Dyer Mountain development in dire straits
A Lassen County development may be on the rocks ” and conservation groups in opposition to the project are optimistic that the land could be preserved.
Dyer Mountain Associates proposed 4,000 homes, three golf courses, and a ski resort on 7,000 acres of forest land near Lake Almanor, but the land could go up for sale in foreclosure on Feb. 4 unless the developers reverse their financial situation.
“They are in foreclosure with [California Mortgage and Realty] of San Francisco, and there is a lawsuit filed by [the mortgage company] on their loans,” said Steve Robinson, president and executive officer of Mountain Meadows Conservancy, an opponent of the project.
The mortgage company has listed the debt at $15.8 million, Robinson said, which means the property could sell for roughly half of what Dyer Mountain Associates paid for it.
While officials from Dyer Mountain Associates have said they will come up with the money owed before the sale, Robinson said there has been internal distention between partners in the group.
“We’re just waiting for February 4th to see what happens,” he said.
The Mountain Meadows Conservancy, along with Sierra Club and Sierra Watch, have brought suit against the developer and the Lassen County Board of Supervisors to stop the development, Robinson said.
“If the land goes to another developer, the lawsuit will follow it,” Robinson said. “So the question is, would anybody risk buying knowing about the lawsuit?”
Tom Mooers, executive director of Sierra Watch, said the financial troubles aren’t a surprise to him.
“From our point of view this looks like what we’ve known for years ” the project doesn’t make sense,” Mooers said. “The major town-style resort development is irresponsible, and if it doesn’t happen that’s good news, but it’s really important that we secure it for conservation.”
While no formal funding effort yet exists to buy the property for conservation, Mooers said the foreclosure sale opens up an opportunity for land trusts and conservation groups to work together to preserve the land.
“We’re going to keep working to secure the land for conservation, and it’s looking like the financial reality could push it in that direction.”
Dyer Mountain Associates did not return phone calls before Sierra Sun press time.
7,100: Total acreage
3: Golf courses
5,080: Base elevation in feet, ski resort
7,480: Peak elevation in feet, ski resort
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