Central Oregon Real Estate News

 

July 27, 2014

Homebuilding ramps up in Bend

Home building ramps up in Bend

Proposed and approved plans could add 400 new homes

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin

Published Jul 20, 2014 at 12:01AM

Plans filed in Bend for subdivisions in the past year include:

Aspen Reserve

• 65 single-family homes and 81 multi-family units on 20 acres

• Bounded by Alstrup and Brosterhous roads and the Central Oregon Irrigation District canal

• Seeking city approval of changes to the 2007 master plan

• Developer: Hoviss Development Group LLC, Vancouver, Washington

Glen Eagle

• 40 single-family homes on 7 acres

• Bounded by Keyte, Eagle and Daniel roads

• Seeking tentative subdivision plan approval

• Developer: C4 Inc., Lynnwood, Washington

Rock Ridge Park

• 34 single-family homes on 8.27 acres

• Bounded by Rorick & Stonewood drives and Bobwhite Court

• Seeking preliminary plan approval

• Developer: Pacwest II LLC, Bend

Stonegate, phase three

• 50 single-family homes on about 7 acres

• Northeast corner of China Hat and Parrell roads

• Approved in 2013 for building

• Developer: Stonegate Development LLC, Tualatin

Sundance Meadows

• 43 homes on 9.3 acres

• 27th St. and Bear Creek Road

• Under construction

• Developer: MonteVista Homes, Clackamas

Vail Meadows

• 31 single-family homes on 3.61 acres

• Bounded by Vail Lane, Sixth & Eighth streets, and an unnamed lane south of Vail

• Seeking approval to turn 31 lots into 48 lots

• Developer: Palmer Orchard LLC, Beaverton

The city of Bend so far this year has reviewed developers’ plans for at least a half-dozen subdivisions that would add more than 400 new homes in the city.

Overall, the number of planning applications of all kinds, from individual lot-line changes to multi-unit housing projects, reached 677 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, said Colin Stephens, Bend city planning manager.

Those numbers signal a climb back to levels not seen since fiscal year 2007-08, when the Community Development Department received 603 total applications.

“That tells me the economy has rebounded significantly from where it was when we were doing 180, 190 applications,” he said. “The (department) work volume has really increased across the board. But there’s a significant increase in the creation of new lots to put new homes on.”

In 2006-07, the height of the building boom, the department received 830 applications. The current crop of subdivision applications is in various stages of bureaucratic review, from pre-application meetings to final checklists. The city must rule on subdivision applications, called Type II applications, within 120 days, Stephens said. From first applications to breaking ground typically takes from 18 months to two years.

Recent applications include the 40-lot Glen Eagle subdivision on the northeast side of Bend; Aspen Reserve, a 65-lot development on 20 acres at Brosterhous and Alstrup roads; and phase three of Stonegate, which would add another 50 lots to a planned 187-unit development on China Hat Road.

“We will begin pulling permits later this summer for phase three home building,” wrote Dan Pahlisch, vice president for new business development at Pahlisch Homes, the builder at Stonegate.

Pahlisch Homes dusted off the Stonegate site plan in April 2013, and city planners ruled it valid. The Stonegate developer, Tualatin-based developer Stonegate Development LLC, cited the “recent economic downturn” for delaying plans to build out the subdivision.

The previous owner, Elk Horn Development LLC, foresaw completing the entire four-phase project in four years when it first submitted plans in 2004.

By 2008, however, many developers in Bend stymied by the housing market crash in 2007-08 stopped moving dirt and instead moved paperwork, filing requests to keep their plans current as they passed city deadlines to build.

“Probably from 2008 to 2012, we didn’t see any land-division applications,” Stephens said. “Developers kept getting extensions to keep their approvals alive through the recession.”

In southeast Bend, Aspen Reserve, formerly known as Sun Ranch, a project of Hoviss Development Group LLC, was also on pause. Hoviss, of Vancouver, Washington, in June asked the city to approve changes to the original plan, which the city OK’d in 2007. Hoviss’ tentative site plan, filed July 3, outlines 65 lots for single-family homes and 81 units of multi-family housing on the former mobile home park, a total of 147 units. The original plan outlined 432 multi-family housing units.

Pete Mann, Hoviss’ director of construction and land development, said Hoviss retooled its plans to meet demand for single-family homes.

“It’s pretty self-evident right now that multifamily isn’t as popular as single-family in the Bend real estate market. A lot of market conditions are in play right now,” he said.

Also, he said, the reconfigured plan for Aspen Reserve generates less traffic than the original plan.

In northwest Bend, the West Bend Property Co., the developer behind NorthWest Crossing, in the past year recorded 113 lots in three phases of its subdivision project, said David Ford, company general manager. He said NorthWest Crossing, unlike many other developers, never stopped actively recording and selling lots during the recession. In 2013, sales picked up. Today Bend is a seller’s market, Ford said.

“Last year saw the biggest growth in lots and lot sales that we’ve seen in the last four years,” he said. “In fact, most of the homes in NorthWest Crossing in the last year have probably sold before the home is completed.”

In northeast Bend, Glen Eagle, first proposed in 2006, covers 7 acres near another, larger project, called Mirada, now under construction but first approved in 2008.

For a site near the Old Mill District, a firm from Portland Project, filed a preliminary plan to build 27 row houses on property bounded by Colorado and Arizona avenues, Wall Street and Industrial Way. THA Architecture filed the rough plan, called Mill Quarter, on July 10 along with a request to meet with city staff to discuss the project, the first step in the development process. Project managing partner Tom Cody said Friday the firm has not closed on the property and is exploring the feasibility of developing the site.

MonteVista Homes, of Clackamas, and Chet Antonsen of Pacwest II LLC, of Bend, in June started the approval process for 34 single-family homes on 8.3 acres in northeast Bend. The subdivision, called Rock Ridge Park, would lie between Rorick and Stonewood drives and Bobwhite Court. MonteVista bought the property from the developers of adjacent Quail Crossing and drew up its own development plans, said MonteVista marketing director Luke Pickerill.

“All of the developers have confidence in the market again,” Pickerill said. “We all … think it’s going to be real good until the end of 2016.”

MonteVista Homes also developed Sundance Meadows, a 43-lot subdivision of single-family homes going up off 27th Street and Bear Creek Road. Pickerill said builders barely keep up with eager buyers.

“Demand over the last 16 months means it’s hard to build on spec,” he said. “As soon as you get the walls up, they’re selling.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com

July 27, 2014

Bend’s west side fills in

John Costa column: Bend’s west side fills in

Published Jul 27, 2014 at 12:12AM

Almost every workday, I spend an hour or so at a west Bend coffee shop catching up on the news, chatting with the regulars and, time permitting, reading a book.

One day recently, the noise of a powerful construction machine intruded on this idyll.

It was the sound of the ground being cleared for a new restaurant.

Unremarkable in many ways, except that it is a part of an ongoing transformation of the west side of the city.

Bend is changing in every section of the city and will certainly continue to do so, city planners told the editorial board of The Bulletin, as the new Urban Growth Boundary — the state-required blueprint for growth — is completed and approved.

The population estimate in the plan approaches 120,000 people, adding about 35,000 folks to our current population of 80,000-plus.

That will be felt everywhere, but something else has been happening west of the Deschutes River and looks likely to continue, if not accelerate.

At least that is my perception.

The word “urbanization” may be a stretch. “Diversification” may be a better one, but whatever it is, it’s happening.

“You are correct,” said Brian Rankin, the city’s principal planner.

And the reason is quite simple, Rankin said.

“You need (residential) rooftops before commercial” moves in, he said.

Once a certain threshold is met, office, commercial and retail development is sure to follow.

The Bulletin moved onto its west Bend site in 2000, clearing a debris field to construct its current home.

Now we are neighbors to doctors, dentists and lawyers, a day care center, apartment buildings, schools and a brewpub.

But that’s just the beginning.

Since 2000, the development of the city west of the Deschutes River, which has been going on for a long time, has clearly accelerated.

Since then, Bend Memorial Clinic opened a satellite center, Safeway and Ray’s opened food stores, the Bend Park and Recreation District constructed a new headquarters, the Deschutes Brewery expanded, Central Oregon Community College added multiple buildings, several public schools and churches have been built, NorthWest Crossing — with homes, retail, food services and offices — and a significant convention center have been developed.

Under construction is another hotel near the Old Mill District, an expansion of NorthWest Crossing, more schools, a medical office complex and another medical complex.

If it ever really was, the future of the west side is not as a residential reserve.

“There was a time,” city Director of Growth Management Nick Arnis said, “when 14th Street was the edge.”

That, he said, is no longer true. There is a greater diversity of retail, office and service facilities in the ongoing development of the west side of the city, Arnis added.

There is another factor that will impact the look and feel of the whole, not just the west side.

Speaking to the editorial board recently, the city planners said there is a heightened emphasis from state land-use officials on infill.

No doubt, the city will expand its borders as part of the new UGB, but they said not as much as some would hope.

There is a new pressure on city land.

The state, they said, wants to see the city accommodate part of its growth on the open land — in large tracts and small — that now exists within the current boundaries.

And there is a planning preference for developments — like NorthWest Crossing — that mix homes with offices, shops, restaurants, schools, etc.

Like it or not, it’s all part of an evolving Bend.

— John Costa is editor-in-chief of The Bulletin. Contact: 541-383-0337, jcosta@bendbulletin.com

July 14, 2014

1 Virginia Rail, Sunriver

$529,000

This 2318 Sq. ft., 4 bed, 3.5 bath home is nestled among the pines & is fully furnished. Located near the North Woodland’s golf & recreation facilities & only one block to the river. 2 master suites & 2 bunkrooms provide ample room for two families to vacation together. The great room is designed for entertaining & the large back deck is very private. Jump into the hot tub after a game of golf or winter skiing. River rock fireplace, log accents, slate & tile are some of the features of this home.#1 Virginia rail 1 #1 Virginia rail 2 #1 Virginia rail 3 #1 Virginia rail 4 #1 Virginia rail 5 #1 Virginia rail 6 #1 Virginia rail 7 #1 Virginia rail 8 #1 Virginia rail 9 #1 Virginia rail 10 #1 Virginia rail 11 #1 Virginia rail 12 #1 Virginia rail 13 #1 Virginia rail 14 #1 Virginia rail 15 #1 Virginia rail 16 #1 Virginia rail 17 #1 Virginia rail 18 #1 Virginia rail 19 #1 Virginia rail 20 #1 Virginia rail 21 #1 Virginia rail 22 #1 Virginia rail 23 #1 Virginia rail 24 #1 Virginia rail 25

July 6, 2014

15838 Sparks (short sale)

$182,500

Outdoor recreation mecca! 3bd/2ba on a private 1 acre fenced lot with mature pine trees and circular driveway. This single level home has a fantastic floor plan which features a ‘Great Room’ design and lots of natural light. Master on the main with double doors, walk in closet, laminate flooring throughout entire home and two car attached garage. Also includes separate 36×38 shop / outbuilding with enclosed RV garage with two additional bays and 12 foot garage door.Sparks 1 Sparks 2 Sparks 3 Sparks 4 Sparks 5 Sparks 6 Sparks 7 Sparks 8 Sparks 9 Sparks 10 Sparks 11 Sparks 12 Sparks 13 Sparks 14 Sparks 15 Sparks 16 Sparks 17 Sparks 18 Sparks 19 Sparks 20

July 6, 2014

17085 Oxnard Rd., Bend, Oregon

$415,000

Endless possibilities 4bd/3ba/3472sf on a private half acre landscaped fenced lot w/ front & rear entry to property. Two complete levels of living. Main level includes large great room w/ unobstructed views, extensive decking, lovely master suite w/ deck, 2 additional bedrooms separated by great room. Lower level w/ large great room & game room, kitchenette, full bath 1 bedroom & office that could be 5th bedroom. Shop/toy garage w/ lower road access. Great family home, vacation home or investment property.DCIM101GOPRO 17085 Oxnard 2.1 17085 Oxnard 3 17085 Oxnard 4 17085 Oxnard 5 17085 Oxnard 6 17085 Oxnard 7 17085 Oxnard 8 17085 Oxnard 9 17085 Oxnard 10 17085 Oxnard 11 17085 Oxnard 12 17085 Oxnard 13 17085 Oxnard 14 17085 Oxnard 15 17085 Oxnard 16 17085 Oxnard 17 17085 Oxnard 18 17085 Oxnard 19 17085 Oxnard 20 17085 Oxnard 21 17085 Oxnard 25

June 26, 2014

Projects could add 300 apartments in Bend

Projects could add 300 apartments in Bend

Developer proposes one; agencies team up for two others

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin

Published Jul 24, 2014 at 12:19AM

Two separate real estate sales in Bend — one complete and another pending — could bring more than 300 apartments to the city by 2016.

Demand for rental homes and apartments continues unabated in Central Oregon, where vacancy rates stood at 1 percent of the 3,862 units surveyed early this year by Housing Works and the Central Oregon Rental Owners Association. That rate has not budged and rents overall have increased by 5 to 10 percent this year as leases come up for renewal, said Patty Schouviller, housing and resident services director for Housing Works, the regional public housing authority.

In June, a firm based in Wilsonville bought the 5.31 acres adjacent to the new Sage Springs apartment complex on Boyd Acres Road, and plans to erect more units on the site, according to Compass Commercial Real Estate Services.

KWDS LLC paid $900,000 for the property at the northeast corner of Boyd Acres and Ross roads, according to Compass Commercial, whose brokers represented the seller, Sage Springs LLC, in the sale. A preliminary plan filed with the city of Bend proposes building a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments, totaling 96 units.

The buyer’s agent, Scott McAvoy, of Hasson Company Realtors, Lake Oswego, did not return calls seeking comment. Attempts to reach a KWDS representative were unsuccessful.

In May, a Salem general contractor, SharpCor Inc., finished work on the 104-unit Sage Springs apartment complex just north of the empty 5.31 acres. Tenants leased most of the apartments before work was complete, the leasing agent and the construction superintendent said at the time.

Elsewhere in Bend, Housing Works and NeighborImpact, a private nonprofit agency that promotes homeownership, teamed up to purchase two properties in east and northeast Bend on which to build garden-style apartments.

The transaction has yet to close, said Tom Kemper, Housing Works executive director. He would not identify the two properties. He said plans call for two apartment complexes totaling more than 200 units for Housing Works clients. Housing Works provides rental housing at below-market rates or rent vouchers to eligible, low-income clients.

Kemper said NeighborImpact obtained bridge financing to acquire the property through its affiliation with NeighborWorks, a nationwide, federally chartered organization.

Housing Works in June also announced plans to build a second phase of Eastlake Village, the affordable housing apartment complex it operates on NE Bellevue Drive, in Bend. The 40 apartments planned there should be available to lease by August 2015, Kemper said. Phase two is located on 2.64 acres across the street from phase one. Construction should start in October, he said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com

June 19, 2014

Hotel business sizzling in Bend

ORIG 07/17/2014 Ryan Brennecke / The Bulletin

Work continues Thursday afternoon on the Hampton Inn & Suites in the Old Mill District.

Hotel business heats up in Bend

Two new hotels may join the soon-to-open Hampton Inn & Suites

By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin

Published Jul 18, 2014 at 12:01AM

Developers have proposed two new hotels within a mile of the nearly finished Hampton Inn & Suites in the Old Mill District.

The Hampton, which is expected to open around Labor Day, will have 114 rooms, and if the two proposed hotels get built, all three combined would add 270 rooms to Bend’s 2,088-room inventory.

A South Dakota company filed a preliminary application with the city of Bend on July 8 to build a four-story My Place Economy Extended Stay on SW Bond Street, and city planners expect Braxton Development of Bozeman, Montana, to apply to build a 90-room SpringHill Suites at the former Brooks-Scanlon crane shed site on Southwest Industrial Way.

Another preliminary application was filed for a hotel off Parrell Road this year, but it has not moved forward. Since December, two new hotels have opened: Wall Street Suites and the Tetherow Lodges.

Walt Ramage, broker at Fratzke Commercial Real Estate, attributes the growing interest to the rise in tourism, as well as the improved economy.

“I’m actually in discussions with another hotel company right now that’s interested in Bend,” he said, although he couldn’t disclose details.

According to Visit Bend, the city’s tourism promotion agency, lodging occupancy is on the rise and exceeding prerecession levels.

“Bend’s tourism industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, and hotel developers are responding to that increased demand,” Doug La Placa, CEO and president of Visit Bend, wrote in an email.

Over the past 10 years, Bend’s lodging inventory has not kept up with the growth in activities and services within the tourism industry, he wrote.

New lodging inventory will make Bend more attractive as a destination for leisure travelers, business travelers and meeting and event planners.

Joe Dinger, vice president of development for Pacific Northwest My Place Hotels LLC, said he hopes to open a 30,000-square foot, 64-unit extended-stay hotel at 500 SW Bond Street.

The company plans to close on the purchase of the 2.5-acre parcel of land in the next 60 days, with a goal of breaking ground on the $2.5 million to $3 million hotel by late fall, he said.

After traveling throughout Oregon, Dinger said, Bend was selected as the first Oregon location for the franchise.

Wayne Purcell, owner of The Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center in Bend, said having so many new hotels in one area could hurt certain properties that compete in that market. Hotels are doing well in the summer months, but year-round occupancy is not high for all hotels, he said.

“It’s just a matter of not getting oversaturated in any one particular market and the challenge is going to continue to be that off season,” he said.

Matt Blackburn, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Bend, believes the market will handle the additional rooms, some of which might be built a few years from now.

Blackburn said it’s hard to find a room any night of the week at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Old Mill District. It’s owned by Idaho-based AmeriTel Inns, the company constructing the Hampton.

“We’re excited to be here in Bend and have an opportunity to serve Bend and to help invite people to Bend,” he said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818,

June 16, 2014

6 Ochoco Lane, Sunriver, Oregon

FOR SALE $429,900

North end Sunriver updated home is the perfect Sunriver retreat! Great privacy with all the common area surrounding this large lot. Beautifully updated kitchen & bathroom with tile counter tops, stainless steel appliances, soaring cedar ceilings, rock fireplace, extensive decking & outdoor living areas with two levels, private hot tub deck, all bedrooms with deck access, lodge style furniture package, hot tub, Jacuzzi in large master suite. Property has established rental history and is sold furnished6 Ochoco 1 6 Ochoco 2 6 Ochoco 3 6 Ochoco 4 6 Ochoco 5 6 Ochoco 6 6 Ochoco 7 6 Ochoco 8 6 Ochoco 9 6 Ochoco 10 6 Ochoco 11 6 Ochoco 12 6 Ochoco 13 6 Ochoco 14 6 Ochoco 15 6 Ochoco 16 6 Ochoco 17 6 Ochoco 18 6 Ochoco 19 6 Ochoco 20

June 16, 2014

Lack of housing means tight times for renters

Bend renters find few housing options

City officials look for ways to increase affordable housing

By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin / @hborrud

Published Jun 10, 2014 at 12:01AM

Brittney Sweeney has less than a month left to find a new home for her family to rent in Bend, and the pickings are slim.

“The hard part about it now, there is a shortage of houses, but (also) just the amount of money they’re wanting for these houses,” Sweeney said Wednesday.

Sweeney, 26, lives with her boyfriend, daughter and two nephews in a four-bedroom house near Southeast 27th Street in Bend. The couple pays $1,200 a month in rent, but the owner of the house plans to sell it and the family must move out by July 6.

Sweeney noticed other houses in the neighborhood for rent at $1,700 to $2,000 a month, but said, “We can’t afford that because our wages haven’t gone up.”

Bend Mayor Jim Clinton has heard a lot of similar concerns from distressed renters, who have been emailing him to complain about the high cost and scarcity of rental housing in the city. In April, a survey by the Central Oregon Rental Owners Association of its members revealed a vacancy rate of just 0.4 percent for rental apartments in Bend and 1.2 percent for houses in the city.

Melissa Heil, 34, wrote in an email to Clinton that she runs a small counseling private practice in addition to working full time for a state agency, and her husband has a real estate appraisal business. They pay $1,295 a month for a 2,200-square-foot home, plus installments on a large student loan and other monthly bills.

The home they rent is being sold.

“For us to move into a home with similar (square footage) and in the same area (NE) of town to keep our kids in the same school, we would pay $1,695 to $2,400 per month and a deposit of approximately $2,000,” Heil wrote. “That means we must come up with an extra $400 per month at least to stay in Bend and about $4,000 to move.”

Heil said she would like to purchase a home, but she has been unable to get approved for a mortgage because of $80,000 in student loan debt.

Clinton said Thursday there is little the city government can do to control rents or provide more affordable housing in the short term. City officials might be able to increase the supply of reasonably priced rental properties in the future, if Bend changes some zoning laws and comes up with an expansion plan the state will accept.

City Manager Eric King said Tuesday that one question the city might explore is how many bank-owned homes are sitting vacant and whether the city can do anything to encourage institutions to make them available more quickly to renters or buyers. Other options would be more long term, and King asked the city Affordable Housing Advisory Committee to begin vetting ideas to increase the supply of affordable rentals.

“We are starting to look at what are some policy things we can do to incentivize more affordable housing to be built,” King said.

City Affordable Housing Manager Jim Long said Monday that possibilities include selling surplus city-owned properties at a discount to affordable-housing developers and creating a “density bonus” that would allow developers who include affordable housing in a project to build more houses, on smaller lots, that otherwise would not be permitted in a zoning area. The city could also change its code to allow larger accessory dwellings, such as apartments above garages, to make them more economically feasible to develop, and create a “cottage code” to allow projects with smaller houses clustered around a central parking area.

“At any one time, there’s 18 units available for rent (in Bend),” Long said. “That’s not enough.”

One reason for the shortage of affordable housing is that investors pay cash for many single-family homes that come on the market, Long said. “The other is we just didn’t build multifamily (housing) for a while,” Long said.

Kenny LaPoint, housing director for local housing authority Housing Works, said Thursday the region is headed toward a painful correction in rental prices in the next couple of years because many people cannot afford the rising costs. If these people choose to remain in the area and pay higher rates, any emergency such as a car repair or medical care could put them at risk of homelessness.

“This isn’t Southern California,” LaPoint said. “You can’t have a two-bedroom apartment at $2,000 a month. … Our incomes don’t match up with that in Central Oregon.”

Clinton, the Bend mayor, said he views the rental housing shortage as a symptom of a national problem of wages lagging while the cost of living increases.

“I doubt if a lot of this is unique to Bend,” Clinton said. “It’s just a manifestation of this income stagnation that has been the case for the last couple decades in this country.”

Stagnant and lost income is part of the problem for Sweeney’s family. Sweeney was a manager at A Greener Cleaner for more than five years until the business closed in March and her boyfriend, Joshuwa Allen, 31, works as a tow truck driver. Sweeney said the couple is responsible and has good credit, but “I don’t know what they expect us renters to do if we’re not ready to buy, if we don’t have a down payment.” She grew up in Central Oregon and wants to stay in Bend, but said she and Allen have discussed moving somewhere else with more available rental housing and better paying jobs.

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, hborrud@bendbulletin.com

Rents up in Bend

According to an annual survey of rental owners in Central Oregon communities, rents are up in most areas. The survey looks at apartments, duplexes, triplexes, houses and manufactured homes, but the largest and most consistent sample across communities is for three-bedroom houses. The survey is released in April each year, so the average is for the first quarter.

At the same time, vacancy rates are as low as they’ve been in years. The same survey tracks vacancy rates, but data for type of unit is only available from 2011 forward. The data in the survey represent only a fraction of the rental units available in Bend and surrounding communities, but are one of the most consistent measures available for tracking rental information in the area.

June 16, 2014

Land for affordable housing

Bend eyes affordable housing

City Council will decide whether to offer public property for development

By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin / @hborrud

Published Jun 13, 2014 at 12:01AM

Bend officials will ask the City Council to offer two city-owned parcels of land for sale next month, as a short-term option to ease the shortage of affordable housing.

The parcels are both in northeast Bend: one on Butler Market Road and the other on Daggett Lane. A third potential affordable-housing site — two pieces of land near the Cascades East Transit operations building on Northeast Bear Creek Road — will take a bit more work to prepare it for sale, Affordable Housing Manager Jim Long said on Wednesday. The city will put out a request for proposals from developers for the first two properties in mid-July, Long said. “It’s going to be up to council whether they want to sell those for the maximum amount of money available,” Long said.

In the meantime, the housing committee will continue to discuss additional options to increase the supply of affordable housing, and rental housing for all income levels, throughout the summer. Long said City Manager Eric King recently asked him to develop recommendations by the end of the summer for policy changes that would increase the affordable housing supply. They will then be presented to the City Council.

City planners and members of the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee acknowledged that any increase in rental housing could also bolster the city’s case for the state to allow Bend to expand.

“In order for some parts of the (urban growth boundary expansion) to proceed, they need parts of this policy to show how we’re going to densify,” said Andy High, staff vice president of government affairs for the Central Oregon Builders Association and a member of the advisory committee.

On Wednesday, members of the committee also discussed several potential changes to city development code aimed at increasing the supply of affordable housing. Members of the committee said they are concerned not only about providing housing for low-income households, but also want to ensure there is reasonably priced housing for middle-income people. Proposals to change the development code include creating a “density bonus” that would allow developers who include affordable housing in a project to build more houses, on smaller lots, that otherwise would not be allowed in a particular zone. Committee members also discussed a possible code amendment to allow larger accessory dwellings, such as apartments above garages, to make them more economically feasible to develop, and a change that would make it easier for property owners to build them.

“This one’s going to be brutally unpopular with certain segments in the population,” Long said during the meeting on Wednesday. Nonetheless, accessory dwelling units have been popular in Portland and the program led to the creation of thousands of new units of rental housing, Long said.

Jim Landin, an architect and member of the committee, said the current requirement for a conditional use permit for accessory dwellings at pre-1998 homes in Bend makes it easy for one neighbor who dislikes the project to shoot it down. If the city makes it easier for people to build these types of apartments, it could encourage infill in existing neighborhoods and allow individual property owners, as opposed to major developers, to help increase the housing supply, Landin said.

The committee also discussed a “cottage code” to allow projects with smaller houses clustered around a central parking area.

City Councilor Scott Ramsay attended the meeting and said he has heard more interest in developing rental housing now that Oregon State University-Cascades is expanding. City councilors support the university’s expansion, and know the community will need more housing for students, Ramsay said. “I think there’s a really solid appetite for this,” Ramsay said.

Long said the next step will be to bring the density bonus, accessory dwelling unit and cottage code proposals back to the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee one at a time for more in-depth discussion in July and August.

— Reporter: 541-617-7829, hborrud@bendbulletin.com