Message from the Director

Welcome to the first edition of the Bend Community Development Newsletter, a new newsletter with a sole focus on sharing what we are doing here in the Community Economic and Development Department. We hope this will become your news source for new programs, code updates and other information all related to community and economic development in the City of Bend. Our goal is to provide helpful information to community members directly involved in the development industry.

We hope you find this resource valuable and that if you do, as well, that you continue as a subscriber.

Finally, this is as new for us as it is for you. Let us know what you’d like to see in future editions of the Bend Community Development Newsletter.

Thank you,

Colin Stephens, Community and Economic Development Director

Exciting Investments planned in Bend’s Core Area

After years of planning and talking about the future of Bend’s Core Area, the City is excited to see planned public and private investments in the works.

This map helps show where both private and public investments are going to or are likely to take place over the next 10 years. All associated website links to find more information about a project application or infrastructure project, if available, are in this document.

An aerial view of the Core Area in 2019.

Want to reduce review times? Here’s a new option.

Customers can now take advantage of a new program aimed at reducing review times. Production builders are now able to submit a master or stock plan for residential development, which can then be used to submit reissues using that previously submitted master.

The new program, called the Master/Reissue Program, has been in effect since March 15.

This program reduces the review time for the plan sets, which streamlines the review to just the site plan. For more details please review our Master/Reissue Program Policy.

Permit Turnaround Times are Improving

At the end of last year, Community Economic and Development Department staff met with members of our local development community to talk about how we can partner in solutions to reduce permit turnaround times. So what has happened since that discussion?

Here’s what we’ve done so far on our side:

  • “Prescreen” Processes – The building and engineering divisions now have staff dedicated to reviewing permits when they are first submitted to ensure that all essential elements necessary for a complete review are part of the submittal. This eliminates situations where a permit waits in the queue for weeks only to have it rejected for lack of adequate information, or for the Plans Examiner to spend an inordinate amount of time on the review because necessary information is not present.
  • Require Commercial Permits to have a Cover Sheet – A review of best practices by other jurisdictions identified the practice of requiring a building permit to have a standardized cover sheet that lists out each of the submittal requirements.  The cover sheet serves as a reminder to the submitter of all necessary information and will assist prescreen staff in identifying each submittal item and what may be missing from the application. The cover sheet is voluntary at this time but will be required to be submitted starting July 1.
  • 90 Percent Plans Required – Based on staff comments during the workshops on how submittal quality impacts review effort, the private sector participants agreed that the city should require Tier III Engineering Permits be at a 90% design quality, which some submitters are already providing.  This advanced stage of design will reduce the time the review staff must spend on compiling extensive revision comments during the first review cycle. Plans are required to be submitted with the minimum required components as identified in the Tier 3 right of way checklist.
  • Two-Week Re-Review Commitments – Once initial review comments are issued for Tier III Engineering permits, Engineering Division staff will commit to processing the applicant’s responses within 10 business days.
  • 30-day Sewer and Water Analysis and Transportation Facility Report Commitment – Input from the development community indicates that delayed review times for sewer/water analysis and transportation facility reports impacts the overall permitting timelines.  As such, the Engineering Division will prioritize these requests and issue results within 30 days.

Parking, building and more

With changes happening all the time – and often all at once – keeping track of when new rules and codes go into effect can be a job in itself. This section is dedicated to giving an up-to-date round up on new codes so it’s always clear when a new code is in effect. Here is what we’ve got this month:

  • The Building Division wants to remind you that the 2022 Oregon Structural Specialty Code and 2022 and Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC) becomes mandatory starting April 1. Please note that while there are numerous changes throughout both codes, the new 2022 OSSC has some significant changes for accessible turning space requirement and solar ready zones for new structures. For applications submitted on April 1 or after, make sure your building plans comply with the updated codes to limit correction items. For summary of amendments and access to current codes, visit the state’s webpage.

The Planning Division wants to remind the community of several updates to the Bend Development Code that are now in effect.

  • Since March 3, the Bend Development Code (BDC) includes several new “clear and objective” development standards along with an optional “discretionary track” (a process which involves judgment and/or interpretation).  For these particular standards, if a developer chooses to use the discretionary track, they must state in the written narrative that they are electing to use this path in order to seek alternative ways to meet code requirements. For example, if a particular application had historically been reviewed as a Type I application and the developer is requesting discretionary review of a particular standard, that application will be elevated to a Type II review, with public notice and opportunity for comment.
  • A new submittal form for this purpose will be available soon on the Planning & Historic web page under “Submittal Items.”
  • The City of Bend also updated its parking standards and no longer requires developers to provide on-site parking as of March 3. However, there are requirements for van accessible parking spaces for certain developments. This change is one of many that the City will make to comply with statewide rules called Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities.

The online BDC reflects these amendments.

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