Bend again OK's Westside campus; appeal expected

OSU-Cascades notes it's actually city's third approval

The Bend City Council has adopted a final decision affirming a hearings officer's decision to approve Oregon State University – Cascades' site plan application for a four-year undergraduate campus on a 10-acre parcel it owns in southwest Bend.

Formal notice to the appellants, the Truth in Site Coalition, will begin a three-week window during which opponents can file an appeal to the Oregon Lane Use Board of Appeals, which is widely expected.

Here's the rest of the school's statement Thursday on Wednesday night's 7-0 city council vote to adopt the written findings, two weeks after they held a hearing and made the initial vote:

This is a third decision by the City of Bend in favor of OSU-Cascades' application. Bend city planning staff approved the plan on June 3 and a city hearing's officer ruled in favor of the plan on Sept. 2, following two days of extensive public hearings.  The hearings officer's review process included public meetings, with input from about 250 community members who testified or submitted written comments. 

The council's decision affirmed conditions requested by city staff and the hearings officer that were accepted by OSU-Cascades. These included public road crossing improvements and parking monitoring enhancements.  In addition, OSU-Cascades has agreed to an amendment included in the City Council's final written decision to enter into a master planning or special planned district planning process prior to undertaking any additional development.

"If OSU-Cascades purchases the 46-acre adjacent property, which is uncertain, we look forward to engaging in the long-term planning process with the community, as required by the Code and the City Council's condition of approval," said Kelly Sparks, associate vice president for strategic planning and finance at OSU-Cascades.

OSU-Cascades officials have set a target date of fall 2016 for the opening of the undergraduate campus.  Graduate programs will remain at the Graduate & Research Center, located a half-mile from the new undergraduate campus. 

The branch campus' academic planning allows for the first freshmen class to enroll in fall 2015. Until the new campus is developed, undergraduate students will use classroom space in Cascades Hall on the Central Oregon Community College campus.

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