Bookmark and Share

Bend should allow new housing types

Some people are far from enchanted by Bend’s growth. But if there are not housing options for people who work here or people that schools or businesses try to hire, that’s not good for anybody.


Bend needs to add more housing and more of a diversity of types of housing. The Bend City Council is scheduled next week to review two new options. We hope they can move forward.

One housing type is called “micro-unit” developments. They are one room. That’s living, sleeping and a bathroom all in one. They can be the size of a bedroom in some homes — 400 square feet and even smaller down to 150 square feet. They do not usually include a full kitchen.

The city’s language says a common kitchen would be required for every 10 units and the Bend Planning Commission made a similar recommendation for requirements for laundry facilities.

Parking would be limited. The city would only require .5 spaces per micro-unit.

That could mean more people use alternative transportation or it could just mean more parking on the street. The plan is that the city would prohibit their use as shortterm rentals.

The second housing type under consideration is called “small dwelling unit” developments. They would be small homes built on lot sizes of as little as 1,500 square feet. To give you some idea of what that would be like: There’s a drawing in a city document showing what looks like an apartment on top of a garage. A bunch of them could be clustered together. One parking space would be required per residence.

The micro-units are aimed more at renters. The small dwelling units are aimed more at people who want to buy.

These housing options may not be what you would want. But if developers want to build them, they should be allowed in Bend. They give people more options and, we hope, more affordability.

Bookmark and Share