Dyer Mountain developer must refinance to avoid foreclosure
Makoff said DMA owes the money to its mortgage lender California Mortgage and Realty.
“There is a default … and it will be cured,” he said. “We’re in the process of refinancing the project. They’re going to be paid off.”
Makoff said DMA is negotiating with a number of entities interested in refinancing the project. The managers’ plan is to conclude those negotiations by the end of the year. He said the managers knew they could get a better refinancing deal after the county certified the resort’s Environmental Impact Report, which the Board of Supervisors did in September.
“We knew it would be more advantageous to try refinancing the project after the EIR was certified,” he said on Wednesday, Nov. 21.
DMA has a real incentive to conclude negotiations. Makoff said CMR will sell the 7,000-acre resort property if DMA doesn’t pay off the defaulted loan.
The project has been in the works at least since voters approved an initiative in 2000, which zoned as mountain resort the area around Dyer Mountain and Walker Lake, also known as Mountain Meadows Reservoir.
Two months ago, the board of supervisors also approved a large-lot parcel map dividing the resort property into 13 parcels ranging in size from 40 to 1,118 acres. DMA plans to build, or have other developers build, three golf courses, ski runs, more than 4,000 houses and condos, and commercial and retail projects.
DMA also faces a lawsuit filed last month by Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch and the Chico-based Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, claiming Lassen County did not follow California environmental law in certifying the EIR, development agreement and tentative parcel map for the resort.
The suit filed in Lassen County Superior Court asks the court to set aside the board of supervisors’ certification of the documents.
The three groups also seek an order directing the county to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act, a temporary stay and restraining order, and preliminary and permanent injunctions stopping the county and its agents from taking any action to implement the project until full compliance with CEQA.
The suit claims the county failed to provide sufficiently detailed analysis of the resort’s impacts. It “failed to fully account for the resort’s cumulative and growth-inducing impacts,” improperly deferred mitigation measures, failed to analyze an adequate range of alternatives and its analyses of cultural, traffic and air quality impacts were legally flawed.
The suit, which also seeks court costs and attorney’s fees, claims the discussion of the effect on global warming was inadequate and necessitated recirculation of the EIR.
Calling the four-season resort southwest of Westwood a huge new development, the suit said the 6,741-acre ski area and golf resort on undeveloped land on the flanks of Dyer Mountain “would house at least 17,382 people, making it in essence a brand-new city, just miles from Westwood, a small community of about 2,000 people.”
The large new population and unprecedented degree of construction in an undeveloped and sparsely populated area will lead to “a wide array of significant environmental impacts,” it said.
The EIR analyzes the impacts “only in the most general terms, leaving the public and decision makers in the dark about the details of the real impacts,” the lawsuit claims.
The county is not expected to file a response until sometime in January, at the soonest, according to Rick Crabtree, the county’s special counsel for the Dyer Mountain project.
The first step in the county’s response will be preparing the administrative record and that will take a few months, Crabtree said. The county’s first filing with the court will occur sometime after that record is complete.
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