News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Planner will help shape Sisters’ future

“I’m not here by accident,” Sisters’ new Community Development Director Scott Woodford told The Nugget. A look at his resume certainly confirms that statement.

Woodford was born in the Midwest but grew up in Summit County, Colorado, home to Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone ski resorts. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Environmental Design with an emphasis in Urban Planning.

He and his family like to ski, mountain bike, river raft, and camp. When considering looking for work outside of Colorado, Woodford said Oregon, particularly Central Oregon, was one of very few options after living in Colorado. Woodford’s wife is an elementary school music teacher and they have three children, two boys aged 16 and 14, and a girl aged 12. Besides his busy work schedule, Woodford finds time to coach his kids’ soccer teams.

The Woodfords moved to Bend almost eight years ago when Scott took a job with the City of Redmond, where he worked as the senior planner for over seven years. Over the past year he worked on their comprehensive plan update. An update of Sisters’ plan is one of his first projects here in Sisters. He already knows and has worked with the consultant chosen by Sisters to facilitate the comp plan update. He is fully acquainted with Oregon land-use laws, which differ from most states.

Before moving to Oregon, Woodford worked for well over a decade, both in the public and private sectors, on land-use planning and managing complex projects. He has extensive experience working in Colorado resort communities like Aspen, Steamboat Springs, and Summit County. He is very well acquainted with the issues now facing Sisters — benefits and challenges of tourism, traffic and transportation, retention of community character, lodging and short-term rentals, affordable housing, preserving history, and responsible growth.

“In small towns, details matter,” he said.

He is already aware that the citizens of Sisters value the small details.

He is versed in topics like transfer taxes, inconspicuous infill, deed restrictions, and urban-growth boundary expansion. Woodford uses the Great Neighborhood Principles when assessing a new master-plan application. Those principles include consideration of mix of units; bike and pedestrian paths; parks, streetscape, alley loading (garage access off alleys); and front porches to encourage a sense of community.

Woodford strongly encourages the residents of Sisters to get involved in the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update.

“We are at a critical juncture in our community. This is your opportunity to help shape the future development of Sisters,” he urged. “If you are concerned about the future, now is the time to get involved.”

Information on how to participate can be found on the website

Woodford wants the community to know that once COVID restrictions at City Hall are lifted, his “door is always open and I’m always here to answer questions.”

He can be reached at [email protected]


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