Friday, June 13, 2008

Ruling Puts Skids to Skyline Development

Central Oregon LandWatch has won a legal victory that it says weakens the case for allowing development in part of Skyline Forest in exchange for

Posted By on Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 3:08 PM

Central Oregon LandWatch has won a legal victory that it says weakens the case for allowing development in part of Skyline Forest in exchange for protecting the rest of it.


The back story: Skyline Forest - also known as the Bull Springs Tree Farm - is a 33,000-acre wooded tract lying northwest of the Bend city limits. Owned by Crown Pacific before that company went bankrupt, it now belongs to Fidelity National Timber Resources, a subsidiary of the Fidelity National insurance company.

All 33,000 acres is zoned for Exclusive Forest Use, which means houses can't be built on it. In the summer of 2007 Fidelity National offered a deal: Allow it to put hundreds of ultra-upscale homes and a golf course on 5,000 acres of Skyline Forest and it would give the other 28,000 to the Deschutes Basin Land Trust for protection.

Critics of the deal, including the Source, said it would set a bad precedent for carving up forest lands piecemeal, and that it probably wasn't necessary because it seemed unlikely Fidelity or anyone else would legally be able to develop Skyline Forest anyway. Now CO LandWatch has won a ruling that seems to bolster that argument.

The gist of the case is that the owner of a piece of former national forest land adjacent to Skyline Forest wanted to designate it as a "lot of record," a first step toward being able to develop it. But a county hearings officer ruled that the landowner couldn't do that without complying with the requirements under the county code.

"This ruling could significantly lessen the potential for development in and around the Skyline Forest by limiting the number of recognizable lots of record on which any development could occur," LandWatch Executive Director Erik Kancler wrote. "At the very least, this is another example of the ways in which current law offers strong protection for the Skyline Forest, and that subdivision and piecemeal development of this forest is exceedingly difficult."

The decision, Kancler continued, "makes it difficult to see why there's any reason to allow up to 1,000 homes (and perhaps a golf course), as Fidelity has proposed, to save the rest of" the forest.

  • Pin It
    Favorite

Comments (3)

Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-3 of 3

Add a comment

More by H. Bruce Miller

  • Who is John Galt? Who Gives a Crap?: Atlas Shrugged's tea party flops hard

    Members of the Ayn Rand cult have waited 54 years for a movie version of her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged. They finally have one that's true to the letter and spirit of the book. And that's the problem.
    • May 11, 2011
  • LandWatch Goes to the Mattresses Over Resorts

    The fight over Deschutes County's new destination resort rules isn't finished yet: Central Oregon LandWatch has put the county on notice that it plans to challenge them. LandWatch filed ìnotices of intent to appealî Thursday with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, charging that the county's new rules for determining what lands are eligible for resorts ìactually increase the development potential in the county.
    • Aug 23, 2010
  • Waste and Fraud: Walden Goes After the Big Game

    Eastern Oregon's own Rep. Greg Walden and a couple of other Republican congressmen have unleashed their righteous wrath on a federal program that helps low-income folks heat their homes.
    • Jul 2, 2010
  • More »

Latest in The Wandering Eye

  • Moonshine Magic in Bend Still on the Down Low

    Get ready for our great close-up on the home distilling community out next week in our "Best of" issue. We interviewed a mixed bag of legal and anarchist distillers in Bend to find out why distilling is so very, very against the law in one's home.
    • Aug 9, 2012
  • The Eye Wanders Off Into the Sunset

    I’m really sorry to break the bad news to them during this season of peace and goodwill, but after this week the right-wingers in Bend and vicinity won’t have The Wandering Eye to kick around anymore. The decision to stop writing this blog was my own, and it was prompted by several factors.
    • Dec 26, 2010
  • DADT, Gay-Bashing and the "Icky-ness" Factor

    For the past week or so, “Zeo” of the NW Republican blog has had his jock strap in a knot over the prospect of Congress repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule. To hear Zeo tell it, if DADT is repealed and gays are allowed to serve openly in the US military it will mean the end not only of our armed forces but of America, its economic system and civilization in general.
    • Dec 19, 2010
  • More »

© 2016 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation