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Stevens Road Tract Urbanization Strategy
Background
 
The Stevens Road Tract is a vacant square mile (640 acres) of scrub sagebrush, juniper, ponderosa pine and lava rock located adjacent and contiguous to the Bend City Limits and Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) in the southeast quadrant of Bend. About 12 acres in the northwest corner of the Tract are already within city limits.
 
The Tract was acquired from the federal government in the mid-1990’s to satisfy a lawsuit stemming from the statehood grant for school lands (in lieu land selection). The Stevens Road Tract is part of the Trust Lands that are managed by DSL to the exclusive benefit of the Common School Fund (CSF) as directed by the State Land Board (the Governor, Secretary of State and the State Treasurer). CSF Lands were granted to the State by the Federal government at time of statehood to support K-12 schools throughout the state.

State Land Board Approval
 
The Stevens Road Tract Conceptual Master Plan    was adopted by the State Land Board in June, 2007. The Conceptual Master Plan provides for a “full service” mixed use neighborhood community including diverse housing types, a village center, elementary school, neighborhood park, employment areas/centers, mixed use neighborhood centers, substantial open space and a trail system. This Plan remains flexible to respond to emerging needs and/or issues within the Tract, neighborhood, vicinity or city.
 

Candidate for UGB Expansion
 
The Stevens Road Tract (aka Section 11) is a competitive candidate site for inclusion in an expanded BEND UGB. This property is also one of the few candidate UGB expansion sites likely to provide needed (affordable) housing opportunities. At this juncture, the City of Bend is considering various properties for inclusion in an expanded UGB. According to the City's evaluation procedures, the UGB inclusion evaluation criteria rating for the Stevens Road Tract yielded the highest composite score of any candidate site. Regardless of the evaluation score, at this time the City has not yet recommended the Tract for inclusion within an expanded UGB although the reasons for such a decision are unknown and/or undisclosed.
 

Flexible Options
 
DSL ownership of the Tract enables the site to be developed in phases or as a single development project—a specific development strategy will be selected that: is most efficient, maximizes returns to the CSF, and supports other community and project goals including provision of affordable housing opportunities. DSL is also willing to entertain various land ownership/lease options to maximize site development opportunities and benefits to the CSF.
 

Partnership Opportunity
 
Although prohibited from giving away CSF assets, DSL is interested in partnering with affordable housing interests to the greatest degree possible within legal restrictions. This partnership may include strategies for the provision of needed affordable housing. Other partnership strategies may address various other identified neighborhood and community-wide goals and aspirations. Such strategies could include:
  1. An Interagency Agreement with Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) to cooperate regarding the provision of needed housing opportunities through OHCS housing programs and partners;
  2. A binding annexation agreement with the City of Bend to reserve a designated portion of the Tract for needed affordable housing development;
  3. Working with City of Bend staff and consultants to establish an Urban Renewal District (URD) to assist with the financial burden of on- and off-site local and regional infrastructure improvements and enhancements benefiting all development surrounding and within the Tract with special focus on designated needed housing areas;
  4. Participating in local and affiliated regional infrastructure improvement projects (most notably, the proposed new Southeast Sewer Interceptor line);
  5. Supporting needed housing initiatives of the City of Bend and other needed housing related agencies and advocates;
  6. Working cooperatively with Deschutes County, which owns the abutting property to the south, to maximize the efficient and complementary development of both properties; and
  7. Meeting with adjacent and nearby neighborhood associations and groups to proactively address and mitigate projected conflicts and negative impacts of Tract development.
 
DECEMBER 2007