City of Bend News Release – Houselessness Update 5/18/2022

Bend City Council Update 5/18/22


Councilors made the first of two votes needed to approve development code changes that would provide options for various types of shelters to be built in most zoning districts in Bend.

Shelters can provide a bridge for houseless community members until they can get into more stable or permanent housing. Shelters are part of the City Council’s comprehensive strategy to provide safe housing options for people.

Here are Councilor Megan Perkins comments summarizing the shelter code update, prior to the vote:


It has been a long process to get to the point we are at tonight. Councilors will make the first of two votes required pass shelter code changes. The proposed changes to the Bend Development Code would allow shelters for unhoused community members to be developed in most zoning districts in Bend.

At the most recent, formal public input component of this process, a public hearing at the May 4 City Council meeting, more than 50 community members provided comments on the proposed changes, both in person and virtually. The record includes more than 700 other public comments on this code as well. The public comment period on the proposed code changes has closed.

In response to feedback we heard from the community, Planning Commission and Neighborhood Leadership Alliance, Councilors asked City staff to make three changes to the proposed code, which have been incorporated into the proposal we are considering this evening:

  1. Remove on-call site management as an option for managing the shelters. This change would require any shelter operating 24 hours a day to have on-site management 24 hours a day, which could be provided by a shelter resident (as designated by the shelter provider).
  2. Remove hardship shelters from the proposed code. This removes the part of the proposed code that would have allowed the use of RVs for temporary shelter in private driveways in residential neighborhoods. There will still be an allowance for manufactured homes or similar structures for medical hardships, as is currently permitted.
  3. Require outreach and communication to the Neighborhood District where the shelter will be located, in addition to adjacent neighborsAdding this provision will help neighborhood leaders stay informed about proposed new shelter locations in their neighborhood.  This outreach would be in addition to any notice that might be required by a development application for the proposed shelter.



You may have also heard about a camping code in the works. I want to clarify that a camping code is a separate body of work from the shelter code we’re considering tonight.

As part of its overall strategy to address houselessness, the City will next work on comprehensive Municipal Code provisions to regulate camping and sleeping in public places.

Introducing a new code related to unsanctioned camping after the shelter code changes currently being discussed is not coincidental timing. Creating additional shelter options lays the groundwork for a code that regulates where, when and how individuals can camp or sleep in public places.

I do want to point out that State law says any City regulations on sitting, lying, sleeping or keeping warm and dry outdoors on public property must be objectively reasonable as to time, place and manner for people experiencing homelessness.

While this may not allow every city to prohibit all camping in public places at all times, the City will be considering its options under the law as the project proceeds.

The City Council expects to start discussing an unsanctioned camping code this summer, following our decisions regarding the proposed shelter code.

You can find this information on City Council agendas going forward. (

Thank you to all that gave feedback, asked questions and brought ideas to this process. We look forward to engaging you further as we move on to the next piece of this comprehensive work.

-Megan Perkins