Bend Zoning Proposal Would Allow Shelters

Proposed code changes will provide options for various types of shelters to be built in most City zoning districts. The City has published an interactive online tool that explains the proposed homeless shelter types and asks for public feedback. The tool can be found at this link and is available in English and Spanish through November 1.

Shelters can provide a bridge for houseless community members until they can get into more stable or permanent housing. Shelters are part of the City Council’s comprehensive strategy to provide safe housing options for people.

The proposed code amendments were developed with the help of a City Manager-appointed group called the Sounding Board to House our Neighbors, which has been meeting since April 2021 to develop recommendations on the size and type of shelters that should be allowed in each zoning district. The Sounding Board is comprised of social service providers, housing advocates and designers, and representatives from the Bend Economic Advisory Committee, Neighborhood Leadership Alliance, Affordable Housing Advisory Committee, Planning Commission and City Council.

The type of shelter, size of facility and other recommended standards, such as screening and landscaping, vary by zoning district. The Sounding Board is recommending requirements for neighborhood outreach and on-site or on-call management for all shelters.

The Sounding Board will meet in November to review public feedback on the code amendments that is received from the interactive online tool and further refine its recommendations. A work session with the Bend Planning Commission is expected on January 10, 2022, with a public hearing on January 24, 2022. Following those meetings, the City Council will be reviewing and making policy decisions on the proposed code amendments.

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