Crook County OKs destination resort proposal

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: December 01. 2006 5:00AM PST

PRINEVILLE – The Crook County Planning Commission unanimously approved the initial development plan for Remington Ranch, a proposed destination resort, at the fourth and final public hearing on the topic Wednesday night.

The plans for the 2,079-acre Powell Butte resort include 800 single-family residences, 400 overnight rooms, three golf courses, and a system of walking and biking trails. The resort, which would be Crook County’s second, is slated for a spot north of state Highway 126. A third resort is also on the horizon.

The meeting saw a turnout of about 40 developers, planners and local residents. No members of the public spoke at the meeting, which ran until 10:30 p.m., Planning Director Bill Zelenka said.

“There weren’t (any) real major concerns,” Zelenka said. “You couldn’t get it any better in terms of impact because access is directly off state highways in both directions, it doesn’t access off of any county roads (and) there’s no irrigated farm lands near it.”

Zelenka said no residents have spoken up about the project at any of the three previous public hearings. By comparison, the hearings for the first destination resort in Crook County, Brasada Ranch, involved a good deal of public opposition.

“There were a few letters that we received from people, but they were very minor compared to what we had at Brasada,” he said.

Remington Ranch is the second proposed resort since Crook County carved out a 38,000-acre destination resort zone about four years ago.

Chris Pippin, vice president for Winchester Development, the California-based company that is developing Remington Ranch, said the next step for the resort will be approval of its final development plan, which will include more detail than the plan approved Wednesday. After that, the developers would proceed with individual phase plans and platting.

Destination resorts must include a mix of single-family units and overnight housing, as well as recreation activities.

“We hope to get our final development plan to the county in early 2007,” Pippin said.

“From there it’s up to them to approve that, and again we’ve got to go back on the calendar and get hearings and do all that again, but it’s a much simpler process because they’ve seen everything already.”

In a separate issue at Wednesday’s meeting, the Planning Commission discussed concerns about an access road for Crook County’s first destination resort, Brasada Ranch, which is under construction. The commission decided to recommend that the Crook County Court modify its memo of understanding with Brasada Ranch – which is located on Alfalfa Road south of Powell Butte – to say that a northern access onto Shumway Road can only be used for emergency vehicles, not residential cars.

Brasada Ranch has already sold about 300 home sites and started construction on nine houses. The resort will eventually feature about 900 housing units on 1,800 acres east of the Powell Butte Highway.

The Planning Commission will soon begin moving forward on a third destination resort project. The first public hearing for Hidden Canyon, which is being developed by Bend-based Pahlisch Homes, is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 24.

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