Oregon Moves Forward With 'Unprecedented' Plans for Coastal Golf Course

Inside the deal that could open a huge swatch of highly protected Oregon coastal land to a developer with plans for a golf course.

2 minute read

May 25, 2015, 9:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Kelly House reports on an unprecedented action in Oregon, where "the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department has agreed to privatize 280 acres of the state's public coast so [Mike] Keiser can turn it into a golf course."

According to the terms of the deal, "Oregon State Parks will gain 219 acres of coastal land in exchange for the land Keiser wants, plus $2.5 million to buy more land in the future."

"The properties moving into the parks system include a former Coos County park just south of Bandon State Natural Area, an eroding spit at the mouth of the Coquille River and an 11-acre cove in Lincoln County."

The deal came about after five years of work and after the Chicago-based developer, Keiser, overcame the initial reticence of the Parks and Recreation Department. The federal Bureau of land Management will make the final call on the deal, per terms of the 1968 grant that gave the land to the state.

According to House, "[t]he deal highlights the conflict between preservation and development on Oregon's south coast, where unemployment rates of 7.6 percent in Coos County and 9.1 percent in Curry County are in the state's bottom third. Kitzhaber and his staff pushed the sale as part of his economic development initiative, arguing another golf course in Coos County would create badly needed jobs."

The article includes a lot more detail about the deal, the political machinations that helped bring it about, and the project proposal.

Friday, May 22, 2015 in The Oregonian

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