MISSION STATEMENT: “The TRUTH IN SITE Coalition, LLC advocates for a thriving university at a site that works, most importantly, for Central Oregon and also for Bend and the university.”
OBJECTIVES: “Be an advocate for TRUTH, regarding OSU Cascades’ proposed campus, and participate in the City of Bend site application review process.”
The TRUTH IN SITE Coalition, LLC was formed to be a community voice for those in Bend concerned over the proposed westside OSU Cascades campus location. There are many reasons why the westside location is not in the best interest of the city, the region, or the university. Here are a few of those reasons…
- The lack of a Master Plan for a project of this magnitude: The fact that OSU-C is not required (per City Code) to provide a master plan for this project is unacceptable and irresponsible. OSU-C should not be allowed to use this “loop hole” in development code to bypass the importance of sound planning simply by purchasing a small property to get the project started, only to incorporate surrounding land and/or nearby commercial properties down the road. The citizens of Bend deserve to know the true impact a university will have on the surrounding areas regardless of where the university is eventually built, be it on the westside of Bend (as currently proposed) or the north, east, or south side.
- Traffic: If you live or travel on the westside of Bend, you know these roads are already congested and some roundabouts are already failing. As a group, we can’t understand how a traffic study could say adding 2,000 students, facility and staff to this location will have “no impact on traffic and no mitigation is necessary”. We don’t buy the argument that OSU-C can “socially engineer” its students and facility to leave their cars at home. So if their grand plan does not work, who will pay for traffic mitigation? The citizens of this community will pay, that’s who.
- No expansion space: The 56 acre site plus the County dump do not offer any further growth opportunities UNLESS they start buying up land and buildings in close proximity. OSU-C’s statement about this being a “small urban campus” is false when you start moving outside of the land proposed. Why not locate in an area with ample land for expansion?
- Student Housing: Since they have such little space, OSU-C will force a huge majority of students to live off campus. If you have been following the challenges that student housing creates at VIRTUALLY every other university in the country, we should be concerned about the impact to the adjoining neighborhoods. The fact is this: there is NO student housing available on the westside. Where are these students going to live? They will have to live on the north or east side of town where there are more apartments and affordable student housing. If they are living on the north or east side of town, they will be creating added traffic burdens on ALL OVER TOWN, not just the westside.
- Parking: The 321 proposed onsite parking spaces for the 2,000 students, faculty and staff is grossly under capacity. If you look at standards for parking ratios from reputable sources such as the International Building Code, The Universal Building Code or the figures gathered by the Livability Task Force working on behalf of OCU-C, you will see that the parking proposed is one-third to one-half of what a well thought out plan would include. Why did they propose so little parking, because they don’t have anywhere near enough land to provide the right amount. If you study the conflict that goes on in Corvallis over parking, you will understand what we fill face if we allow this to happen. As an example…Summit High School (just up the road from the proposed campus site) has 460+ parking spaces for a student population of under 1,200 students…nearly half of whom aren’t even old enough to drive, yet the parking lot at Summit is always full.
- Toxic Land: Adjacent land contains toxic landfills and pumice mines!
- What is the real plan?: OSU’s long term student population goals are well above 5,000 students. President Ed Ray is quoted as saying he hopes campus enrollment reaches closer to 8,000-10,000 students. (See article in “Reports and Articles” titled “Ed Ray – State of the university.”
- Inadequate Land: The initial proposed location is only 10.44 acres to serve 1,890 students plus faculty and staff, making it one of the smallest per acre per student ratios in the country. For a comparison, Reed College in Portland utilizes 116 acres for 1400 students.