Group Files Intent to Appeal Sunriver Town Center District Zone

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A group of Sunriver homeowners calling itself Save Sunriver has filed a petition with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals of its intent to appeal a decision by the Deschutes County Commission to create a new land use zone allowing developers to replace the 155,000-square-foot Sunriver Village Mall with a new $200 million Village at Sunriver shopping center, as proposed by SilverStar Destinations LLC.

The group’s website, SaveSunriver.org, says it is not against growth or re-development, rather it aims to ensure that any new construction “is in keeping with the spirit of what Sunriver is.”

“The current proposal is not about revitalizing the retail mall shops,” the website says. “It is about the creation of high-density high-rise condos and a multi-story hotel … We feel a restructured, more conservative plan with a respect for Sunriver and its natural environment would be more appropriate.”

A different organization of Sunriver homeowners, calling itself “Citizens for Sunriver,”  supports the mall’s redevelopment as a mixed-use village, saying the proposed development should reinvigorate and stimulate successful commercial activity at the destination resort.  Representatives from Citizens for Sunriver could not immediately be reached for comment.

Earlier this month, CBN reported that County Commissioners Dennis Luke, Mike Daly and Tammy Melton voted 3-0 to approve the new Town Center District zone, which enables mixed-use development as well as other development standards required for SilverStar to construct the new village. As an “Urban Unincorporated Community,” Deschutes County will hold jurisdiction over land use issues at Sunriver. 

Sunriver is a private resort community of more than 4,100 homes founded by developer John Gray in 1968. SilverStar contracted to buy Sunriver Mall and two neighboring properties in July 2006. After negotiating a development agreement with the SROA, SilverStar purchased the property in December 2006, and immediately began the complex process of creating a new zone in the county, where no mixed-use development zone existed.

The Sunriver plan calls for nearly 100,000 square feet of new commercial space, residential units, a hotel, ice rink, fountains and open plaza areas.

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