug. 25, the City of Bend will move forward with its adoption of the long-overdue Bend Urban Growth Boundary Remand. Public testimony on the issue ended Aug. 18. The final plan would expand the City of Bend by a proposed 2,380 acres and change a number of development codes to increase the capacity for additional housing and jobs. Of the 2,380 acres, 1,142 are proposed for residential land (including parks and schools), 815 acres for employment, 285 acres for public facilities and 138 acres for existing rights of way. The City of Bend and Deschutes County submitted another UGB amendment to the state between 2007 and 2009 with a proposed expansion of 8,943 acres—a plan that the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development rejected in favor of a more conservative approach.
Central Oregon Wildfires the Work of Arsonists, Officials Say
Law enforcement officials are investigating a number of fires they believe were intentionally started in Central Oregon. While they won't give specific details about the cases while the investigations are ongoing, a number of wildfires popped up which officials say are human-caused. A fire broke out at the Pine Mountain Observatory on Aug. 19, prompting the evacuation of the observatory and campground. The Sheridan Fire, west of Sunriver, spread to 200 acres at its peak, and a fire on Tumalo Mountain near Mt. Bachelor was fully contained as of Aug. 20.
With the hot, dry weather in recent weeks expected to continue, the Oregon State Police—along with other law enforcement agencies—are urging people to take extra precautions to prevent wildfires. That includes making double-sure that campfires are extinguished and that cigarette butts are put out.
Pedestrian Improvements to Begin on Third Street
If you're walking or using a wheelchair around South Third Street in the near future, you'll have fewer urban hazards to stand in your way. This fall, the City of Bend will begin work on curb ramps and sidewalks along the busy Bend thoroughfare—an effort to make the route safer for pedestrians who use it. According to the City of Bend, the construction will include construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks, construction of ADA-compliant curb ramps and replacement of non-ADA compliant ramps and ADA-compliant bus stop waiting pads. In addition, the project will include enhanced bicycle lanes and the conversion of stormwater catch basin grates to curb inlet catch basins. In the end, the project will provide a continuous pedestrian corridor along Third Street between Wilson Avenue and Powers Road. "This improves connectivity for our citizens and is good for the businesses along those corridors," says Councilor Barb Campbell.
In addition, the City has plans to complete more than 100 curb ramps and thousands of feet of sidewalk in other neighborhoods and transportation corridors in 2017. City staff say nearly 1,200 curb ramps and seven miles of sidewalk are planned between 2016-2018 as part of paving and capital projects.