The Bend Indoor Markets issue is a complicated set of circumstances. First, it was extremely valuable to the small vendors and /> craftspeople who benefited from having an affordable space to make and sell their wares. Second, it was taking advantage of an empty warehouse space that was better off utilized than sitting empty.
And then along comes the City of Bend whose building department determined that the market was not properly zoned for light industrial. The owner, Steve White, disagreed, of course, and refused to pay the $12,000 the city wanted to fund public hearings to review an amendment to the city code to allow retail in industrial zones.
Let’s get this straight. The city thought the use was not up to code and told the owner that if they didn’t pay $12,000 for public hearings they would be fined facing potential legal action. So White refuses and closes the markets, ending that business.
But the city is still holding public hearings (January 19 at city hall, 7pm) and no one is paying for it. Or are we? Isn’t that partly what we pay our taxes for, so we can have a voice in how our elected and appointed city officials run our city?
Now the city intends to look more closely at other retail-related businesses operating in industrial zones. This is such good timing…we’re in a recession, people need jobs, the city needs tax revenues…so their answer is to make it more difficult for businesses to continue operating?
Clueless in Bend! pha