The Threat of the Development of a 4-Season
The destination resort plan as
presented by Dave Riley, General Manager for Mt. Hood Meadows, is
essentially the outline for an upscale real estate development:
- 450 housing units (combination of motel, duplex, condo
and single-family). The housing would be mixed-density, with condos most
likely in village core and around golf course, single-family homes on
view lots off road 3511.
- covered ice-skating rink
- groomed X-country ski trails
- 18-hole golf course
- swimming pool
- paved and unpaved hiking trails
- “village core” with upscale shopping/appearance, to be
sited on plateau above current Dillard property
- expanded parking lots and access
(click here for
print version of Public Testimony Opposing Development)
During the 3 public hearings held in
Hood River during January and February of 2003, over 80% of the Hood
River Valley residents offering public testimony vigorously opposed
the concept of this type of development high on the mountain.
Resident's concerns were wide-ranging :(not listed in any particular
is of beneficial value WITHOUT development; it is very the LACK of
development that makes it desirable.
- The economics
of a destination resort are not always favorable; investigate
faltering resorts (eg., Elkhorn, ID).
does not have a credible history of concern for the environment.
developments increase land values in adjacent area too much; farmers
and small landholders cannot afford to keep their property.
proposed development would create an "instant" town, equal in size
to others in the county. What would be cost of services to county as
the population of a small town is housed at Cooper Spur?
is not economically viable at Cooper Spur: the snow is too variable
in winter, and a golf course at 3500’ would be too cold and wet to
compete with other courses within driving distance
- A destination
resort is not compatible
with an historical district at Tilly Jane and Cloud Cap
- Using forest
service land for some of the resort services is an odd
switch in focus; recent concerns by the forest service have centered
on overuse of area and possible restriction of access
traffic on Clear Creek and Cooper Spur roads
development tends to draw visitors who often protest necessary
agricultural practices (eg., spraying, mowing, use of wind machines,
etc); farmers always lose out in this type of dispute
of few wilderness areas still reasonably accessible
appropriate is the whole idea of development on forest service land
where the primary
beneficiary of public land use is a private company?
- Big game
IS active in area and will be impacted by development.
developments increase housing costs beyond ability of local
residents to live and work in area.
County (from which draft destination ordinance is taken) protects
areas that provide the attraction and new destination resorts have
NOT been built in sensitive areas; Why kill the goose that lays the
- This is a “done deal”, arranged behind closed doors.
North LLC's estimates about number of jobs, annual payroll,
increased property tax payments, etc., appear as unsubstantiated
- What about
noise -- from increased density of housing, traffic, amphitheater?
Is this compatible with a wilderness area next door?
- Previous experience with handling
traffic on the south side of Mt. Hood with Hwy 35 and 26 is not
- The diversion of a precious water
resource to maintain a golf course in agricultural area often
strapped for water is not right.
areas are impacted far beyond the immediate boundaries of
- What are the
effects of physically re-arranging the land to accommodate things
like a golf course, parking lots and other large sites?
- What about the visual appearance
of clustered development at 3000 – 4200 ft up side of mountain? What
about the light pollution?
- The increased property value is
not a bonus for people who didn’t purchase land for speculation.
- Can the Crystal Springs Watershed
supply both existing users and a new development of this size with
its high-water needs (e.g., golf course)?
- The proposed revenue gain to the
county of 5% annually is heralded when drawn from resort revenues
but dismissed as not significant when comes from agricultural
- Other water districts like the
East Fork water district will be impacted.
- The city of Hood River is the
"destination" resort of the county; develop existing areas and
support local businesses first.
County and Bend in particular have been cited favorably for economic
development; many people may not interested in that model of
- A destination resort can be sited
in many different areas, but Cooper Spur, Tilly Jane and Cloud Cap
are areas not replicated elsewhere in Oregon.