Developers of the proposed Thornburgh Resort near Eagle Crest and Cline Buttes ended their plan to purchase 400 acres of state land. But according to developer Kameron DeLashmutt, the decision has no effect on the future of the project, which he says will continue to move forward as designed.
Liane O’Neill, communications officer with the Department of State Lands, confirmed the application was pulled on Friday.
Central Oregon LandWatch, which opposed the sale and helped organize opposition to it, called the withdrawal a “huge win” for the area.
“For Cline Buttes and the many people that enjoy this landscape, we are excited to know this area will remain state-owned public land,” said Ben Gordon, executive director at organization. “We are reassured to know the application has been withdrawn.”
DeLashmutt said the decision to withdraw the application will not effect the housing and golf development that he has been planning since 2003. The resort, which would sit west of Eagle Crest between Redmond and Sisters, has been appealed dozens of times and is one of the most litigated projects in Deschutes County history, according to county staff. Many objections have been raised over the resort’s use of water.
But DeLashmutt said progress is being made at the site. Crews are already using access roads on the north and south ends of the property that will eventually be dotted with 300 single-family homes, 27 cabins, an 80-room hotel, golf course, clubhouse and more. He said they are currently laying out the golf course, and he expects some homes to be built and owners to move in by late 2023.
DeLashmutt said it was a mistake to try to purchase the adjoining state land, which he has under lease until 2032. The terms of that lease severely restrict any development. He described the public process necessary to complete the sale as unnecessarily controversial.
Once he saw the public opposition, DeLashmutt said, “We should have just pulled it right then.”
DeLashmutt said over the past year his planning team has scaled back the resort’s “development and water footprint,” mostly by reducing landscaping, grass lawns and the size of some lakes. He said the resort will be “the most environmentally sensitive project in the West.”
He also said it will have a massive economic impact on Central Oregon, especially in Redmond.
The development is in both the Redmond school and fire districts, which he said will bring millions of dollars into their coffers while requiring limited services.
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This really isn’t a news article. It’s a barely-disguised press release from the developer. One tell—the suggestion that this development will bring “millions” into police and fire dept budgets.
That might be the case if the hotel occupancy fee was general fund revenue and could be used by local governments however they see fit. Instead, the lion’s share is used for further tourism promotion—yikes.
Bend/Deschutes County need “home rule” to set their own tourist tax rates and determine how those revenues are used.
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