December 7, 2022

Stay the course | Local News | Fold | The Weekly Source


In April, Wayne Purcell announced the sale of River’s Edge Golf Course to Pahlisch Homes to develop the land into housing. Violent and immediate reactions followed. The River’s Edge community has spoken out through road signs, online and in person at a tense town hall where Dan Pahlisch unsuccessfully attempted to quell opposition to the development of 370+ homes. In their opposition, the owners pointed to an increase in potential traffic, a decrease in property value and the loss of sight of the golf courses as advertised.

In August, 10 neighboring homeowners sued both Pahlisch Homes and River’s Edge LLC to block housing development.

  • Ella Taft
  • The 18-hole River’s Edge golf course covers over 1,100 acres in Northwest Bend.

“Now they want to change the rules. They want to pave the golf course and fill it with streets and houses,” Jeff Kramer, a former lawyer and one of the owners suing Pahlisch Homes, told KTVZ in August. “And that’s not what we were promised, and it’s not what we relied on when we bought our homes.”

The lawsuit alleges that homeowners have the right to enforce advertising promises in home sales. Pahlisch Homes announced that the River’s Edge homes have “golf course views”.

“When it comes to real estate, when you make promises to people and you know they’re going to trust them, and they trust them, then you have to keep those promises,” Kramer added.

On October 23, the Homeowners Association announced via email that it had reached a settlement with River’s Edge and would purchase the course for $ 500,000. The sale includes the 141 acres, course facilities and equipment. The payment terms sheet indicates that the course will be preserved as an 18-hole golf course in perpetuity. Owners will assess the course’s potential over the next four months and then have 30 days to complete the purchase.

The Source contacted Kramer, but he is not speaking to the media as requested by the defendants. Representatives of the owners association said they would look for a company qualified to manage the golf course, rather than the owners association itself. The sale is good news for residents on the course, but for many affordable housing advocates, it is a lost opportunity.

David Welton, creator of the Bend YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) website, said there is no one-size-fits-all solution to Bend’s housing problems, but more housing and more housing options are needed for lower the costs. Pahlisch undertook to build missing intermediate houses; most often these are attached multi-family units such as duplexes, triplexes and townhouses. The proposed development of River’s Edge would likely cost more than what a middle-income Bendite could afford, but it could ease pressure on the rest of the housing market, he said.

Residents around River's Edge displayed

  • Ella Taft
  • Residents around River’s Edge have posted “Save the Golf Course” signs in opposition to the proposed housing developments.

“We are seeing the price of used cars rise during the pandemic due to supply chain issues preventing the construction and delivery of new cars. Housing is not that different: Restrict supply in the face of demand that keeps going up, and the prices are going to go up for all homes, “Welton said.” If I have $ 30,000 to spend on a new Toyota, but there isn’t one and I ‘I really need something to drive, I’ll go get a used one and, if necessary, spend a little more to make sure I get you. ”

Welton argues that as long as Bend grows as fast as it is, the city will need to create housing for all income levels in order to meet demand and stabilize prices.

“We all know there are people with money who move to Bend, so if we build homes that they are interested in, it will prevent them from competing and driving up the prices of the existing housing stock,” said Welton. “So it’s certainly disappointing to see a lot of houses on the table, all for a golf course that isn’t a big use of water and isn’t open to the public like a park. It’s not like rich people will ‘Don’t move to Bend if there aren’t new homes – they’ll buy older homes and spend money to get them fixed.’