Sunday, 14 August 2022

Austin Resort, business park appraisals approved

CLEARLAKE – The Clearlake City Council approved the plan to conduct appraisals on the Austin Resort site and the business park as the first step toward developing the properties.


City Administrator Dale Neiman said appraisals are part of a procedural process Community Redevelopment Law established for redevelopment agencies to follow when considering selling agency-owned property.


Neiman said the city sent out bid requests to 13 appraisers, some of them local, but none responded. City staff had previously worked with Jerry Keyser of Keyser Marston & Associates and he agreed to do the work.


Because the city is negotiating under a tight deadline with Katz Kirkpatrick Properties of Roseville for the business park, Neiman suggested doing both appraisals at once.


Katz KirkPatrick has developed almost 50 shopping centers, many in Northern California. The council approved an exclusive negotiation agreement with Katz Kirkpatrick for the 26-acre business park property in April.


The city also is negotiating with developer Income Property Specialists for a possible mixed-use development – a hotel, retail space and town homes – on the old Austin Resort site on the lakeshore.


The total cost for the appraisals is estimated to be between $20,000 and $30,000.


In response to a question from City Councilman Roy Simons about the appraisal fees, Neiman said the developers purchasing the property, ultimately, would pay for the appraisal costs.


Establishing the land value is critical to the process, said Neiman. "The bottom line is we can't sell the property for less than fair market value," he said.


One local business owner asked about what property at the business park was being sold, and if the city would use eminent domain to take adjacent property. Neiman said no, that the city doesn't have eminent domain power. He did report, however, that Katz Kirkpatrick is interested in buying adjacent properties from willing landowners.


Clearlake resident Alice Reece said she's concerned about plans for Austin Resort.


"I'm really against the sale of it," she said, adding that the developer's proposal may not be in the city's best interests.


"I think that open space is at a premium, especially here in town," she said. Reece said she also believes park space is in short supply in Clearlake.


The sale of lakefront property is not always to the community's benefit, she said.


Neiman assured her that there will be a public hearing in the future on what is proposed for the resort site, as part of the mandated process. He told Lake County News in April that he expected the process to arrive at a final plan and a sale of the property would take about a year.


"I'm feeling really left out in the dark," she said, noting that she hasn't seen the designs proposed and doesn't know what's going on.


Neiman said the redevelopment agency is in the midst of an exclusive negotiation agreement with the developer, and the details aren't entirely public yet.


That's making people in the community feel frightened and concerned about what's being done, Reece concluded.


Simons asked about who owns the old resort property. Neiman said he believes it's owned jointly by the city and redevelopment agency. But for the sale to go forward, the land needs to be transferred entirely to the redevelopment agency.


Councilman Chuck Leonard made the motion to approve the appraisals, which Simons seconded. The council voted 4-0 to approve the plan.


Councilman Curt Giambruno was absent from the meeting, having just gotten home today from the hospital, where he recently had knee surgery, Leonard reported.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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