(Pictured from left to right: Vicki Walker, Director, Department of State Lands; Jon Stark, Senior Director, Redmond Economic Development Inc.; Stanley Hutchison, Deputy Director, Oregon Military Department; Governor Kate Brown; Mayor George Endicott, City courtesy of Oregon Dept. of State Lands)
A project that aims to bring tech businesses, a fairground expansion, and a new military readiness center to Deschutes County moved forward today as the State Land Board approved next steps for a 945-acre property near Redmond.
The project, a collaboration between the Department of State Lands (DSL), 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, 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.
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.