Newspaper Archive of
Lassen County Times
Susanville, California
October 30, 2007     Lassen County Times
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October 30, 2007

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Lassen County Times 6A Tuesday, Oct, 30, 2007 PARTNER, f 0m page 1A planning of roads, utilities, and infrastructure, including the facilities necessary to build ski hills. DMA plans for the engi- neering to take nine-12 months, Sedgewick said. DMA must then bring each individual subdivision plan. back to the county, as required in the development agreement for the resort. "We might have the first one engineered and approved within 2008," Sedgewick said. "That's our plan." DMA may not further sub- divide the land until the coun- ty approves a first-phase sub- division map. DMA faces fur- ther environmental assess- ment, but the county will decide whether it must com- plete a focused environmental impact report or if a negative declaration, stating the envi- ronmental impacts have been mitigated, will suffice. Sedgewick said DMA will evaluate any "new findings or impacts uncovered -- things that need special focus as part of the first phase of construc- tion." He said the major environ- mental issues been addressed. in the EIR the board approved last moth. Once the county approves the initial map, DMA may subdivide lots and home sites. The developer may then sell lots and possible onsite con- struction may start before the end of 2008, Sedgewick said. DMA proposes construct- ing 4,104 residential units, more than 6o0,000 square feet of commercial, retail, sup- port and common uses, three golf courses on 300 acres and a 600-acre ski area. The tenta- tive parcel map divides roughly 7,000 acres into 13 parcels ranging in size from 40 to 2,995 acres, located south of Clear Creek, southwest of Westwoed and ranging from the west shore of Mountain Meadows Reservoir to the top of Dyer Mountain. Current investment Even after DMA attracts a major investor, Duryea said, she and her partner will con- tinue their investment. "My partner and myself have almost $7 million in the project," she said. "We would- n't have committed these kinds of funds unless we were completely committed to the underlying ethos of the pro- ject." She promised the board she will not withdraw her invest- ment as a guarantee of DM :s commitment to ensuring an environmentally sensitive resort. Duryea said the principals are putting resources forward continuously "to make sure that the joint venture partner, co-development partner -- all of these are proposed to com- bine both equity and debt -- will be a partnership that is respectful of what we feel is the heritage of the land, and those, through all these gen- erations, who have brought forth the ideal of its use com- patible with bringing both active forestry and recreation to the site." Dyer Mountain will bring many people throughout the nation to Lassen County, she said, to see what a master- planned community can be like when it is. respectful of the environment. She added Dyer will be the only master- planned community in the Sierra. "We get to see what's hap- pened in Tahoe and learn from the midtakes of others," she said at the board's Oct. 9 meeting. "We are firm when we make the joint venture relationship, which involVes dilution of our equity inter- est, but continued participa- tion, because we know that that way we will shepherd the commitment to these values which we believe are part of this communitY." The board passed, on sec- ond reading, the ordinance approving the development agreement with Dyer Mountain Associates. Planning and submission a parcel map for phase one of the project is contingent on recapitalization funding from the new investor, according to Nick Ceaglio, DMb:s director of community relations. Sedgewick said former DMA president Doug Clyde is currently working on a pro- ject in Utah, but is still a con- sultant on the Dyer Mountain project and may rejoin the DMA management team at some point in the future. etumn~ A~mmbly of ~I ,=tF~=--46~ l~e.l-M'nno =,l 1~o~1, No~.l-~ I~ummrwtile, CA 961~O Customer Appreciation 9am-lam 724 MAIN ST * UPTOWN SUSANVILLE Are you looking for a Visit whether in the paper or not, we may have what you're looking for! Dyer, from page 1A Oct. 9. Calling the four-season resort southwest of Westwood a huge new devel- opment, 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 constructi )n in an undevel- for a ski area tha.t would "serve 10,450 skiers at one time and include the capacity to house at least 17,382 people in 4,104 dwelling units." The lawsuit claims, "The project site stands at the con- fluence of two of California's major ecological regions, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades. "This geography brings to the site a unique array of wildlife and plants, including federally-protected bald eagles and a variety of rare plants," R said. "The project area also includes several sites sacred to the Honey "an opportunity to review its flawed .analysis," the lawsuit said. In saying benefits outweigh impacts on the environment, the county never acknowl- edged the "potentially devas- tating effect of global warm- ing on the resort, nor its other serious problems." "If, as many experts believe, the coming decades bring.less snow to the north- ern Sierra," it said, "the resort's prospects will be dim, - at best." The lawsuit claims CEQA requires the county to ana- lyze significant "environmen- oped and sparsely populated area will lead to "a wide array of significant environ- mental impacts," it said. The EIR analyzes the impacts "only in the most gefierat terms, leaving the public and decision makers in the dark about the details of the real impacts," the law- " suit claims. The petition for writ of mandate claims the EIR failed to identify mitigation measures sufficient to avoid the impacts it does identify. By approving the project, the county "made a decision without all of the informa- tion needed to properly weigh the consequences of the development." It approved the project based on a series of findings lacking "the Sup- port of substantial evidence." "Based solely on the self- interested assertions" of the developer, the county found alternatives infeasible, though any alternative "could have been less envi- ronmentally damaging than the project itself," it said. In finding the project's ben- efits would outweigh its envi- ronmental consequences, the county simply assumed the resort would be successful, "completely ignoring "the threat that global warming poses to this low-altitude ski area, as well as other fac- tors," it said. A November 2000 voter ini tiative rezoned the land from timber production to moun- tain resort, paving the way Lake Maidupeople." tal impacts, and consider The petitioners submitted environmental consequences, comments on the draft EIR, mitigation measures and circulated in November 2004, noting it provide suf- ficiently detailed analysis of the resort's impacts. As a gen- eral review of the resort's overall impact, the EIR "failed to fully account for the resort's cumulative and growth-inducing impacts" and "improperly, deferred mitigation measures" until project-specific plans are sub- mitted for individual phases of development. The lawsuit claims the ELR also failed to. analyze an ade- quate range of alternatives. Numerous area residents and government agencies also commented on the inade- quacy of the environmental review in the DEIR, R said. The county circulated a revised DEIR in July 2006, which included the same inadequacies as the original DEIR and "the revised anaiy- sis of the cultural, traffic and air quality were legally flawed," the lawsuit claimed. When the county released final EIR in June, the three groups submitted comments objecting to the project and pointing out the final EIR did not adequately respond to the public comme~its, and newly added discussion of effect on climate change, or global warming, was inadequate and necessitated recircula- tion of the EIR. Failure to recirculate the report deprived the public of alternatives. The act also requires the county to adopt feasible mitigation measures to reduce or avoid significant environmental impacts. "If any of the project's sig- ~i~/ . Work keep you from church on Sunday? Children tU pping late Sunday morning? Looking for an evening of inspiration? 1 Greatmusic, coffee caf6, meet friends, get answers, be encouraged, get direction Grace Fellowship Church 1401 Riverside Drive - Susanviile nificant impacts cannot be mitigated to a less than signif- icant level," CEQA bars the lead agency from approving the project if feasible alterna- tives would meet the objec- tives while avoiding or reduc- ing the significant environ- mental impacts. The county violated CEQA, according to the lawsuit, by not adequately disclosing, analyzing or mitigating the project's significant impacts on air quality, cultural resources, visual resources, biological resources, emer- gency access, climate change, housing and population growth. The EIR also allegedly failed to analyze or mitigate significant growth-inducing impacts especially that the project, if successful, would "stimulate further economic activity in the area thus spurring population growth," the lawsuit claims. It failed to analyze feasible mitigation measures, specifi- cally, a ban on wood-burning devices to mitigate air quality impa~ts. It also failed to cre- ate clear and binding require- ments to mitigate traffic impacts outside Lessen County. The county also irhproperly deferred analysis of impacts on biological resources and impacts from resort employ- ees' housing demands. The lawsuit said the EIR explicit- ly defers both until after pro- ject approval. The lawsuit also claims the county violated CEQA by stat- ing alternatives are infeasible 25%2210 or nonexistent based on unsupported and inaccurate assertions by DMA. For example, DMA "implausibly asserted that removing the 'estate-style" housing from the project would render the resort so uncompetitive that it would not be economically viable." 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