Developer drops bid for more houses in Clear Creek canyon

Developer Jeff Dingman on Tuesday withdrew a request that would have allowed him to build nearly 300 homes in the hills above Jacks Valley in north Douglas County.

Instead, Dingman vowed to build the number of homes allowed under the county's zoning code for the area, which is one home for every 19 acres.

The latest move comes less than a week after Dingman offered Douglas County more than 1,000 acres of open space in the area known as the Upper Schneider Ranch.

Dingman hoped the open space offer would help his development be approved. He withdrew a request for one home for every 10 acres.

Dozens of residents, many wearing "Save our Master Plan" stickers appeared before Douglas County planning commissioners to voice their opposition to the project.

However, public comment was not taken because of the withdrawal.

In March, the Planning Commission and the County Commission rejected a master plan amendment that would have allowed up to 300 homes.

South Lake Tahoe attorney Lew Feldman, who represents Dingman, said opposition prompted the last-minute decision.

"We are disappointed (at the commission) at our attempts to enhance the county's open space, public access and to limit development," Feldman said.

In Dingman's first proposal, he had said he would allow for up to 3,000 acres of open space in areas along the development corridor and elsewhere through the county, Feldman said.

When the project was denied, Dingman returned with plans he believed were a workable compromise, Feldman said.

The updated plans provided for public access and enough open space within the area to maintain its atmosphere, Feldman said.

Plans to build on the property are in full swing and ground breaking on the golf course will begin sometime this fall, Feldman said

Dingman will submit new plans that allow for a clustered form of development, allowing for a maximum of 120 homes.

Feldman added Dingman will try to reverse conditions put on the golf course, calling them "too onerous."

"We will examine all lawful remedies available to us," Feldman said.

The conditions include:

--Constructing a "connector road" to Highway 50. Feldman said the condition is not legal because it would have to be made outside the county's jurisdiction

--Construction of a sewer system

-- Connection to the domestic water supply


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