Dyer Mountain development agreement on board agenda today
The draft 20-year development agreement is necessary to build the resort in Westwood. During a Tuesday, May 29 joint workshop of the Lassen County Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors, the board voted to receive and discuss the development agreement by June 15.
At the board’s Tuesday, June 18 meeting, saying the public is very interested to know what’s going on, District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman asked why the agreement was not on the agenda and asked if the delay would delay release of the draft final Environmental Impact Report for the resort.
Chapman said the board discussion of the development agreement was supposed to “open up the opportunity to finalize the EIR, which would be released at the end of June. So, the fact that we don’t have this agreement obviously affects the timetable the board had mapped out with staff.”
At the joint meeting, Consultant Cathleen Spence-Wells, a principal at North Fork Associates, of Auburn, the consultant Lassen County hired to help prepare the Environmental Impact Report, told both boards all participants would try to release the EIR by June 27.
County Administrative Officer John Ketelsen said county staff put the agenda for the June 19 meeting together on Thursday, June 14.
“As I understand it … the (developer agreement) negotiations were wrapped up on the 15th. We have not yet had an opportunity to see it,” Ketelsen said. “I think the intent of the board was satisfied but we need to make sure that at least staff is prepared to brief you on it. But it will be on the next agenda.”
The initiative county voters approved in 2000 zoned as mountain resort the area around Dyer Mountain and Walker Lake, also know as Mountain Meadow Reservoir.
Since each of the 13 lots at the resort, ranging in size from 40 to 2,935 acres, may have different developers, the developer agreement will ensure proper planning by each developer and is a tool the county will use to ensure mitigation requirements are met, according to Lassen County’s special counsel for Dyer Mountain, Richard L. Crabtree.
The development concept plan evaluated in the EIR has not changed since the draft EIR was published in April 2005. It proposed to construct 4,104 residential units, more than 600,000 square feet of commercial, retail, support and common uses, three golf courses on 300 acres and a 600-acre ski area.
Assistant Community Development Director Joe Bertotti said Dyer Mountain is the first major resort planned since the development of the California Environmental Quality Act and the first development agreement for a voter-approved project.
Sara Duryea, of the Dyer Mountain Associates management team, said last week the development agreement “is in the county management at this juncture.”
She said county planners did not confirm the release date with DMA’s managers, but the team had been informed the EIR was on schedule for release before the end of June.
“The exact dates are under county purview,” she said. “Everything we’re responsible for has been done and things are moving ahead according to the expected pace.”
Release of the documents will dramatically increase the resort developers’ ability “to attract a whole category of institutional investors that are attracted to this kind of large and long term project,” according to Grant Sedgewick, who joined the DMA management team on May 1.
He said such investors are “generally not disposed to invest until the county or responsible agency has given approval” to a project.
“Conversations are under way. We have nothing to announce but there is lots of interest,” Sedgewick said.
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