Summary of March 19 board of directors meeting

March 20, 2024

The BPRD board of directors approved the contract for its next executive director, approved a housing project tax exemption request, and approved a concept plan for Pine Nursery Park at the March 19 meeting. A video recording is available.

The meeting was completed Zavier Borja’s term as a board member. Borja announced plans to step down from the position and applications are being accepted until noon on Friday, March 22, to fill the appointment through June 2025. The seat will be on the May 2025 election.

“It has been a true honor to serve on this board. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve the community in this capacity,” said Borja.

Executive director hired

Michelle Healy will become the next executive director, and will begin July 1. The board officially approved the employment contract at the meeting in a business session item added by Chair Hovekamp. Healy was the finalist selected in the internal search conducted by the board of directors. She has been with the district for 11 years and currently serves as the deputy executive director.

“This is a momentous occasion. We are very lucky to have Michelle as the next executive director. Congratulations,” said Nathan Hovekamp.

Multiple Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) request

The Bend City Council adopted a Multiple Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program to support development and redevelopment goals in Bend’s core and transit-oriented areas, and identified program requirements that would need to be met for projects to be eligible.

The Hiatus Homes MUPTE application was the first complete MUPTE application received by the city. The BPRD board voted three to 1 to oppose the applicant’s request for a ten-year tax abatement in April 2023.

Since the board’s review of the initial Hiatus Homes MUPTE application, the applicant has updated the proposed project. Specifically, the applicant plans to build a three-story building of 59 micro housing units. Thirty percent (18 units) will be designated middle income housing and rented at levels affordable to those making 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less. After presentations from BPRD and City of Bend staff and the developer, the board voted 4 to 1 to approve the tax exemption (Hovekamp opposed).

To date, two MUPTE applications have been approved – Platform at 105 NE Franklin Avenue and Jackstraw at 310 SW Industrial Way. In February 2024, the City Council put the MUPTE program on pause while the city completes an evaluation of all tax incentive tools. As such, no new MUPTE applications are being accepted by the city at this time.

Pine Nursery Park

Over 20 years, Pine Nursery Park has been developed into a regional park for a variety of uses, and concept designs and cost estimates have been completed for a phased project.

After considering the results of the most recent needs assessment survey, the two new athletic fields originally proposed were removed from the phase 5 scope of work in order to reduce the cost of the project. In place of constructing the two new fields, the concept design includes renovation of the four existing baseball/softball fields by adding all-weather turf infields and sports field lighting. Lighting the sports fields will increase field capacity by extending the hours of operation allowing for more games to be played each day. All-weather turf will also increase available hours and will reduce the need for infield maintenance (i.e. dragging) between games and practices.

Three other features of the scope include pedestrian trail lighting, concrete pickleball courts and full-court basketball are proposed to be constructed if funding allows.

The current project includes collaboration with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) and the Bend Pickleball Club (BPC). OAS intend to establish a hub for their adaptive biking program that is currently offered at the park with improved storage and access. BPC C has agreed to assist with funding to help construct eight new courts. Construction documents are anticipated to be complete in fall 2024 with construction to follow in 2025.

Project prioritization for comprehensive plan

In work session, staff presented an updated project list as part of the mid-point assessment of the Comprehensive Plan. The projects are the basis for the development of the district’s future Capital Improvement Plans. In addition, the projects that help to serve future populations and growth will influence the district’s System Development Charge (SDC) project list and associated fees.

As discussed at the December 19, 2023 board meeting, these priority levels are not intended to be a strict prescription of the order in which projects should be developed, but instead provide staff a general summary of how the projects compare with one another at addressing community needs.

The next board meeting is April 2.