Board approves Dyer Mountain Resort
Sierra Watch, Mountain Meadows Conservancy, the Honey Lake Maidu and, most recently, the Chico-based Yahi Group of the Sierra Club, have objected to the project and the first three groups have promised to sue.
Sierra Club also challenged the EIR, citing the EIR’s failure to adequately mitigate biological, cultural, traffic and air quality impacts of the resort, among others. In a letter dated Sept. 6, Grace Marvin, chair of the Yahi Group, wrote the EIR fails to propose mitigation measures and alternatives that would reduce the project’s significant environmental impacts.
“Regarding the adequacy of the EIR, the Sierra Club agrees with previous comments submitted on behalf of Mountain Meadows Conservancy and Sierra Watch that document that the EIR fails to fully analyze the impacts of the project,” Marvin wrote.
Developer DMA has begun talks with the groups that have threatened to sue.
“In the recent past we have met with the three groups (Sierra Watch, Mountain, Meadows Conservancy and the Honey Lake Maidu) to discuss issues and to establish a dialog,” Nick Ceaglio, of Dyer Mountain Associates, wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper on Wednesday, Sept. 26.
The board unanimously passed the EIR and tentative parcel map. Though he said the EIR was “as good as it gets,” District 2 Supervisor Jim Chapman voted against the development agreement, saying he wasn’t sure it fully protected the public interest.
District 1 Supervisor Bob Pyle said no contract is bullet proof; “If so we wouldn’t need lawyers,” Pyle said, adding the contract is fluid and can be amended.
Chapman asked where the agreement lists the recreation center for local youth promised in the initiative rezoning the land from timber production to mountain resort voters approved in 2000.
“I really strongly feel that the project that was promised and the project that was delivered aren’t necessarily the same,” Chapman said.
At the Sept. 25 meeting, the board amended the agreement from a 20-year to a 30-year term, since full build out is estimated at 25-30 years. DMA attorney Bill Abbott agreed to the change.
“Taxes have been paid and we now have excess funds on hand,”
said Assistant Community Development Director Joe Bertotti, telling the board it was appropriate to move forward.
Board approval paves the way for the developer to finalize actual subdivision maps for the 7,000-acre resort adjacent to Westwood’s Walker Lake, also known as Mountain Meadows Reservoir. DMA plans to build, or agree to have other developers build, three golf courses, ski runs, more than 4,000 houses and condos and commercial and retail projects.
The tentative parcel map for the Dyer Mountain Resort divides 7,000 acres into 13 parcels ranging in size from 40 to 1,118 acres. It does not refer to specific projects.
Developers of the individual parcels will have to do EIRs and hold public hearings on each proposal to build the resort’s golf courses, ski runs, houses and condos and commercial and retail projects.
The planning commission will review development plans, tentative subdivision maps and improvement plans over the 25-30 year build-out envisioned in the development concept plan.
The development agreement, a contract between the county and DMA, ensures the developer will meet county building standards and take the steps necessary to mitigate environmental impacts.
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