Central Oregon Destination Resort Approved

In March 2001, the Deschutes County hearings officer approved – with 33 conditions – the plans for a 640-acre destination resort located between Bend and Redmond in Central Oregon. The list of conditions include provisions for where roads, trails, facilities and open spaces are located; wildlife enhancement and further environmental studies; and regulatory requirements involved in the development process.

Paul Blikstad, Deschutes County associate planner, told the Bend Bulletin, “The conditions are really just for clarity, both for their sake and ours. They’re so we all know what standards we’re working with.” Scott Denney, the local representative for the developer, High Desert Development Partners LLC of Los Altos, Calif., commented, “We’re very pleased with the decision. We’re still reviewing it. We’ve put a lot of work and money into this.”

The Huntington Ranch Resort will occupy a site four miles south of the Redmond Airport and six miles north of the Bend Airport. The resort will be developed in several different phases over the next 10 years. The resort will contain two 18-hole courses (designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio), up to 420 single-family dwellings, 180 rentable condominiums, a luxury resort with 100 rooms, a full-service spa and pool, a conference center, and shopping areas.

The hearings officer approved the conceptual master plan, but a final master plan review is still required. Approvals are also needed for the site plan and subdivision platting. Opponents have voiced concerns over the irrigation water needed for the two courses; the construction of a secondary access road; and impacts on wildlife. The resort will accessed from Powell Butte Highway through BLM property. The site is entirely surrounded by BLM land.