Dyer Mountain Associates anticipates release of final environmental report
Ceaglio said DMA will seek permits and is preparing a subdivision map in anticipation of completion of the EIR. He also said DMA and the county are involved in due diligence review to make sure the EIR “states what we want represented and what we feel is appropriate.”
Joe Bertotti, assistant director of the Lassen County Community Development Department, did not disagree.
“We are preparing the final EIR for certification,” Bertotti said on Thursday, Feb. 15.
County staff, and the EIR team including Northfork Associates, which prepared the EIR, and special counsel Rick Crabtree are reviewing the document, Bertotti said.
Crabtree, the Chico attorney the Board of Supervisors hired in November to review the Dyer Mountain EIR, will also represent Lassen County in any lawsuits challenging the four-season resort in Westwood. Crabtree’s agreement with the county includes, but is not limited to, “environmental review of the project … and any litigation related thereto, and the negotiation and drafting of any associated development agreement.”
Neither Bertotti nor Ceaglio would give a date for the public release of the final EIR.
“I don’t know if we’re safe, and I mean this sincerely as a guy who’s given dates out for six years, if we have an appropriate timeline for when that’s going to come out. I think at this point right now,” Ceaglio said on Tuesday, Feb. 13, “we’re not sure.”
“Soon,” said Sara Duryea, one of managers of the Dyer Mountain Resort.
The project includes recreational facilities (primarily golf and skiing), approximately 4,104 residential units (a mix of single family, multi-family and lodging), approximately 333,800 square feet of commercial/retail and support facilities, on approximately 7,000 acres.”
It is located southwest of the town of Westwood and is currently used for timber production and cattle grazing.
A timber harvest plan has been withdrawn temporarily “to get the EIR process more in alignment,” according to Gaylord Briggs, who originally envisioned a ski resort on Dyer Mountain 40 years ago as a district forester for Kimberly Clark paper products company, and is now part of DMA’s management team.
“We were anticipating that the EIR would be approved at or about the same time the harvest plan would be,” Briggs said. “Because the EIR got delayed more and more, that wasn’t going to be possible and the THP was going to end up being considered prior to that.”
A state review team in January recommended denial of the DMA timber harvest plan because approval could potentially further development of the four-season resort. Briggs said the state found some of the work proposed in the THP should have been dealt with in the EIR.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with all the points they were making, he said, “but that was the issue, so we withdrew the plan and we’ll resubmit it, probably shortly, because we believe the EIR final should be soon.”
Briggs said DMA may not wait until the EIR is final to resubmit the timber harvest plan because the THP approval process takes awhile.
“When you’re in the timber business you have an operating season you have to worry about and it only comes once a year so you try to anticipate the lead time for doing that.
He said timber harvesters try to anticipate the many days of review that are necessary before THP approval.
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