Sams Valley learn destination resort process

Approximately 100 residents attended the citizens’ advisory committee meeting in Sams Valley elementary school at 7 p.m. on September 11. Jackson County planners Mike Mattson and Mike Savage introduced developers who hope to bring Table Rock destination resort to fruition.


Mattson, who lives in Gold Hill, defined newly-adapted rules
governing large destination resorts. "No applications have been
approved so far," Mattson stressed. "In June, 2007 we changed our codes
to bring them in line with state codes."

Then Savage explained
eligibility for the two-step application process. First a developer
presents to the planning commission a master plan showing he can comply
with 90% of it. The planning commission accepts or rejects that plan.
If the decision is appealed, it goes to the board of commissioners.
Further appeals would go to LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals.) Otherwise
the applicant has two years to complete step two–presenting the full
application to the department of development services. Notices go out
to neighbors; meetings are held; the application is either denied or

Bob Cole, a partner in the destination resort project,
currently resides off Modoc Road. Cole stressed the endeavor’s
advantages, especially its potential for tax revenue. He named
comparable projects elsewhere that had added billions to their local
coffers. He pointed out the aesthetic and environmental values of a
largely green, self-contained entity. Fifty per-cent must be open land.
700 of the 2,100 acres will be a nature conservancy in perpetuity. Cole
praised the talents of his team members, notably award-winning
developer, major partner John Elmore.

Teammate Joe Strahl then
emphasized that water for the project would not come from wells, but
from Lost Creek Lake through the Rogue River. The property owners
bought the water rights, and also plan a water treatment plant to the
highest environmental specifications.

Several audience members
expressed concern over impact on traffic, lights, crowds, crime rates,
safety, wildlife, and nearby property values. Strahl cited examples of
the rarity of these problems in other destination resorts, and how they
handled such contingencies. Having visited some existing projects
mentioned, two local residents challenged these glowing comparisons.

closed with assurances that the developers planned to keep the
community apprised of changes. They’ll have a website available soon,
he said. "We’ll hold meetings here, at Del Rey Estates, and the Gold
Hill area we affect."
By F.C. Blake
Of the Independent

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