Provost resort denied

A proposed destination resort planned for the outskirts of Ashland was denied by an Oregon appeals court on Wednesday. It ruled Jackson County Commissioners unfairly interpreted a land use law in order to approve the project.

The court upheld an Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals ruling that said Dom and Joyce Provost's proposed resort on land they own between Highway 66 and Interstate 5 violated county land use rules that provide a three-year deadline for submitting an updated application.

The Provosts, who declined to comment for this story, received initial approval in 1994. But after an appeal, and a remand back to the county in 1995, they did nothing with it until 2005.

"They waited 10 years to address the problems in the preliminary development plan," Chris Skrepetos, a neighbor who has been fighting the proposed development for 20 years, said. "Consequently both LUBA, and now the court of appeals, have said you're doing something that is unlawful according to your own ordinance. It's been an ill-conceived project from very beginning. That's the long and the short of it."

The ruling was against the county because, between LUBA appeals, county commissioners retooled their land use ordinance to give the project some wiggle room.

Jackson County Commissioners C.W. Smith and Jack Walker both said they have not discussed whether to appeal the court ruling or pursue the Provost development request any further.

"I have to discuss that with other commissioners and legal counsel and see what they want to do," Smith said. "It really all depends on what Mr. Provost feels he might want to try as a property owner."

He added that, at this point, their chances to win approval for the development "don't look very good, which is a shame. He's always had a dream to do something with his property but the process didn't seem to want to let him do that."

The Clear Springs Resort was first proposed in 1988. The Provosts own 245 acres between the highway and the interstate and want to build a golf course, hotel, villas and other homes on land zoned for exlusive farm use.

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