DMA says mountain won't be sold Feb. 4
The developer of the four-season resort in Westwood successfully negotiated to prevent the sale of the 6,700-acre property, according to Sedgewick, one of three DMA managers.
A notice of trustees sale, filed Jan. 10 in the Lassen County Clerk’s office, stated California Mortgage Realty, DMA’s mortgage lender, would sell the Dyer Mountain Resort property and all fixtures and equipment located on the property at 2 p.m. on Feb. 4, at public auction, to the highest bidder.
“The lender agreed to postpone the planned trustees’ sale for two months because we’ve shown them that we have a pretty good prospect for refinancing. We reached an agreement this afternoon,” Sedgewick said at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 3. “I think it will, just like usual, take us to the last minute…. It’s just sort of the way the world works. Things normally take as long as you have.”
The lender planned the public auction, to take place at the main entrance to the Lassen County Courthouse, to pay the remaining unpaid balance on a Deed of Trust executed on Nov. 18, 2005, when DMA purchased the property.
According to the trustee sale notice, the total amount of the unpaid balance is estimated to be $15,810,084.31. The notice said premiums and interest may increase the amount prior to sale.
DMA managers announced they were in negotiations with a number of entities interested in refinancing after the mortgage company filed on Aug. 27 a notice of default and election to sell under deed of trust with the Lassen County Clerk. It warned DMA it had to repay more than $3.59 million in past due payments plus permitted costs and expenses.
“We have new financing we’re working on,” Sedgewick said on Thursday, Jan. 17. “It’s close to complete.”
He said the new financing package would provide enough money to pay off the loan DMA took out to buy the resort property and provide funds to go forward with the development.
The project has been in the works at least since voters approved a ballot initiative in 2000, which zoned as mountain resort the area around Dyer Mountain and Walker Lake, also known as Mountain Meadows Reservoir.
In September, the board of supervisors approved the EIR and a large-lot parcel map dividing the resort property into 13 parcels ranging in size from 40 to 1,118 acres. The board approved the development agreement in October.
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.
The project has already been challenged in court. Lassen County has yet to file a response to the lawsuit Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch and the Chico-based Yahi Group of the Sierra Club filed in October, according to Rick Crabtree, the county’s special counsel for the Dyer Mountain project.
The suit claimed Lassen County did not follow California environmental law in certifying the EIR, development agreement and tentative parcel map for the resort. An amendment, filed on Tuesday, Jan. 8, alleges the development agreement violates the voter-approved 2000 initiative, which zoned as mountain resort the area around Dyer Mountain and Walker Lake.
The three groups allege the initiative gave the county the option of changing the land use designation on the project site if construction of ski facilities had not commenced within seven years.
The suit initially asked the Lassen County Superior Court to set aside the board of supervisors’ certification of the EIR, development agreement and parcel map.
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 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.
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