(Update: Adding video and comments from the meeting)
Project first won approval in 2009; new proposal removes 18-hole golf course
POWELL BUTTE , Ore. (KTVZ) -- Emotions ran high among the packed crowd at Powell Butte Community Center Tuesday evening on topics such as traffic and water. Residents expressed concerns and criticism about the substantially revised destination resort possibly coming to their community, called Crossing Trails.
The proposed 580-acre resort, at the intersection of Wiley Road and Parrish Lane, about a mile north of Highway 126, would include a total of 400 vacation villas and 200 overnight rentals/cabins, 50 overnight seasonal rentals and 100 units of workforce housing.
The applicant is Sun Communities Inc., a company based in Michigan, the same Bend LLC as owner but a different applicant than the original proposal.
Crook County planning staff said there needed to be modifications made, because the current applicant wants to make some significant changes to the original approval. Most prominent in the modifications, there will be no golf course and it will add some amenities, such as a clubhouse or restaurant.
Crook County officials approved a conditional plan in 2008 for a resort that would have been built around an 18-hole golf course. But in their January application for a modification of that approval, the developers noted that "the applicant has a history of developing high-quality destination resorts that target a very different market segment -- the average family -- that does not center around golf as a recreational activity."
Still, another resort is not something that some area residents want or feel is needed.
"People move out to Powell Butte and have cattle business and farms and raise families out here for a particular reason," president Scott Shadow said. "The area's already got plenty of destination resorts. I guess I don't see why we really need another one."
The county's conditional approval for a development plan for Crossing Trails was appealed by several people to the state Land Use Board of Appeals, which denied the petitioners' arguments in a late 2009 ruling.
A Crook County Planning Commission hearing on the modified resort plan is tentatively set for Wednesday, July 27 at 4 p.m. at the county annex. But given the size of the crowd that turned out Tuesday night, some planning commissioners said they might need a larger venue.
Attendees were advised by Seth Crawford to seek legal help for the upcoming hearing.
"I have no hope," an attendee said, to some applause from the crowd. "I feel like the applicant has already had it played out, had it handed to him. We don't seem to have a chance, unless we have an attorney to represent us."