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|Articles - July 2010|
|Thursday, June 24, 2010|
Page 5 of 6
Among those who opposed the bill was Gene Whisnant, who says he supported it “until Nolan changed the bill and put [the Land Conservation and Development Commission] in charge of policy and made changes that would make it economically not viable.” In testimony, he called the bill a “death sentence for rural resorts and the future of some of these rural areas.”
The 2009 bill was defeated, but resort reform came up again in the 2010 special session in a bill passed with bipartisan support that required, among other things, that developers provide an economic impact analysis of cities within certain distances of a proposed resort, along with a traffic analysis and mitigation plan.
Spurred by the defeat of the 2009 resort reform effort, Dingfelder assembled the resort work group — a broad coalition of developers, environmentalists, city and county associations, and state and county leaders with the goal of creating a “new destination resort model that promotes economic development for local economies and is consistent with Oregon’s resource values.” They are working through this year to recommend changes to the existing state statue in the 2011 session.
“I think there are a number of things outdated,” says Dingfelder of current resort rules. “The requirement that there are a set number of acres; the golf course requirement. For instance, no eco-resort model would be allowed. It doesn’t allow for innovation.”
Current standards for large resorts require at least 160 acres of farm or forest land (unless within two miles of ocean, then it’s 40 acres); and resorts must spend at least $10 million on onsite recreation and visitor-oriented accommodations, including restaurants for at least 100 people and 150 separate rentable units. At least 50 of those overnight units must be constructed before the sale of any real estate — a 2007 court affirmation that Jeld-Wen’s Jerry Andres says put the dagger into the heart of the industry.
“The hope of the work group and rural counties is to reform the law to match the vision of a different kind of resort: smaller, greener, leaner,” says Brian Clem, a member of the group. “The law itself is a barrier to a different kind of resort.”
Linda Swearingen says she sees a possible new future not just for new resorts, but those already approved and sitting dead in the water.
“I think we have an opportunity [during the downturn] to work with the entitled resorts and the older Goal 8 resorts and allow them the opportunity to downsize in exchange for some changes in how they develop,” says Swearingen, who was on the development team for Crossing Trails, a 600-acre resort approved by Crook County in 2008 that faced vocal opposition from residents and is being appealed. The plans for Crossing Trails called for 500 homes.
“My hope is to look at what’s already on the ground, the existing entitled resorts, to make them more environmentally friendly, more economically feasible.”
“It’s kind of ironic that now the industry wants a ‘new kind of resort’ that’s really a subdivision,” says Paul Dewey. “They want to build smaller resorts with no requirement of overnights or recreation … The 2-1 ratio [of homes to overnight units] was fraudulent enough.”
To Hood River County Commissioner and developer Maui Meyer, helping this stalled industry is not the point. “Lost in the discussion is will this help people living in rural communities have a better life? Does the grocery owner benefit? To the extent that you can make a living, not a killing, out of it, no one will begrudge resorts,” he says. “But this is not a savior to the rural communities.”
Clem, the chief sponsor of the bill to ban resorts in the Metolius, says he wants to reform the laws to make resorts more economically viable and to mitigate impacts of resorts. “But my concern is not how to bail out resort developers. It is how to enhance the economy of rural economies.”
It’s a critical question about destination resorts: Do they really help rural areas? But there isn’t a definitive answer. Opposing developer and environmentalist camps do not trust each other’s economic studies. After approving eight resorts, Deschutes County — currently remaking its resort map — plans to produce its own “neutral” cost-benefit analysis of resorts for the first time.
Supporters say they clearly help fill county coffers and provide many much-needed jobs (estimated at 2,000 in Central Oregon) without huge impacts on nearby communities. Opponents counter that the proliferation of resorts have huge negative impacts on nearby towns and the environment while creating mostly low-end jobs.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Most of the food Americans consume is trucked in from hundreds of miles away. Eric Wilson, co-founder and CEO of Gro-volution, wants to change that. So this past spring, the Air Force veteran and former greenhouse manager started work on an alternative farming system he claims is more efficient than conventional agriculture, and also shortens the distance between the consumer and the farm.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
A conversation with Greg Lambert, president of Mid Oregon Personnel Services.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy. “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY JOE CORTRIGHT
The false promise of economic impact statements.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
An international architecture firm known for its design of the National September 11 Memorial Museum Pavilion in New York unveiled its plan this week for a modern indoor/outdoor food market at the foot of the Morrison Bridge in downtown Portland.
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Court experience helps legal firm anticipate potential problems for clients and prevent expensive litigation.
When Garmin AT needed to consolidate operations for its 550 employees, it scanned its entire corporate map for possible sites.
The technology industry is always in flux. And this rapid rate of change poses challenges to companies ranging from nimble startups aiming to make their mark to established organizations fighting to remain relevant. This is particularly true in the competitive digital display market, where an Oregon company has been at the forefront of nearly every major breakthrough in the last three decades.
A look back at the shifting sands of Portland’s growth and development.
Robert S. Wiggins has joined Lane Powell as a Shareholder in the Corporate/M&A Practice Group. Wiggins is a well-known lawyer, entrepreneur, and investor with more than 30 years of experience leading and advising established and emerging companies in the Pacific Northwest. Wiggins will focus his practice on offering outside general counsel services, including general corporate and board representation, business transactions and capital events.
DEDICATION PARTY: Help the Port of The Dalles celebrate its newest shovel-ready industrial land Friday, July 31, from 1:30 to 4 p.m.