Proposed ski resort northwest of Truckee headed for court |

Proposed ski resort northwest of Truckee headed for court

Greyson Howard
Sun News Service

Photo courtesy of Sierra WatchA view of the Deerhart Creek wetlands where a golf course is proposed on the edge of Mountain Meadows Reservoir in the court-embattled Dyer Mountain property.

LASSEN COUNTY, Calif. and#8212; The embattled Dyer Mountain ski resort proposed for Lassen County goes to court next month.

Nevada City-based Sierra Watch joined Mountain Meadows Conservancy of Lassen County and the Sierra Club in filing suit in 2007, challenging the county’s Board of Supervisors in its approval of the proposed 7,000-acre development.

It would be among the largest such development in the Sierra Nevada range, including 4,000 homes. a ski resort and three golf courses near Lake Almanor.

In 2000, 62 percent of Lassen County voters approved the development. The case goes to Lassen County Superior Court Dec. 15.

and#8220;The approval of the project was illegal and (the lawsuit) attempts to get it off the table, making way for a reality-based approach. This is a ridiculous plan that is clearly not viable,and#8221; said Sierra Watch Executive Director Tom Mooers.

Instead, the environmental groups want to see the land preserved, allowing camping, fishing, recreation and limited timber harvest, Mooers said.

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The property provides habitat for 17 species of concern, such as the endangered little willow flycatcher and the threatened greater sandhill crane, according to Sierra Watch.

But in the county and developer’s legal response to briefs filed before the suit, County Counsel Richard Crabtree wrote: and#8220;The EIR … fulfilled its statutorily mandated function of informing the public and the county’s decision makers of the consequences of approving the project,and#8221; the Lassen County Times reported. and#8220;Petitioners’ objective is not really to obtain additional analysis or information in the EIR. Petitioners instead seek to stop or delay the project approved by voters by any means possible. Petitioners have publicly acknowledged this fact.and#8221;

The county’s Board of Supervisors approved the project in 2007, and Mountain Meadows Conservancy, Sierra Watch and Sierra Club sued to stop the project.

Since then, the developers and#8212; Dyer Mountain Associates and#8212; filed for bankruptcy in 2008, and creditors foreclosed on the property.

It then changed hands to Dyer Holdings Inc., then to Dyer Management LLC of Delaware in 2009.

That group is sticking to the approved plan for housing and a ski resort, and is taking responsibility for the plan and#8212; and the cost of defending it in court, according to Lassen County officials.

Dyer Management also is on the hook for more than $1 million in back taxes to the county owed by previous property owners, according to Lassen County officials.

That could play in the conservationist groups’ favor, Mooers said.

Absent a plan to pay back the taxes owed, Lassen County could put the property up for auction in 2013, Mooers said.