Oregon’s Deschutes County is seeking proposals and plans to employ an advisor for a feasibility study in January regarding the possible development of private or public campgrounds and RV parks on up to six acres of public land within the county.
The four areas are properties owned by the county. One is close to the Bureau of Land Management property located at Crooked River Ranch, while the other belongs to the U.S, according to a report by KTVZ.
Forest Service land along China Hat Road or Forest Service Road 464 close to Phil’s Trailhead, according to the call for proposals that was released on Tuesday.
The other properties that are owned by the county and available that are being considered include more than 540 acres located north of Bend close to Fort Thompson Road, about 1,670 acres along the state Highway 126, partly within the city of Redmond, as well as several other properties located in La Pine, along Drafter Road and Third Street.
County officials have set a December. 16 deadline to submit plans and anticipates that it will choose the best one by mid-January.
An outline of the call for propositions states that they will include “recreation-focused developments.”
The county overview states tourism has brought more than four million overnight tourists to Central Oregon annually. The increasing growth percentage, along with the significant number of overnight visitors, has resulted in a constant shortage of housing options to meet temporary and long-term housing requirements.
Deschutes County has identified a necessity to look into the expansion of camping at low-cost options to meet the increasing number of houseless and tourists.
The scope of the work includes the creation of the concept of a campground and RV park, as well as financial and operational plans.
County commissioner Tony DeBone said such facilities could, for instance, be “welcoming the expensive van life” to people who have a van and travel across the globe or in the United States and work remotely. There are people living in the woods near cities or struggling with various problems.”
“If we had a market-rate campground and we had a spot available, somebody could either pay for that spot or be sponsored in that spot,” DeBone said.
DeBone said he was only describing one scenario, and “this is one commissioner talking,” DeBone suggested that a private RV resort or campsite could be situated about two miles from Bend in China Hat Road, on property that is in a lease for a long term from the government. It would be similar to resorts in other parts of the forest, including cabins run by private companies.
These options, DeBone said, could also “help move some folks away from other folks’ backyard,” noting that he did “not talk low-barrier, come-one come-all” issues that residents have faced about shelters for the homeless.