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NW Crossing residents fight self-storage plans

Published On: Mar 19 2013 11:15:44 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2013 07:51:05 PM CDT

NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent got reaction from neighbors who say the storage facility would hurt their community.

BEND, Ore. -

Across from the NorthWest Crossing community on Bend's Westside is a view of trees and wildlife -- but that could change to a scene of concrete storage warehouses.

"(It's a) nice business plan, wrong location -- and I think other people feel exactly the same way," neighbor Ruth Zdanowicz said Tuesday.

Dozens of NorthWest Crossing residents are fired up about the proposal for a storage unit facility on the northwest corner of Mount Washington and Lolo drives.

On Monday night, more than 100 people showed for a meeting held by the developers.

Neighbor Ed Funk said it was a hostile atmosphere.

"We don't have much of a legal standing at the moment," Funk said. "We can only, through numbers, say we don't want it. Mr. Payne, please do not put this facility on these 4.2 acres."

The property is zoned for light industrial use and thus can  legally host a storage unit.  

Developer Jeff Payne said he's open to looking at other options, but hopes he can come to an agreement with residents.

"People are generally resistant to change," Payne said. "And you know, there's a nice piece of property that is vacant, and I think some people think that life will always be that way."

Even some neighbors that wouldn't look at directly at the storage units fear it will hurt the entire neighborhood -- devaluing homes, not promoting employment and inviting criminal activity.

"This is about how do we want to live here? Zdanowicz said.  "Why would they want to shoot themselves in the foot, putting in a self-storage facility that employs one or two people in a four-hour shift?"

Not everyone in the neighborhood where homes can cost $500,000 or more minds the view going away, as long as it's the right kind of business moving in.

"We would like it to benefit the neighborhood, not hurt the neighborhood," Funk said.

A few neighbors also said that they're not opposed to the storage units going in, but in a location further way from the neighborhood, back closer to Summit High School. Payne has said it needs to be close to a thoroughfare like Mt. Washington Drive for it to succeed.


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