For more information, site plans, elevations, and visual impact photos, please see deschutes.org/overturf.
As has been widely reported, there have been problems with a new radio system deployed by Deschutes County 9-1-1. Reception on the west side of Bend, especially near COCC and the area south of Overturf Butte, is sporadic, leading to first responders being out of contact.
To fix the problem, engineers have proposed adding an antenna on Overturf Butte, which is bordered roughly by Skyliners Rd on the north, Mt. Washington Dr on the west, Simpson Ave on the south, and 17th St on the east. Many people are familiar with the location, which is a 40-acre city-owned site zoned for public facilities. The city has two large water reservoirs there and a 45-foot wood pole with telemetry equipment used by the water department. The site also contains a dog park, a neighborhood park (on 17th), and a park trail, but it is not a park.
The proposal is to remove the existing pole and replace it with a 60-foot wood pole with a 15-foot antenna on top. The new pole would be located within the currently-fenced area, but near the southwest corner of that enclosure and at a higher elevation. The pole will have a dark stain, like tree bark, and the antenna will be painted sky-blue. A 12’ x 15’ equipment shed will be stick-built on site and painted in earth tones to blend into the scenery. The telemetry equipment on the current pole will be moved to the new pole.
The location happens to be one of the closest spots to existing homes on Skyliner Summit Loop, but was selected because it is the highest practical location within the 40-acre site, it has ready access to power, and it can be reached via an existing trail, without having to build a new road. Existing trees, many of which are 45’-60’ tall, are expected to obscure the pole from most angles.
The pole will be placed in a hole 7’-8’ deep that will be dug with a drill rig (which was already brought to the site to do test bores). Other equipment and materials will be brought in using mostly pick-up trucks.
Access to the 40-acre site is expected to be via the water department’s service road off of Lindsay Ct. However, the water department has an easement across private property for its service road, and there may be issues to resolve regarding the use of that easement by the 9-1-1 district. The only alternative access to the site crosses another parcel which is privately owned as common area by the Skyliner Summit HOA and located on Skyliner Summit Loop. The park district has an easement across that parcel for a paved walking and bike trail.
Construction is planned for the spring of 2019. The public meeting on Nov 27th was required by the city prior to submitting plans, so a project number has not yet been assigned. Those interested in receiving updates on the project can sign up on the web site noted above.