Wednesday, September 3, 2014

'Perverse' city codes allow OSU-Cascades to build 10-acre campus

As expected, a hearings officer approved the plans for the 10-acre campus of OSU-Cascades, further cementing Bend's status as Bend-Over, Oregon.

The new four-year university in Bend will be about the size of a high school parking lot.

Oh, and the 5,000-student university will have about 300 parking spaces, since most college students don't use cars, according to OSU officials.

Higher education here is reaching new lows before any ivy-covered walls are constructed.

The best part of the hearings officer ruling, according to the daily paper, is that he knows the whole process is bogus, but that's what the city code allows.

The hearings officer noted that OSU's piecemeal approach to building it's west-side campus (the 46-acre pumice pit wasn't included this time) "comes very close to thwarting sound planning and the very purpose of the city's master planning provisions."

"It is understandable that the opponents of this application view the 'ownership issue' as a convenient excuse to avoid the master planning process."

But, code is code and master planning be damned.

Uh, no kidding. Most residential streets don't even have sidewalks, particularly on the west side.

The state spent $120 million building the parkway through town and the city allowed massive retail development on the parkway's northern end, creating gridlock, which defeated the purpose of the parkway. The state estimates it will cost $240 million just to fix that problem.

The city just hiked its storm drainage fee because it refuses to assess any such fee on developers.

Afterall, developers essentially wrote the city's codes.

That is why parking issues are so vague.

The hearings officer wrote that even evaluating the parking plan "represents a difficult if not perverse exercise because there is no legal standard set forth in the code for determining whether a parking plan is adequate."

Therefore, the hearings officer was "left little choice but to conclude that the City Council, in adopting this provision, intended to provide a very flexible tool for estimating needed parking for colleges."

Um. "A very flexible tool?"

Was the hearings officer referring to himself?

And is the "perverse exercise" referring to the fact that developers are bound and determined to destroy the goose that laid the golden egg in Bend?

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