This article is to share information regarding code amendments the city is proposing to enable more shelter types for those without homes.  It’s happening fast.  This first link is to the City’s website for The Sounding Board to House our Neighbors, which is a group assembled to advise the city on this issue.  There is a lot of information and links there if you want a deep dive.

The second link is to a Houselessness in the City of Bend page that has tabs at the top for each type of shelter being considered and a tab at the far right for you to take a survey and provide your feedback.  Important!  Use your voice.

The synopsis below is from Karon, our Old Farm District Neighborhood Association Land Use Chair, and clearly lays out differences in the existing code and the proposed changes.


Following is a general summary of the current code and proposed amendments.

The most significant changes are:

  • Permitting shelters in all residential zones;
  • Creating two types of temporary shelters;
  • Creating three types of standard shelters;
  • Setting management and service standards for shelters;
  • Setting maximum capacity for each type of shelter.

Bend Development Code Chapter 1 Definitions:

Temporary Shelter consists of three types:  group, outdoor and multi-room.  (This is new.  Presently there is only one type of shelter:  Temporary Housing)

  • Group means a furnished building with one or more open sleeping areas.
  • Outdoor means a site where multiple mobile or permanent units are placed for use as a shelter.
  • Multi-room means a building divided into individual sleeping rooms.

Temporary Uses is defined as two types of shelters (BDC 3.6.400) Medical Hardship Housing and Temporary Shelters

Medical Hardship Housing is changed to “Hardship Shelter” BDC 3.6.400.H.

  • Present code limits “hardship housing” to medical problems.
  • Present code does not allow recreational vehicles for shelter.
  • Present code requires person to “reside on the same site”.
  • Present code allows one year permit, only renewed by medical certificate.

Change from the present code:

  • The Hardship Shelter criteria are expanded to include fire, flood and other calamities.
  • It must be in a residential zone.
  • Proposed code includes RVs for shelter.
  • Proposed code allows the “hardship unit” to be placed in a driveway.
  • Proposed code allows a hardship permit for up to three years.
  • One hardship unit per lot.

Temporary Shelters (group, multi-room & outdoors) BDC 3.6.400.I.

  • Permitted in Residential, Commercial, Mixed-use, Public Facilities and Light Industrial zones.
  • Limited to 180 days, only extended by an emergency declaration.
  • Sewer, waste, water, electrical and other services must be obtained.
  • No foundation for units.
  • Temporary Groups may be on the same site as Outdoor Shelters and Multi-room Shelters.

Change from present code: 

  • Temporary shelters were not permitted in residential zones; now they are.
  • Temporary shelters were permitted in only two commercial zones; will now be permitted in all commercial zones and mixed-use/industrial zone as well.

Shelters   (BDC 3.6.600)

  • May be a group shelter, outdoor shelter or multi-room shelter.
  • Type II review except when expansion occurs on existing buildings
  • Extensive standards:  management, good neighborhood policy, restrooms, trash bins, waiting/intake area, ADA, driveways, parking exempt from paving.
  • May provide extensive services:  meals, laundry, showers, day are, management services, overnight and daytime accommodations, kennels, overnight camping.

Changes from present code:  

  • This is a significant expansion of the former “Temporary Housing” in BDC 3.6.200.O.

Outdoor Shelters (3.6.600.E)   (this section is entirely new)

  • Must have 1,000 sf for each space.  Community/shared buildings don’t count.
  • Minimum off-street parking 0.5 spaces/unit for the first 16 units, .03 for additional.

Group Shelters (3.6.600.F)   (this section is entirely new)

  • Maximum number of beds determined by building code standards for occupancy.

Multi-Room Shelters (3.6.600.D)   (this section is entirely new)

See Table for maximum number of rooms/acre:

  • Low Density (RL) – 24 rooms
  • Standard Density ( RS)  – 43 rooms
  • Medium Density (RM-10) – 45 rooms
  • Medium Density Residential (RM) – 230 rooms
  • High Density Residential (RH) – 258 rooms
  • Commercia/Mixed – 258 rooms

Off-street parking:  0.25 spaces/room