A day after the Statesman-Journal editorial board called on the state of Oregon and Mike Keiser to decide the future of Bandon Links--a public golf course concept developed near the town of Bandon that would have been resident friendly--the developer has abandoned his plans.
Matt Ginella revealed and we discussed this first thing today on Morning Drive.
AP's John Gunther has Keiser's full statement and reports on the various dynamics that killed the project, including a new condition put down by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for a hoped-for land transfer.
BLM officials told Keiser's team that, in keeping with federal regulations, fees charged on the golf course must compete with other nonprofit golf courses on federal land, while revenues generated must be used on the property.
Keiser added that recent well testing on the property turned in disappointing results, which would make it difficult to meet Oregon land use rules that protect land zoned for farming.
"As a result of these problems, I am abandoning the Bandon Links project and will seek a site where the same programs would be viable," Keiser said.
"This project had great promise for boosting the local economy and providing employment opportunities and job training. And the golf experience would have rivaled that which is present at Bandon Dunes Resort 15 miles to the north. So it is with great regret that I make this announcement."
The Oregonian's Kelly House has several details on the saga, and the joy of the opponents of the project.
"My take on the news is that Mr. Keiser is making the appropriate decision," said Cameron La Follete, executive director of the Oregon Coast Alliance and a key critic of the proposed land deal. "Bandon State Natural Area belongs to the people of the state of Oregon, and it should continue to do so, and now it will continue to do so."
Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber's involvement in the decision to sell the land also raised eyebrows among some. It's extremely rare for state parks land deals to attract the governor's interest. Finally, the state agreed to Keiser's offer to buy the land despite lacking the legal right to sell it.