I am feeling the Bend vibe this summer and I hope you are too. Lately, I have gotten into the habit of reading the paper and eating breakfast in the morning outside on the deck overwhelmed with gratitude; something that seemed impossible for the last two summers due to heat and/or air quality. What do you love about our neighborhood where you live, work, or play? What are you not loving? We love to hear from you! This forum is an opportunity to voice your concerns. As the newly elected Neighborhood Leadership Alliance, (NLA) representative it is my duty to take your concerns directly to the city council and work with other NLA reps to share our mutual concerns and find practical solutions.
Last month, at our SCNA public/board meeting we met with representatives from the Central Oregon Irrigation District, Bend Parks & Recreation and Ned Myers with Pine Ridge Elementary School who made a presentation for a mural art project on the new concrete structure that goes under the Broookswood Bridge. Pahlisch Homes was also on the Agenda, however, there was a last minute glitch on their end and they were unable to attend. Nevertheless, we had a record attendance! It turns out that Bill Smith (developer of Old Mill) was correct, it takes a controversy to get higher numbers in attendance.
Salutations and thank you for all those that attended. I asked you what your concerns were. I listened, and here is a brief recap:
- Piped Canal: Those of you who live along the canal in the area that was recently piped were devasted by the blasting, have lost the views of the open canal, and the entire area has been cleared of its former more natural-like state.
- Trails: There are concerns about the future development and a potential loss of the area's existing trails.
- Fireworks: There were numerous concerns about the 4th of July and the fireworks, the noise, smoke, and very real danger of fire. We discussed potential ways of enforcing the elimination of illegal fireworks that always seem to explode on the scene despite the fact that certain fireworks are illegal (think Multnomah Falls and the Eagle Crest Trail). <Click here to read a sensible argument against high-density development and a proactive plan to save your home in the event of a wildfire!>
- Sewer Connections: Ongoing issues include the Bend sewer plan. Did you know that 2,800 homes in Bend (including 22 homes on Duncan Lane alone) are currently not connected to the sewer and 600 homes in southeast Bend, and stand to face sewer connection bills up to $25,000 possibly more!
- Noise: Barking dogs left attended during the day. Meanwhile, many residents work from home and savor their live/work sanctuaries.
- Safety: A number of neighbors still are concerned about the safety and passage through the canal tunnel approaching Fred Meyer due to trash (particularly shards of broken glass), debris, and graffiti. Speed bumps and signs to warn the passersby to slow down is a concern that continues to be raised at every meeting.
- High-density Development. We have been resisting high-density development in certain residential areas of the Southern Crossing neighborhoods, yet due to conflicts in the Neighborhood Map Alignment Areas of the Zone Change and the Comprehensive Plan, locations along the Bend Parkway are subject to high-density development that has been planned or underway. (As a side note: while it was a voiced as an extreme concern, yet nobody from the SCNA attended the public meetings in regards the mapping realignment project. We are in great need of neighborhood representatives who can attend these meeting and speak on our behalf!). <Click here to read a sensible argument against high-density development and a proactive plan to save your home in the event of a wildfire!>
- Trash: Did I say trash? If you haven't' heard, last year we picked up over 450 lbs of trash and we were sponsored by Deschutes Brewery, Atlas Cider, Safeway, Cascade Ice, Deer Can't Stand, Lee Loomis, the SCNA board, and of course the City of Bend, who funds neighborhood associations. This year we are upping the bar!
The good news
We gave Ned Myers the thumbs up to do a mural art project for Pine Ridge Elementary on the new concrete structure that goes under the Brookswood Bridge. In case you didn't notice:
COID and Bend Parks & Recreation created a new trailhead at the intersection of Blakely and Reed Lane. Thank you COID and Bend Parks & Recreation for being good neighbors. We know that you know that Bendites love their trails!
What About You?
Do you want to make your mark? Mark your calendars for two important dates: Thursday, August 17th and Saturday, September 8th. We are planning our second annual neighborhood picnic and trash pickup.
This month's third Thursday meeting (August 16) starts at 6 pm at 61478 Duncan Lane (go to the pathway that leads the ADU in the back along the right side of the driveway). Light snacks and beverages will be available.
Our public board meetings are regularly held third Thursdays of each month. All who live, work, rent, own and/or run a business in Southern Crossing are welcome! Must be 18 years or older. We discuss events that affect our neighborhood. Sometimes those voices can become mighty contentious!