Well here we go again, another destination resort is proposed for the Sisters area-only this one is being called, a "guest lodge."
Hank Queen, retired Boeing executive, decided to get out of the rain in Seattle and build a magnificent Dream Home, (www.sunburstretreat.com) on 9+ acres of the north end of Sun Mountain Estates. (If you're not familiar with the location, it's along Highway 20, between Sisters and Bend.) The only thing is, Hank wants all his friends to come visit him, along with others who want to drive a few golf balls, "meditate," and maybe he'll have a few weddings on the side. The area is zoned, MUA-10, (multiple use agriculture) so it's no wonder a lot of the residents of Sun Mountain are waving the red flag.
"Not in our neighborhood!" and "No Resorts!" signs have already been tacked up on the poles supporting the "Sun Mountain" banner across Central Street, the entrance to the old Newell Baker holdings.
The paved road to this proposed "guest lodge" is private and was improved by the homeowners of Sun Mountain who, with the County's help, worked up a Road District. The residents feel violated, and not one of them is very happy with the proposed 200 cars a day that will probably be rolling down Central Street on their way to the Sunburst "guest lodge." But that's just the tip of the iceberg; it appears no one in Sun Mountain wants their lifestyle changed by what will eventually become a big business venture in their backyards, private road, or no.
Then there's the safety issues. The Sisters School bus comes down Central picking up and dropping off students twice a day. On any given day there are kids out on bikes, and people walking their dogs on Central Street. It is doubtful the traffic associated with Sunburst will take into consideration the needs of the Sun Mountain community to keep Central a safe place for kids or adults.
If the "guest lodge" scheme calls for using Fryrear that would undoubtedly keep the Cloverdale and Sisters Fire Departments busier than they want to be as the junction of Fryrear and Highway 20 is notorious for wrecks. Even if Hank decided to pave West Street, which would get his "guests" to Sunburst without using Central, the issue of the MUA-10 and a bunch of very unhappy Sun Mountain residents will be a big mouthful for him (and the county planners) to swallow.
If you're looking for a grand time in land-use planning, come to the Public Hearing in the Barnes and Sawyer Rooms of the Deschutes Service Center at 6:30 PM, on May 26. It's sure to be a rip-roaring good one!
Jim Anderson, Sun Mountain resident