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State Land Board OKs plan for 945 acres S. of Redmond

Fairgrounds expansion, military readiness center

SALEM, Ore. -  A project that aims to bring tech businesses, a fairgrounds expansion and a new military readiness center to Deschutes County moved forward Tuesday as the State Land Board approved the next steps for a 945-acre property south of Redmond. 

The project, a collaboration between the Department of State Lands, the city of Redmond, Deschutes County and the Oregon Military Department would bring the parcel inside the Redmond urban growth boundary and annex the property into the city. 

DSL would exchange 140 acres with Deschutes County for an expansion of the county fair and expo center, and sell 20 acres to the Oregon Military Department for a new readiness center. 

"This will continue the investment made with state and local partners to meet the needs of Deschutes County, the Oregon Military Department (and) the city of Redmond, and open the door to bring all kinds of new family-wage jobs to Central Oregon," said DSL Director Vicki Walker.

The remaining acres would become large-lot industrial land - a designation Central Oregon needs to diversify its employment opportunities, according to a 2011 study commissioned by area cities and counties. The designation is aimed to appeal to tech businesses and other light industrial, low-impact uses that require large parcels of land. 

"The authorization positions Redmond to work with Redmond Economic Development, the state and other partners to focus on transforming that bare land into a hub of family-wage industrial jobs and to keep up with the growth in Central Oregon," said Redmond Mayor George Endicott said.

The Land Board's decision allows DSL to submit land use applications to the city and county for the project, to fund infrastructure improvements required for the large-lot industrial zoning designation, and to partition the parcels for the fairgrounds and readiness center.  

About the State Land Board and the Department of State Lands: The State Land Board consists of Governor Kate Brown, Secretary of State Dennis Richardson and State Treasurer Tobias Read. The Department of State Lands administers diverse natural and fiscal resources.

Many of the resources generate revenue for the Common School Fund, such as state-owned rangelands and timberlands, waterway leases, estates for which no will or heirs exist, and unclaimed property. Twice a year, the agency distributes fund investment earnings to support K-12 public schools. The agency also administers Oregon's Removal-Fill Law, which requires people removing or filling certain amounts of material in waters of the state to obtain a permit. 


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